Has BIM Changed MEP Design Workflow?

The MEP architectonics and accession workflow involves a amount of stakeholders and parties that are collectively amenable for administering a alternation of stages that will aftereffect in the architectonics engineering (or architectonics services) to be planned, designed, spatially coordinated, fabricated, installed, commissioned and maintained. Typically, the architectonics casework architectonics date follows the antecedent architectural design, from which point it can usually be advised in alongside with added architectural as able-bodied as structural architectonics changes.

The engineering teams that about architectonics architecture casework solutions are usually in one of two groups. The aboriginal accumulation is about the architectonics designer, aswell accepted as the adviser artist or the architectonics engineer. It is the role of the architectonics artist to plan carefully with the artist to advance the all-embracing architectonics engineering elements including lighting, cooling, heating, drainage, waste, blaze blockage and aegis services. Traditionally, the architectonics artist will not be complex in the abundant spatial architectonics of these services. Instead the abundant spatial architectonics and accession would commonly be handled by the added party, accepted as the MEP artist (M&E contractor) or barter contractor. The MEP or barter artist is amenable for evolving the antecedent adviser architectonics into a applicable and installation-ready architectonics casework solution.

In some instances, there is aswell a third affair complex – the fabricator, who will be amenable for creating MEP apparatus such as ductwork or pipework elements or in some cases pre-fabricated solutions that abide of pipework, electrical ladder, plumbing, ductwork and sprinkler aural a anatomy (module) that is delivered to website for accession in risers, bulb apartment and corridors.

This commodity is anxious with the role of the MEP artist and MEP contractor, specifically, the focus for this commodity is to altercate how BIM (Building Advice Modelling) has afflicted the MEP architectonics workflow amid the artist and the contractor.

Current MEP BIM Workflow Options

Essentially there are 5 altered MEP architectonics workflow scenarios that currently abide and these will be discussed in the article. They are as follows

  1. Acceptable 2D architectonics and 3D BIM coordination
  2. 3D MEP architectonics and 3D BIM coordination
  3. Designers 3D BIM architectonics and allocation
  4. Artist 3D BIM architectonics and coordination
  5. Accepted artist 3D archetypal coordination

Traditional 2D Architectonics and 3D BIM Coordination

Considering the acceptable MEP admission first, this is area a adviser will actualize 2D architectonics outputs, which cover 2D plan layouts, 2D sections and MEP (M&E) schematics. This will announce the architectonics absorbed for the architectonics based on the use defined by the architect. Once the adviser has completed this architectonics advice he will canyon on the advice to an MEP artist who will be amenable for creating the MEP accommodating solution. This commodity assumes that the artist will actualize a spatially accommodating 3D BIM archetypal application BIM accoutrement such as Revit MEP and Navisworks. The artist will use the architectonics advice and actualize an installation-ready band-aid which takes into annual installation, ability of aqueduct runs or aqueduct bends, amplitude for backward and blind the services, admission for column install aliment and so on. This acceptable MEP approach, from a 2D architectonics to a 3D archetypal has existed for the accomplished brace of decades and allows the artist to add added advice into the archetypal that can be acclimated by him and by accessories administration companies afterwards the installation. The use of the 3D apparatus such as Revit is of advance advantageous as it is an able model, with parametric apparatus and therefore, as able-bodied as acceptance the artist to analyze and boldness clashes afore any time is spent on site, it has added uses and applications area archetypal ‘information’ is acclimated and relied upon.

3D MEP Architectonics and 3D BIM Coordination

The added workflow adjustment is added anon afflicted by BIM. As the MEP designer, one will use BIM accoutrement to actualize a 3D archetypal and associated assets during his antecedent architectonics appearance (rather than a 2D design) afore this advice is handed beyond to an MEP barter contractor. The MEP architectonics artist will about actualize a 3D archetypal due to chump blueprint and requirements for a BIM model, as in abounding cases a amalgamated archetypal (which combines the added disciplines in a individual model) is bare by the applicant for a account analysis and appropriately the MEP adviser cannot artlessly accommodate a set of 2D drawings. In this workflow, the BIM archetypal is finer a 3D representation of what would contrarily be a 2D deliverable. It will accordingly abide of areas area added changes are still bare by a barter contractor. Such examples cover the use of library items rather than specific MEP barter artist acquired elements that may be acclimated in the model. The conception of a 3D BIM archetypal at this date by the adviser is aswell accountable to assorted architectural and structural archetypal changes. These acquire a knock-on aftereffect on the MEP band-aid as it is finer a work-in-progress archetypal for MEP with connected architectural and structural changes and accordingly will never acquire the aforementioned akin of efficiency, in agreement of blueprint of services, compared to an MEP archetypal area the architectural and structural models are frozen. The downside of this workflow adjustment is of advance the added time taken to actualize a BIM archetypal by the adviser team. Added to this affair is the actuality that 3D modelling ability and abilities aural a consulting engineering aggregation can sometimes be limited. Once the adviser completes his archetypal and passes it to the MEP contractor, the accommodation as to whether the artist should acclimate the archetypal or alpha the modelling action from the alpha is absolutely based on the superior of the archetypal to alpha with. In absoluteness both scenarios will exist, in some cases the MEP barter artist is bigger off starting the BIM archetypal afresh application alone the 2D architectonics assets that are created by the adviser from his BIM model, while in some attenuate cases the barter artist will use the consultants MEP BIM archetypal and acclimate and adapt it with his changes, to accomplish the archetypal accessible for installation. In both scenarios, the MEP artist will consistently attending to accomplish amount engineering additions and changes to the archetypal as able-bodied as accretion led archetypal changes.

Designers 3D BIM MEP Architectonics and Allocation

The third MEP architectonics workflow adjustment is a added authentic and absolute aftereffect of BIM and it in actuality aswell starts to advance the account of BIM added decidedly as it gets afterpiece to ‘virtual architectonics and construction’ aims of the industry. In this workflow the admission of architectonics artist is to actualize a BIM archetypal that is spatially accommodating and that is application the absolute defined apparatus for the project. Typically, the adviser during this appearance will acquire a best aeon of time to actualize the model, acceptance him to blot the changes from structural and architectural disciplines as they advance through the account stages. The actuality that the archetypal is afresh accommodating with the anatomy and architectonics as able-bodied as added MEP casework allows the adviser to actualize a archetypal that is getting created according to an accession accepted that is now added accessible by an installer or fabricator. When the archetypal in this workflow adjustment is anesthetized on to a contractor, the artist may still ambition to accomplish final changes and adjustments in a annular of amount engineering. Typically, the artist will use the aforementioned archetypal in this workflow and accomplish changes to the archetypal provided by the MEP architectonics consultant. Additionally, it is apparent that the adviser artist will not acquire provided alter (height) levels or ambit from gridlines and walls for the MEP casework on his drawings. In such cases the artist will accordingly acquire to actualize added detail in the drawings, but afresh artist could use the consultant’s assets and advance them in added detail for his/her use.

Contractor 3D Architectonics and Allocation

The fourth workflow adjustment involves MEP contractors (or barter contractors) demography on the architectonics albatross as able-bodied as the allocation responsibility. Whilst the allocation albatross is an accustomed skillset with acquaintance of developing abundant and absolute vertical and accumbent strategies for allocation getting allotment of the contractor’s amount skills, the architectonics albatross is a new aspect for the contractor. This was commonly accepted as a architectonics and body approach; however, it is now acceptable added accepted abnormally in cases area companies are gluttonous to acquire accelerated architectonics and abundant allocation completed. Typically, the apparatus to be acclimated will be defined by the end client, acceptance the artist to architectonics and archetypal afore creating his abundant accommodating assets from the model, to acquiesce accession and artifact if needed. The acumen that this accurate workflow adjustment is not the a lot of accepted at present is artlessly due to the aggregate of plan in the bazaar and aswell the architectonics albatross that aswell has to be affected as in a lot of cases, contractors may not ambition to acquire this accident or absolutely they may not acquire the assets to complete the architectonics work. For this workflow adjustment to abide at all agency that the artist has to apply architectonics agents anon and accommodate architectonics accountability allowance to acquiesce him to architectonics the MEP band-aid as able-bodied as install it. The account of this workflow advantage is acutely the time ability that is accomplished and accordingly the amount benefit, as the amount of utilising artist ability will usually be lower compared to big-ticket architectonics engineering firms. However, it does appear with some accident as the architectonics ability that architectonics engineers acquire cannot be calmly replicated by contractors, even if they do apply centralized teams.

General Artist 3D Archetypal Coordination

The fifth alternative of MEP architectonics workflow is based on creating accommodating MEP models agnate to the acceptable 2D to 3D admission but for a altered chump group. In this workflow adjustment a 2D architectural, structural and MEP architectonics that is to be acclimated by a capital artist (or accepted contractor) is afresh progressed into a 3D BIM archetypal by the artist to appraise the authority and abyss of the model. In some cases, some of the architectonics elements from the altered disciplines may be presented in 3D while others may be in 2D. It is aswell accessible that altered disciplines may accommodate models in altered software that may or may not present software interoperability challenges. In such instances, a aggregation will about be active to use the architectonics abstracts from architectural, structural and MEP designers to afresh actualize a 3D BIM archetypal based on absolute data. The aim is to analyze any inconsistencies in the architectonics abstracts by anecdotic any clashes in the model, acceptance the artist in such a workflow adjustment to finer abate his/her abeyant risk. Any problems begin aural the archetypal are usually anesthetized aback to the designers to accomplish amendments to their 2D architectonics for consecutive changes to the 3D BIM archetypal which is ultimately endemic by the capital contractor. This BIM workflow band-aid is acceptable beneath accepted now because MEP contractors and designers are creating BIM models themselves.

In summary, BIM has alien a amount of new workflow variants to the MEP architectonics casework sector. The ahead approved and trusted adjustment of a 2D design, from a designer, that was developed into a 3D accommodating MEP archetypal by artist is no best the workflow band-aid acclimated as firms now acquire abounding added variants and alternatives available. Along with BIM Modeling, added developments in the architecture sector, including collaborative online alive and plan administration acquire aswell contributed to the uptake levels for BIM and impacted the changes to workflow.

In agreement of the MEP architectonics workflow options, the a lot of accepted of these as we move advanced will be the third option, which is the adviser creating a BIM archetypal that is spatially coordinated, or the fourth advantage which is the artist demography on the architectonics albatross as able-bodied as creating the accommodating BIM model. Both options are finer a change to the acceptable admission for MEP architectonics and both point to a individual antecedent for the archetypal and assets as against to the actual two-tier architectonics approach. All options discussed will crave competent BIM allocation and MEP modelling teams and resources. XS CAD, with its ample MEP allocation aggregation and MEP engineering architectonics team, which consists of automated and electrical engineering professionals, is able-bodied placed to accord with such projects for companies based in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As all are regions area BIM is now the adopted solution, XS CAD, with added than 16 years’ acquaintance and a attendance in anniversary bazaar is an ideal advantage for such companies.