Things you should be asking your MEP building services provider

Things you should be asking your MEP building services provider

The selection of an MEP consulting firm will not only affect the construction project; it will also impact the building’s management long-term. The planning and design decisions made during these early stages can make the difference between a financially and environmentally sustainable building and one that drains resources. Therefore, choosing the right partner is essential. Here, we discuss the key credentials your MEP partner should have, so you know what you should be asking them.

Do they bring innovation and creativity to the project?

Does the MEP firm you’re considering bring more than just standard detailing and received wisdom, or are they truly innovative? Equally, is this a firm that will rush in to meet construction deadlines, or will they fully consider the parameters and possibilities? Certainly, adhering to building codes and deadlines is critically important, but are they considering creative alternatives? A good way of measuring this is by looking at previous projects, which will undoubtedly be revealing.

Do they prioritise sustainable design?

Our environmental crisis is increasingly urgent. Therefore, attention to energy saving is essential to sustainable buildings, now and into the future. Your MEP provider should use their innovation and creativity to deliver sustainable design, deploying heat pumps, low energy light, thermal storage and CHP, to name but a few solutions that will save energy. Look out for their past collaborations to measure their commitment; for instance, DJHC has collaborated with energy-saving and environmental initiatives like BREEAM.

They might be good engineers, but are they good communicators?

Communication is often overlooked, but it can make or break a project – and certainly, have long-term consequences. The ability to verbalise concepts is essential to a successful building; after all, it is essential that laymen understand the operations and benefits of the systems installed. Company reputation will be a good indicator of this, so ask for references.

Can they design within budget and add value?

It’s the fundamental equation of a satisfactory transaction – does this service or product provide more value than the cost it incurred? This could be as a result of many things; in an MEP context, it could be increased productivity for building users. Equally, it could be enhanced energy efficiency, which is good for the environment, not to mention the bottom line. Construction and design are only a fraction of the project’s true cost and additional initial investment could lead to substantial savings over time. Once again, a firm’s project portfolio will be a good indicator.

Can they deliver quality within schedule?

Regardless of the size of the firm, it’s their team that’s responsible for delivering the project on time and within budget. However, this can’t mean a compromise on quality; you have to be confident they can keep all the plates spinning. Before engaging with a firm, evaluate their design management approach, collaboration style, and their design leadership throughout their project portfolio.

MEP can make or break a project

There are numerous benefits of MEP consulting, most of which extend beyond those reaped during the construction phase. Building users and the wider community benefit from improved safety, comfort, value, reliability, and crucially, sustainability. Projects with strong leadership will manage costs and schedules better, leading to these long-term benefits. Analysis of a firm’s past projects will be telling and armed with these key questions, you can make the right choice.