Clients often see mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) designs as easy gateways. Especially in residential building projects.Easy for construction and engineering firms to set high-cost markup percentages. This leads to an excessive waste of money and time on the part of the client. The same occurs in commercial projects also. Regardless, MEP design consultants and engineers are more interested in getting things right. Solving any problem that may come from inefficient design, especially cost-related ones. Mistakes can occur in both commercial and residential MEP projects. But in most cases, it is less common in commercial projects. 


In residential housing projects, MEP engineering consultants are less engaged. This is because the responsibilities of MEP are left to individual contractors and suppliers. When the architects or designers finish with the plans, all MEP works for the building are given to the contractor. Clients can ask the architect to help make a bid or ask a contractor. 


The architect specifies the MEP designs in the plan. Still, whether the plan does on-site construction or not is another issue. Some clients can hire architects to look over the construction process till its completion. This means extra expenses for each visit, revision, and review. 


The architect’s fee can cause a restrictive strain on the budget for the construction. This is based on the compensation method though. You can always contact professional MEP design consultants from the S3DA design firm for more. 


Some clients allow the contractor to take charge of the entire MEP project. That is, they buy items and materials from suppliers. Including valves, hoses, tools, gauges, pipes, structural support, and others. 


The Cost:


The construction cost is often the same amount estimated before the beginning of the project. Sometimes, there can be differences but it doesn’t go so far from the initial estimate. MEP engineerings report for a better percentage of the entire cost of construction. 


It depends more on the complexity, type, and scope of the project. It can often fall within the range of $0.5 to $3 for each residential housing square foot. Some more equipment and component fo translate into a higher fee sometimes. 


A few MEP design consultants do charge around $2500 for each 5,000 sq. ft for drawing services. It can go up to $15,000 if the project is for a manufacturing or medical facility.


Change Orders:


It’s common for the cost of MEP engineering services to catch some people off guard. In some cases, change orders by the contractor are one of the main reasons. 


This refers to the extra fees the contractor or subcontractor bills you. This bill comes each time there’s an increase or a change to the original work displayed in the actual architectural drawing design. 


Such a shift does come from unexpected findings. A change to the actual MEP project plan or anything that needs an extra clause in the construction contract. 


Without involving a professional MEP engineer or architect, the contractor might use that chance to get some more profit. That isn’t good for the client but still not inappropriate either. This is a gray area in MEP construction. 


Compliance Cost:


MEP design consultants and engineers work based on safety principles. This means they involve in design first and ensure a safer environment for its inhabitants. Complying with building codes is an effective way to do that. 


The cost of compliance can be in a way, higher than you expect sometimes. For an HVAC system, the mechanical ventilation cost is often overlooked when it comes to a budget. 


You might think that about five tons of cooling are adequate for your home at that point. With rework and revision, the building outline is modified and a few things changed. At this point, you now have to spend a sizable amount for compliance issues all from the budget. 


After necessary calculations, the MEP engineer comes up with about ten tons of cooling and $30,000 in HVAC. A large sum of the funds goes into ensuring mechanical ventilation complies with local building codes. 


Things get more expensive with upgrades on a water meter. Also making more fixtures and new connections cost more money.


Final Thoughts:


MEP and HVAC systems do account for a large part of the general cost of a property’s construction. Installing those systems does take around twenty-five to thirty percent. That is, off the entire construction budget. 

The entire budget for a new MEP project might also take more for remodeling and renovations. 


Smart layout optimization uses the likes of BIM software and 3D CAD. They help cut the chances of installation mistakes. It also improves efficiency all thanks to the proper placement of the MEP equipment.

For more information or assistance, you need to get professional help. You can always contact S3DA design firm experts.