For those who are not aware, MEP stands for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. With that in mind, MEP engineering belongs under the umbrella of construction engineering, but it focuses only on the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing aspects of a building. All of these are necessary for any type of commercial, industrial, or institutional project. To put it quite simply, MEP engineering is the science of planning, designing, and managing the MEP systems of a building.
Consequently, MEP systems are considered as the building’s central nervous system as they are responsible for making the building suitable and comfortable for human occupancy. MEP engineering companies are the ones that transform building interiors into a livable and pleasant space. Without this, the building may as well be a cave.
There are many components that belong to the scope of MEP engineering, which is why it also covers a wide range of services. Of course, not all MEP engineering firms do the same things, but they have many things in common. These are just some of their core services:
- Heating, ventilating, and cooling systems. As the name suggests, this has to do with the building’s climate control. It is an important element of safe and healthy building conditions in which the temperature and humidity are regulated using fresh air from the outside.
- Central plant design. This involves the development of design-build solutions for complex utility plants and mechanical systems.
- Heating and cooling water systems. MEP engineers are the ones responsible for designing efficient water systems that will flow throughout the entire building. They know the key equipment functions of boilers and other systems, while still being aware and taking into consideration the local codes and standards of building construction.
- Exhaust systems. Codes dictate the minimum exhaust rates in a building. This is to ensure that odors and contaminants do not spread throughout the building. This is why it is important to calculate and plan the space for these exhaust systems. This includes duct chases, vents, and exhaust fans, among others.
- Direct digital control systems. This relates to everything above as it is used to control heating, ventilating, and air conditioning devices.
- Electrical system design. To put it quite simply, this is the design of all electrical systems within a building.
- Power systems. This is a network of electrical components designed to supply, transfer and use electric power.
- Onsite power generation requirements and distribution. This has to do with electrical generation and storage using grid-connected devices. It can also be an alternative to the traditional electric power system, especially in cases of power outages.
- Cold and hot water systems. This goes hand-in-hand with the mechanical aspect of heating and cooling, but in this case, this has to do with the piping. Cold water is transported through the pipes, which then goes to the heating system or boiler, thereby transforming it into hot water.
- Waste and vent systems. The system removes sewage and waste, and at the same time maintains neutral air pressure in the drains in order to allow the free flow of water and sewage down the drains and through the waste pipes.
Taking all of these into consideration, MEP engineering is crucial in any construction project because it is responsible for creating long-term and effective systems that will make the building interiors habitable and sustainable.