How to Prevent Over-Engineering in Building Components

Michael Tobias
3 Minutes Read
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    Over-Engineered mechanical or electrical systems is a problem that frequently occurs in the design process. While it’s easy to assume extra capacity is a good thing, the reality is that oversized systems are just as problematic as undersized systems. This common error results in higher upfront costs for the building owner, and can lead to performance issues down the line.

    However, preventing over-engineering in your projects can be difficult. This is because it’s hard to recognize signs of oversized systems in the design process. In order to design building systems to be energy efficient, low-cost, and high performing, it’s vital to recognize signs of components that are under or over capacity.

    To help you better understand this issue, read on to gain insight on the pitfalls of over-engineering, and how to prevent this issue from occuring in your next project.

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    What is Over-Engineering?

    Simply put, Over-Engineering is when a system is designed to be more complicated than necessary for it’s purpose.

    The excess complexity almost always adds no benefit to the system’s functionality, decreases productivity of the design team, and drives up construction bids significantly.

    How Does it Affect my Building?

    Many people assume more robust systems are higher performing, but this is not the case. Over-engineering comes with both a higher price tag, increased operating costs, and lowered performance.

    This is because over-engineered systems drive up initial costs for labor, material and installation, and are more expensive to maintain overtime due to low energy efficiency.

    Not only are these system more costly, but also cause performance issues. Over-engineered components are often less efficient, need more reparations, and have a lower lifecycle that systems that are accurately sized for the building.

    What Can I Do?

    While it can be hard to spot the signs, there are systems that are more commonly over-engineered than others.

    For example, air conditioners are frequently oversized in an effort to bring down the temperature in less time. While this seems like a good idea in the design process, the reality is that this extra capacity wears down electrical and mechanical components overtime, resulting in reduced service life and poorer humidity control.

    There are many other examples just like this that are important to know before engineers begin design. Keeping an eye on these components during the design process increases your chances of catching these errors before they move onto installation.

    If you want to learn about more systems you need to watch out for, our eBook “The Top 5 Most Over-Engineered Building Components” highlights the top systems that face this issue. Get your copy today so you can prevent higher costs for lower-quality systems.

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    Tags : Design

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