With MEP contractors, coordination has always been a prime challenge. As multiple trades are involved in the MEP process, without appropriate coordination it leads to a high risk of confusions and errors; further resulting in to financial losses and unscheduled delays. In such a scenario, MEP contractors often are held responsible for all that goes wrong in a construction project, such as excessive use of materials and repetitive work. They often end up in legal suits too.
Inadequate coordination leads to frequent alterations and when these alterations are implemented without preceding intimations the quality of work and costs are severely affected. Appropriate coordination between MEP, Architectural and Civil disciplines is mandatory in order to evade challenges across construction phases to attain expected results. Let’s not forget that integrating MEP designs and coordination with regards to load and overall building efficiency, ensures appropriate configuration of MEP services as well.
Installing MEP systems compliant to local safety regulations should be on Top Priority
MEP systems compliant to local safety regulations have taken the center stage. Most technical challenges of fire and life-safety, it seems are posed by high rise buildings, due to regulatory compliances with multiple complexities. This is where MEP designers are required to prove their expertise and experience. They should be in a position to provide adequate means of way out, followed with concise evacuation strategies as well. MEP engineers can do it by using direct evacuation and announcement procedures that also will reduce unwarranted alarms. For what matters during fire, is how swiftly the inhabitants can be moved away from the accident place?
Talking of GCC, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Civil defense have successfully defined really high standards for evacuation and building-management systems, which MEP designers are required to adhere to. And there is nothing wrong in it, as these legislative guidelines are issued to minimize the risks. And not only these two identities are working in that direction, in fact a lot of government bodies across the GCC are actively instrumental in building a safe atmosphere by adhering to rigorous health, safety and environmental practices (HSE). It is not that easy to comply with all of the regulations, however; these standards and protocols ensure safe living conditions for inhabitants.
After adherence to safety standards, sustainable designs are the next challenge
Ever increasing demands from the clients make it more than necessary for the MEP designers to develop designs that are eco-friendly and sustainable. These designs are more inclined towards conserving water and energy in the first place. Also these designs are required to reduce the operational costs of the inhabitants; upon handover to facility managers. What are the parameters and how to consider a construction project to be a “green building” is still a topic of discussion across GCC. The bottom line is that a building is deemed sustainable based on its ability to provide comfort to inhabitants and offers the end users with well-designed and implemented MEP systems.
Increased population and investments, both foreign and government, recession seems to be a long-lost era for GCC countries. The progress is a glaring evident of the reality, especially if talked about Mechanical, electrical and plumbing - MEP segment. All major building projects in the GCC region are working as if they are supposed to be finished in a crash course. This has made MEP design firms work rigorously to cope up with these ever evolving demands. Projects are addressed to on SOS basis, which has further enhanced the importance of MEP designers and the MEP design phase, holistically. However; the constant look out for better and most suited MEP designs is something that needs immediate attention of all the stakeholders in the MEP trade.
But with increased unpleasant incidents like address Downtown, Sulafa Tower and others alike, MEP designers are left with a challenging and moral task of designing systems with an ultimate goal to craft safe and well-integrated designs that cut down the operating costs and address environmental impacts.