MEP BIM: MEPF Design | Validation of Fire Fighting System Design
Updated: Jan 4, 2021
MEP BIM improves coordination, communication, collaboration, and helps different stakeholders involved in a construction project to spot the gaps ahead of time. Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing system design of building infrastructure is an integral part of the overall performance of the building. It is this that makes a structure available for human occupancy. So MEPF Design must be done with utmost care to ensure that all the MEP systems and components are designed and operated in such a way that ideal efficiency is achieved. Having said that, many times people wrongly brew the notion that the MEPF system should have the ideal module accustoming to as large as possible. Contrary to this belief, the reality of perfect MEP designing means, over-designing of the system usually has had a negative impact on energy efficiency just like that of a poorly designed system.
Why does a building structure need an efficient MEPF Design or MEP BIM System?
In the construction arena MEPF systems directly correlate to the efficiency of the building and its aggregated performance which will directly impact the total energy consumed by that building. This energy consumption of the building is directly proportional to the global energy consumption which is directly going to impact our environment. This cumulative impact of MEP BIM services that are there, makes it critical for every building infrastructure’s energy efficiency to be considered appropriately at its root. This would be possible by optimizing the performance of the building starting from implying best design practices at the beginning itself.
Designing with MEP BIM Modelling Services
When BIM is used for MEPF construction, it offers MEP Engineers an early insight into the critical design information that comes directly from the architectural model in real-time scenarios; through the process of collaboration that BIM allows. Some examples of Architectural designs whereas MEP consultants can get crucial information could be rooms, walls with plumbing, ceiling elevations, walls with electrical devices, etc.
Such information becomes useful for the MEP team because MEP BIM modeling helps analyze and identify unexpected clashes between different designs. Due to this, there is a chance for re-designing of the electrical and plumbing wiring before the on-site construction begins, if interference occurs. This helps minimize the re-work or headache of reconfiguring the system in the middle of a building project.
Other than aiding MEP Engineers, BIM also provides a platform where many disciplines of the construction project can come forward to give their input on the project collectively. Based on all this data, BIM can compile and compute all the information and identify any possible loopholes and missing coordination among other disciplines and elements. Identifying and making the corrections instantaneously to the designs, BIM makes reviews available quickly. Such a thing brings much more coordination among the building owner and other contractors like designers, fabricators, surveyors, architects, and MEP engineers.
Applying MEP BIM Services for a project there comes with enormous data for reference and cross-reference throughout the life cycle of the building process. It will bring about data like how the last-minute change in design will bring distortion among other design elements as during the construction process there are always in the moment changes that bring about irrational complications to the overall design. So, BIM will be quick enough to identify if there is any missing coordination that might not be visible to naked eyes between different designs. With such insights, BIM helps save big on time and money on the project by ensuring if there is a suitable way forward in the project.
Having seen the power and efficiency that BIM brings for designing MEPF Systems for a construction project, we can study the Firefighting system design validation using BIM modeling as an example.
Validation of Fire Fighting System Design
The team of engineers dedicated to building intelligent BIM models to design fire sprinkler systems with great efficiency will give an exact idea if a building needs to change or alter its fire sprinkler design to reduce the risk of bigger and costly changes when the on-site construction work begins. By using BIM software like Revit or AutoDesk, different design options are simulated and analyzed to generate cost-effective and efficient solutions that comply with the overall design of the building. Some of them could be:
Water demand and storage tank calculations, pump head
As per NFPA Code providing auto air release valves and flushing valves
Sprinkler and water mist spray, sizing and routing for standpipe
Checking sprinkler coverage and providing it in accordance with NFPA
As recommended by NFPA pipe schedule, sprinkler headcount, layout generation
Evaluation of Gas suppression and foam system
Fire Safety Drawings: There is the usage of fire safety drawings in 3D MEP BIM Modelling services with information like egress routing, occupant loads, fire resistance rated separations, and much more. There is a layout of fire sprinkler systems like control valves, sprinkler heads, pressure gauges, check valves, calculation plates, hangers, inspectors test valves, mains, and branch lines based on the fire safety drawings. The BIM shop drawings that are created for Fire Protection Contractors will have floorplan, layout, schedules, schematics, and details.
System Coordination and Resolution of Conflicts: During the design phase the 3D model for the firefighting system will demonstrate the spatial location for enhanced coordination and clash detection, to empower the team to find conflicts before the main construction begins. The designers, as well as the building users, can get access to facility information like that of a model number, recent flow test, installation date, directly from a single source by clicking on the backflow preventer.
Based on the project type the intricacies of the firefighting system or the overall MEPF design may vary, but the ideation and basics remain the same. Be it a commercial space or a residential complex MEPF Systems are one of the most important aspects of designing a building infrastructure. Ensuring that your MEPF system designing is appropriate and functional is like ensuring that the veins and nerves of a human body are secured and in proper use.