Concept Design outputs set the scene for all the other design decisions that must be taken later in the project.
Some of the outputs that need to be created during this concept phase are:
Energy efficiency schemes
Location of key plant and equipment
Concept Design is where you need to deploy the most knowledgeable and experienced human resources that you can afford.
Investment in “thinking the design through” will pay very large dividends for the rest of the project and substantially enhance your ROI.
As your architect develops the concept of the building, the MEP Team can work on sizing up the more substantial equipment required to be installed in the building and recommend the most efficient combinations to balance capital and operating revenue schemes. The MEP Team feeds this information back to the architect and structural engineers who can then create the right amount of space in the right places taking into account the functional needs of the building.
When working with talented professionals, other opportunities naturally arise when considering what systems or combination of systems to deploy. A good example would be the production of hot water, where a balance needs to be struck between using simple direct-fired boilers and full energy balancing between solar power, heat pumps and make-up boilers.
All system design decisions are affected by technology and significant improvements are being made all the time to reduce the size, weight, capital and running costs of equipment. This doesn’t just affect the primary heating and cooling systems but also building management systems, communications, electrical plant, water treatment systems etc. Your design team must hold current and extensive knowledge on all of these and a myriad of other systems if your building is to hold the optimum balance between cost, functionality and usability for the occupiers for your building.
Our experience is that flexible and adaptive approach to spatial and technical coordination by the MEP team produces the most effective designs solutions at this stage of the design process.
Once the reticulation sizes have been estimated, the multi-discipline design team can get to work laying out the ducting, pipes, trunking and equipment etc. This process confirms or modifies the basic routes and risers defined by the Concept Design. Having the MEP team working with the Architectural and Structural teams is essential, as it is often necessary to revise locations or the positions of key equipment, such as generator sets, boilers, chillers and air handling units.
We believe that in order for the schematic design to be accepted as ready to go forward to the detail design phase all stakeholders must have had a say in this process to build consensus.
It is usual for the Schematic Design phase to generate output in a wide variety of media, which may include 2D plans, 3D models, equipment specifications, system load and size calculations plus a whole host of other essential reports.
At the end of the schematic design period it is the responsibility of the MEP design coordinator to produce a summary report that draws upon all of the output generated during the Schematic Design phase and put this information into context.
The summary report must also consider related to code compliance, LEED points for building, or other issues as necessary.
The summary report must convince the project owner that it is now time for work to move on to the Detail Design phase. Signing off the schematic summary report minimizes the possibility of uncontrolled change during the Detail Design phase as this would seriously undermine the ability of the MEP design team to deliver right first time, on time and in budget.
Detail Design output builds upon the work carried out during the Schematic Design phase and crystallizes this work into a design that can be built. Some of the outputs that need to be created by the MEP team during this Detailed Design phase are:
3D Model fully coordinated (LOD300 or 350)
Permit drawing sets (Signed & Sealed)
LEED points statement
MEP engineers now make their final calculations for all of the system elements. This results in confirmed equipment schedules and specifications, right down to manufacturer names and part numbers for key equipment. Reticulation specifications may be more generic in nature to allow flexibility during the tendering process unless LOD350 is specified for a pre-selected contractor.
MEP engineers and 3D Modellers now work on the final design plans for the building to ensure that the output is spatially coordinated.
It is quite common to use 3D models to deal with difficult aspects of the building, usually where space is at a premium or there are a significant number of services sharing the same riser or plant room. Great care is taken to ensure that all plant, equipment, cabling, pipes and duct reticulation are integrated in such a way that they can easily be installed using simple build process and that they do not interfere with each other. Care is also taken to ensure that there is adequate ventilation of the building and its services, that noise polution is minimised, that risers line up, cast-in holes are in the right place and incoming utilities are correctly located and terminated.
As the MEP design process nears completion, there is often a need to produce "blue prints" for submission to the authorities to obtain the various permits required. When required, Forsspac will manage the printing and signing & sealing (using country specific registered professionals) of the final design output making this a smooth and economical process.
During the tendering process it is very important that the MEP design is respected rather than relying on the vendor or contractor who “knows best” to make recommendations that might just be in their own interest. At this stage, it is often better to involve the MEP design authority to review the tendering packages to make sure that you are getting what you will be paying for.
Construction documentation is the final output from the MEP design process and consist of:
It is becoming more common for the 3D model to assume a higher status and a focal reference point for all other contracting parties, this reduces the need to produce 2D drawings as the users can extract whatever information they require directly from the model.
We are also seeing a general trend to upgrade the 3D model from LOD300, to LOD350 at the end of detailed design and now to LOD400 at final construction documentation.
Forsspac is able to adjust the information density and delivery media to suit client need.
It is also usual for Forsspac to be involved in the final selection of contractors by supporting the tendering review process.
In order to support our clients MEP engineers who are usually based on site to direct the activities of the main contractors we can provide a range of option to suit your needs.
This can vary from a Forsspac office based support person or team on hand to answer queries as they arise through to a site based engineering and drafting team complete with full 3D capability to help contractors understand the complex areas of the design that the reticulation routing that must be followed. This team will also be able to answer queries on equipment specification and issues arising during testing and commissioning.
If you want to go one step further we can offer a Quality Control service contracted directly to the owner to ensure that our findings have good standing and will be acted upon by the contractors.