The concept of BIM goes beyond the traditional engineering design approach by incorporating 3-dimensional models with detailed information about system components, to create a virtual building before the actual construction. By applying the BIM modelling into Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing ( MEP) Installations, one can truly obtain a smart building design.
Avoid Overlapping Systems: One of the key challenges pertains to specifying the layout of multiple building systems requiring a high degree of coordination between engineering teams. Even though enough care is taken, still there are high chances of overlap of equipment locations belonging to different building systems. The traditional 2D approach does not highlight such equipment location conflicts and often these make it to the construction phase resulting in change orders. However, with BIM virtual modelling, conflicts are immediately spotted and corresponding design teams are immediately notified.
Reduces Repetition: MEP BIM modelling speeds up the design process significantly by reducing the number of repetitive tasks. In fact, BIM software is able to calculate material lists by itself saving on man-hours which can be utilized in designing the best solutions for the project.
Prevent Change Orders: Change orders are primarily responsible for the increase in project costs, missed deadlines and delayed completion of the project. The use of MEP BIM modelling ensures change orders are avoided through modification on the virtual model in the design phase itself. The process is faster and substantially inexpensive considering an actual change order getting implemented on an actual installation on the site. Overall, BIM can be called an ideal tracking tool that avoids unforeseen expenses and guides the supervising engineers to keep the project within budget and on time.
Stipulated Maintenance: The use of MEP BIM software can even continue after the completion of the project. It can be an ideal system for managing the property and schedule maintenance operations. It paves the way for a preventive approach to maintenance instead of a reaction-based approach to fixing problems even before they turn critical.
Routine Inspections & updates: MEP BIM modelling allows easy updates to the virtual model while carrying out routine inspections or any building modification, where system components can be tracked for their working condition and can be replaced well in advance.
Structures without BIM: The modelling software is applicable for existing properties not designed with BIM. Engineering teams can inspect the structure and create a virtual model that makes it much easier to manage a building.
MEP and BIM are two separate aspects that are brought together to increase effectiveness through integration. This, in turn, brings in the necessary cost-efficiency and ability to deliver on time while sticking to tight deadlines. Besides, modelling MEP with BIM brings in better co-ordination and increases the chances of clash detection early in the design phase involving different disciplines that are part of the project. While it is quite early to predict what is in store for MEP BIM modelling going into the future, one thing is for certain that the number of companies adopting this approach is on the rise.