Building information modeling is not only about 3D models in a computer, but it can also be a beneficial tool for the MEP engineers who want to have all the data and information on their mechanical, electrical and plumbing system in a building before the first brick is set.
Traditional CAD software helps create models of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing system in 2D to have the basic documents and services clear to the builders. However, Building Information Modeling gives MEP engineers direct access to more critical data from the architectural model. This information contains more details and important characteristics about rooms, walls, and ceilings that could accommodate electrical devices and plumbing fixtures.
Teamwork with BIM
One of the main advantages and influential aspect of Building Information Model is the fact that many different kinds of experts can participate and add information to the model. The fabricator, the designer, the architect, the MEP engineer and the civil engineer are just some of the people that can work together and cooperate in the BIM.
This information is available to all members of the construction team and can, therefore, ensure that the decision-making process in done having considered all the variables and having studied all possible outcomes. This is only possible because the BIM can show real-time data of the functioning, position, use, and maintenance of the building, among others.
Direct benefits for MEPs
There are four main benefits for the MEP engineering expert when it comes to using BIMs, these are:
- 3D Modeling and collision detection
Every object has volume mesh associated, and although this is not visible all the time, it does help avoid collisions by making sure that the area cannot be occupied with any other object. This is something very important since many disciplines are working together on a building project.
- Repository of design data
The available information of the objects in the building is saved not only with their geometrical and spatial information but also with some more specific details, such as components, energy use, and cost. All this information allows the MEP to deliver a more efficient process. When all the information is gathered in one system, and there is some change in the mechanical devices, this will automatically translate to its possible effects in the plumbing or electrical system. Coordination between the different disciplines involved in the construction is possible and more effective thanks to the excellent quality of the information repository.
- Sustainable processes
Thanks to the effective use of the information provided by the system any of the disciplines involved can calculate how to make the most of the materials, energy and disposable elements so that the effect on the environment is set at a minimum. The team of MEP can contribute to having a less environmental impact by analyzing and using resources as efficiently as possible.
- Up-to-date tools to compete
Building Information Models are becoming more and more common in the industry. Working with this system will give MEP firms and groups to go with the times and offer a modern and updated service that will keep them being competitive in the market.
Once the BIM system is used the MEP engineer can notice there is an improvement in the quality of the design since alternatives are quickly evaluated, and a decision is made having all the real-time information available. Coordination and teamwork are also enhanced, and this increases productivity so that projects can be delivered faster than before.
In the past, the models were not joined, and the comparison had to be made manually in large meetings where every expert would explain how their objects and setting were affecting other areas of the building. Now every engineer can add the information to a single model that will keep every member of the team updated and informed about all the simultaneous processes and devices that are being installed.
Compatibility is also out of the worry-list since BIMs work with a broad variety of CAD formats, this allows a smooth movement of information from one individual model to an integrated BIM.