MEP engineering consulting services can help your bottom line
Whether you’re an architect, contractor, or building owner, working with MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) consulting engineers can assure that your construction or renovation project will optimize your building’s performance and minimize its operating costs.
MEP engineers work closely with architects and owners throughout design, construction, and operations processes, analyzing and evaluating system options in the context of the entire project. This approach allows MEP engineers to implement systems that integrate with building architecture and perform as designed.
With all the various technologies and systems operating in modern buildings, combined with efforts to strive for sustainable design and LEED accreditation, an MEP engineer can provide successful coordination of building systems and operations while optimizing the building owner’s investment.
Let’s take a look at 10 areas where an MEP engineer would have considerable impact on a construction or renovation project:
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC): Whether it’s determining if an under-floor air distribution (UFAD) system is the best way to heat and cool your building, or which automation techniques can best help your HVAC system conserve energy, an MEP consulting engineer can ensure your system is designed and installed to run efficiently, deliver maximum occupant comfort, and maintain environmentally-friendly standards.
- Electricity and lighting: Indoor lighting accounts for about 11% of all electricity in the United States. MEP engineers can design systems and suggest equipment and automation techniques that can help a building to reduce its lighting consumption by 20-60%. By incorporating natural daylight and adding sensors and energy-efficient light fixtures, MEP engineers can not only reduce electricity usage and costs, but can provide a more comfortable indoor environment for occupants.
- Plumbing: Plumbing design incorporates fire suppression, storm water, sewer, natural gas, drinking water, irrigation water and other special water and waste systems. MEP engineers can ensure plumbing design and equipment are operating at a level most efficient for your building, and can also integrate water conservation techniques and other design strategies that will make your building more eco-friendly and more cost-effective.
- Energy conservation: While HVAC, electrical, and plumbing design can all contribute to reductions in energy usage, an MEP engineering consultant can implement a number of other energy management solutions that can make your building more sustainable. Using environmentally-preferable product in building and renovation phases and incorporating renewable energy sources are just a couple of ways that MEP engineers can enhance design and operations in order to reduce energy consumption.
- Fire alarms and protection: Sprinkler and fire suppression systems can require a lot of coordination during design and implementation processes. Not only do these systems need to meet building code requirements, but they also need to meet the needs of different areas of your building. MEP consulting engineers can sync fire and plumbing design, and even introduce dry fire hydrants or other systems that heighten environmental efficiency by utilizing non-potable water sources.
- Building automation: Building automation systems are centralized networks of hardware and software that control a building’s HVAC systems, indoor and outdoor lighting, security, fire alarms, and any number of other mechanical, electrical, or plumbing features in the building. Automation systems help maintain a building’s optimal operational performance levels and ensure the comfort and safety of building occupants. MEP consultants can design effective control systems that can help you monitor your building’s performance and reduce energy consumption.
- Effective design for long-term value: Whether you’re constructing a new building or renovating an old one, an MEP consultant can provide worthwhile solutions that ensure you are using the most cost-effective products and designs during the construction process. These designs should not only utilize the most current and efficient technologies, but provide flexibility and foresight to ensure your building and its equipment will maximize their lifecycles for years to come.
MEP consultants can also follow up with commissioning efforts every 1-3 years to determine if your building systems are operating at an optimal level. Retro-commissioning can identify changes in your building’s operations and make sure that new systems are continuing to function as designed.
- Indoor environmental quality: The indoor environmental quality of a building can have a significant impact on occupant health, comfort and productivity. For schools and businesses, this can mean fewer sick days, more productive students and employees, and better moods for everyone in the building. There are a number of ways to improve a building’s environmental quality, whether it’s maximizing the use of natural daylight or optimizing HVAC systems for ventilation and moisture control to remove odors and airborne pathogens. MEP consultants can help recognize which methods will deliver the greatest improvements to your building’s indoor environment.
- Water conservation: Mechanical and plumbing system designs can lower the amount of water your building consumes, and in turn, reduce your water bill. MEP consultants can help you incorporate low-flow fixtures in bathrooms, insulate your piping, utilize alternative water sources, optimize landscape design to minimize water use, and improve efficiency of HVAC systems.
- Optimizing operational and maintenance practices: MEP consultants can identify materials and systems that will require less water, energy, and toxic chemicals and cleaners to maintain, streamlining maintenance procedures while making your building more eco-friendly. They can customize these systems in order to ensure the best for your building and ensure that maintenance requirements remain simple and maintenance workers are properly trained to handle equipment issues and maximize product lifecycles.
Experienced MEP engineering for your project
Established in 1990, Peter Basso Associates provides MEP consulting on highly technical, challenging projects while delivering an in-depth knowledge of best practices that extends across multiple markets. Peter Basso Associates is recognized as a leader in MEP engineering, applying new technology and balancing performance and costs on projects for K-12 schools, healthcare facilities, government buildings, higher education architecture, and many other structures.
The best way to help your building achieve – and sustain – high performance standards is through the commissioning process. Get your free copy of our Building Commissioning Playbook to see what commissioning can do for your building.