21
Aug

How merging MEP and Structural design can cut costs for commercial projects in half

There are numerous types of commercial buildings, but we have to mention the most important ones: multifamily apartments, office, retail, hospitality, industrial, and R&D. The main thing that you need to consider when talking about commercial buildings is soft costs. The costs that are not related in any way to the physical construction of the building enter this category called soft costs. It is in the initial steps of the commercial development process that you will have to deal with these soft costs. People tend to neglect these costs simply because they do not apply to the physical elements of the project, but they as important as hard costs.

This category of costs includes plan review fees, architectural fees, engineering fees, permit fees, impact fees, and so on. Once you have made the entire budget for your new project, you need to assign nearly 30% of it to soft costs. Some of these costs may apply even after the project was finished, and we are referring to maintenance costs, insurance, security, and so on.

Traditional commercial projects

There are numerous unique aspects included in the construction industry. This makes it difficult to optimize costs, as compared to other industries where lowering costs and optimizing work can be easily achieved. All the negative effects that come with the difficulty of optimizing costs in the construction industry are supported by the owners since they will pay and wait for more for the end project to be ready. In fact, the situation is so bad that some studies have revealed the fact that owners are practically paying double the normal price for the building they receive.

When trying to determine the final costs for a commercial building, the owner should first think of the size and quality of the construction. Location, design, materials, and workers are other important cost drivers that future owners should consider. It is very important to understand all of these factors in order to optimize costs and plan the project properly.

The price of a square foot can reach up to $20 on average. However, the price can also be influenced by the additional finishing included in the project. The location of the construction is practically the most influential factor. If you want to start construction in the United States, you have to know that the prices in Atlanta are smaller than what you will pay for a building constructed in New York.

The cost is also influenced by the quality of the elements used in the construction project. The project manager will attribute the building to a certain class according to the type of wall and roofing that you select. The highest quality material will automatically place the building in class A. Such buildings cost more simply because they include: various equipment, such as HVACs, amenities, and technological systems.

The next class would be class B, and the buildings included here are made of materials of average quality. Even though the details and fixtures are not at the same level as those of Class A, you can expect a decent quality in the final product. Most Class B commercial buildings can reach almost 4 stories tall.

The last class that we need to mention here is class C, and all the buildings included here are located in the least pleasant areas of a particular city. These buildings don’t include any kind of modern fixtures.

But why is this happening?

Even though many people believe that material costs and labor costs are responsible for the wasted money, the reality is that cooperation deficiency in project participants and the lack of a clear and integrated design are really to blame. The lack of cooperation between people involved in the project usually leads to rework, budget overruns, and unsafe working environments.

One of the most important steps that you can do as a future building owner is to request a professional design from a MEP engineering company. You can also get a quote from a structural design firm.

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How exactly can you cut down the costs?

One of the most important things that you can do in order to cut down the costs would be to avoid any costly rework when the building is under construction, and this is done by avoiding any kind of design clashes and improving project performance.

How merging MEP and structural design prevents design clashes and reduces costs

In order to efficiently spot and resolve design clashes, you will need to talk to experienced engineers that have more than 15 years of activity in the construction industry. It is very important to leave all the organization work in the hand of an experienced engineered because you will obtain a go-to point to resolve any kind of conflict. If you don’t take this step, you can expect a lot of clashes between the people involved in the project, and the only person that will support all the costs is you.

Coordination and clash detection have been significantly improved in the last couple of months due to all of the advancements in technology, such as BIM. Even though BIM algorithms use simple detection methods that can spot all the cases where two or more building components intersect, you need to know that this is not enough to cut down the costs.

You should think of a revolutionary way to manage the construction projects. Practices involved in the construction industry must be improved and all the engineers should stay updated with all the modern technology and tools. These aspects will contribute to lower costs, higher quality in the end results, and other kinds of benefits for both the engineer involved in the project and the owner of the building.