“Green buildings” are fast becoming a priority for many companies. A growing number of businesses are seeking LEED certification or designating their buildings as “green” under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. As the construction industry reckons with the ever-changing requirements of building owners and government officials, Mechanical, Energy, Plumbing or MEP design firms are in a unique position to help architects, engineers, and builders achieve their goals by making green buildings easier to attain.
There are some common best practices in management shared among MEP design firms that have been successful in their management goals. In this article, we walk you through four of the most important management lessons from successful MEP consulting firms.
Read More: What is MEP Engineering?
Design Efficient Buildings from the Start
When you have an existing structure that needs renovation or retrofitting, it may be difficult to integrate energy efficiency strategies into your plans without incurring additional costs and delays.
Planning a construction project that includes energy efficiency from the very beginning, however, can help you avoid future headaches.
As an MEP engineering firm, it is important to design energy-efficient buildings from the start to reduce costs and minimize disruptions during the actual construction.
A lot of work goes into making sure that your building will meet or exceed all applicable standards for efficiency before breaking ground on any new project. Avoid adding to this workload by accounting for efficiency as soon as you can.
Applying new tools such as AI to construction projects during the planning stage can help MEP design firms identify opportunities for cost savings, operational efficiencies, and environmental improvements that may not have been apparent before.
Finding the right balance between flexibility and rigidity in a project’s design is key to making sure you’re getting the most out of your MEP consulting firm. After all, if your construction plan doesn’t leave room for changes, it may be challenging to incorporate new energy-efficiency strategies as they become available.
Optimize Your Buildings for Performance
It is essential to consider sustainability once you proceed past the planning stage and begin working on your building’s systems, materials, and operations.
Don’t forget that people will have to live, work, or otherwise operate in your structure. Make sure your buildings meet all standards of a sustainable, livable structure. Key aspects to consider are:
- LEED certification
- Water conservation
- Building envelope
- Indoor air quality
Building an energy model is an important step in determining how your building will perform once people start using it.
Designing for new technologies is also an important consideration, as the increasing use of automation in buildings has helped to reduce energy usage without compromising comfort levels.
The more comprehensive your understanding of the kind of performance your building’s future occupants expect from the structure, the easier it is to figure out if it is doing its job well enough or needs tweaking.
Be Proactive in Maintenance Protocols
Proactively monitoring MEP systems is another best practice for MEP design firms. Owners expect their buildings to run smoothly, without any equipment failures or technical issues.
A proactive approach is the only way to ensure that your building remains running at peak performance and efficiency levels.
Designing and implementing an efficient maintenance protocol is the best way to guarantee that your building will run smoothly throughout its life cycle. A good MEP design firm should be able to create a plan for monitoring equipment, performing routine inspections, taking preventative measures against potential problems before they escalate into more complex issues, and responding quickly when an issue does arise.
A proactive approach will help you establish a clear set of protocols for how to handle any issues that come up with your building’s mechanical systems, so there are no surprises down the road.
Account for Potential Upgrades
MEP design firms need to be proactive in their approach. However, it is also important to not spend so much time and effort on preventative measures. Or, measures that you neglect the possibility of upgrades.
You need an effective design strategy that takes into account potential changes or upgrades to your building’s systems. Designing your MEP system with the future in mind is an important consideration for any MEP firm. This is true especially when it comes to making sure that you are maximizing the efficiency of your initial design by thinking about how it can be improved upon later on if necessary.
Having an MEP consultant that specializes in older buildings is a good idea as well. Many buildings were built without taking into account the kind of technology that is standard today. This can lead to less-than-ideal performance from your building’s systems overall if they are not upgraded or replaced at some point in their life cycle.
Be sure to implement these practices into your company as you grow and expand. As a result, the structural integrity of your design firm will be a strong foundation upon which success can flourish.
In case you have architectural, structural, and MEP design requirements, feel free to contact us. We provide you with the full permit set design + T24.