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MEP BIM Services to overcome MEP Design and Installation Challenges



Coordinated and clash-free MEP layouts driven by 3D BIM assist contractors to achieve accurate MEP fabrication and seamless onsite installation.


High-rise construction projects often face design complexities in terms of incorporating hundreds of MEP components and equipment in the set design. Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing are crucial for construction and it consumes a significant amount of cost, time, and resources. Presenting inaccurate MEPF layouts through traditional 2D CAD or hand sketches can lead to inaccuracies, clashes, fabrication and installation errors, etc. during actual construction.

Fast-paced projects require contractors to coordinate with architects, various MEP trades, fabricators, and other teams. Inability to coordinate and collaborate in the preconstruction stage can create serious challenges for MEPF contractors and a myriad of onsite personnel.

MEP services enable contractors to navigate around these challenges and produce a high-impact project and client value during the design and construction phase. With features of early clash detection and resolution, 3D MEP Revit models offer enhanced visibility and reduced rework. Adopting BIM can help contractors save time and money for their construction projects.

MEP services monitored by Technavio in the North American market suggest the growth to reach $37.39 billion from 2020 to 2024.


Challenges faced by MEP contractors during MEP design and installation:

  • Onsite MEPF clashes during actual construction leading to costly rework and project delays.
  • Inaccurate spatial coordination or MEP layout causing location errors to set MEP components.
  • Error-ridden fabrication drawings drive inaccuracies in MEPF fabrication and material waste.
  • Absence of scheduling visualization steers logistics flaws and project timeline delays.
  • Lack of cost forecasting or estimation for MEP components and equipment elevates cost overages.
  • Unavailability of precise fire safety equipment ushers building safety issues.

Based on an NBS report, 82% of contractors agree BIM is the future of project information. (Source: bigrentz.com)


How MEP BIM overcome design and installation challenges


  • Preemptive MEPF clash identification and resolution mitigates rework and project delays


    Preconstruction is a crucial stage of modern design and construction. The inclusion of activities in this stage can save a lot on rework. MEPF modeling in tools like Revit promotes a high level of parametricism to achieve modeling precision. The utilization of real-life building objects in 3D space and MEP isometric installation drawings enhances MEP visualization.

    Coordinating 3D models from Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing can be difficult if not supported by BIM tools like Revit. Importing the coordinated 3D model in Navisworks identifies and clears out costly clashes in the preconstruction stage. This proactive approach mitigates a significant amount of remodeling for ductwork, pipework, etc., and reduces project delays.

    TrueCADD were outsourced to an Airport construction project from Muscat, Oman. A clash-free MEP 3D model and MEP coordination drawings were required as a business need. The team at TrueCADD generated a clash-free model at LOD 400 and generated clash-detection reports in Navisworks. The clash-free MEP Revit model saved millions of dollars with 100% of MEP systems installed.




  • Accurate spatial coordination of MEP design with architectural layouts cancel placement errors


    Precise spatial coordination during the early stages of design ensures an optimum architectural, structural, and MEP layout. HVAC equipment, electrical components, and plumbing fittings working seamlessly mitigate placement challenges. Visualizing the entire design through enhanced BIM workflows and information-packed models supports contractors with accurate equipment placement.

    Precise spatial coordination or MEP modeling at accurate LOD levels - 100, 200, 300, 350, 450, etc. ensures higher constructability. A sequential comparison of overlays through VDC processes promotes seamless onsite construction to reduce onsite clashes and project overruns. Design validation for heat load calculations, HVAC routing, equipment selection, pipe sizing, fixture scheduling, pipe sizing, etc. improves MEP design in the preconstruction stage.

    A construction company situated in Egypt provided PDF files as input to create accurate Architectural, Structural, and MEP BIM models for a Healthcare project. The team at TrueCADD utilized BIM modeling processes and tools like Revit to create a coordinated BIM model at LOD 300 following AIA standards. The BIM deliverables at handover produced enabled the client to save 30% - 35% on costs with accurate analysis of energy efficiency.




  • 3D model-extracted fabrication drawings produce accurate MEP components and reduce material waste


    Fabrication drawings extracted from a coordinated 3D BIM model for MEP ensure higher data accuracy to fabricate components. Drawing layouts, conventions, lines, welding symbols, standards, and conventions, ISO views, dimensions, etc. reinforced in BIM-ready models produce high-quality MEP components.

    The utilization of accurate and complete fabrication drawings provides product manufacturers with insights that reduce manufacturing waste. The production of site-ready MEP equipment drives seamless onsite activities leading to quick installation and time savings.

    Accuracies in energy calculations inherent in Revit and other tools produce energy-efficient HVAC equipment, whilst the use of Revit families ensures product customization.

  • Presence of scheduling visualization promotes accurate logistics and precise timelines


    Accurate time liners, proactive construction sequencing, and high-resolution walkthroughs in VR encourage enhanced project scheduling. 3D MEP models enriched with the dimension of time (4D) ensure cost forecasting at various timelines and better logistics to relocate material and equipment onsite. A graphical representation of precise construction timelines mitigates cost overruns and project delays.

    A healthcare construction project was presented to TrueCADD with the requirements of a coordinated 3D BIM model with 2D drawings as input. The team at TrueCADD used BIM modeling techniques to convert 2D drawings into a coordinated and clash-free 3D BIM model. A preemptive approach and solution helped the client reduce material waste, rework and improvements in construction scheduling lead to higher ROI.




  • Model-enrichment with cost forecasting reduces cost overruns during fabrication and installation


    Coordinated and clash-free 3D BIM MEP models reinforced with cost forecasting capabilities promote higher budget insights. Gaining a complete snapshot of the project budget reduces manufacturing and installation costs. The utilization of 5D tools through accurate quantity takeoffs, cost-loaded scheduling, risk analysis, etc. promotes on-time projects. Real-time changes to takeoffs, precise insights, and resource quantification drives productivity benefits.

    Conclusion

    MEP BIM services offer a host of benefits spread over a range of project types and complexities. It is imperative for contractors to use the capabilities of BIM for MEP design and installation. MEP BIM services drive value at each and every stage of a building project.

    Generative design reinforced by Revit Dynamo automation, AI, and ML will extend the capabilities of MEPF performance for higher sustainability and efficiency. An optimally functioning MEP system encourages lower carbon footprints and improves the living conditions of occupants.

    About Author:

    Harika Singh is an academician and published writer. Her passion for engineering and technology reflects in the in-depth coverage she provides on technology trends. 20 years of work association with institutes of repute across India and the US positions her to provide valuable insights to business stakeholders on achieving scalability and operational efficiencies through digitalization.

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