Construction and renovation projects require the use of drafting, blueprints, and other technical drawings to get the building off the ground. A number of these drafts instruct the general contractor, while some help the steel detailers, and still others guide the electricians, plumbers, and other workers that help to construct the inside of the building itself. MEP drafting services provide this latter aspect of the job.
The acronym stands for mechanical, electric, and plumbing (MEP), and it refers to quite literally what the name implies. Anything in a building that entails mechanical detail, electrical wiring, or plumbing work fits within the framework of MEP drafting services.
Whether a given structure is residential, commercial, or industrial, the construction project will always necessitate mechanical, electrical, and plumbing for the operation of the building. Without these features, a building obviously cannot operate properly or function in its intended capacity. MEP drafting services make possible the production of highly detailed organizational blueprints of all these internal systems. As such, they provide efficient and productive coordination between the different aspects of the structure and the teams working on the project itself.
To get a bit more specific, mechanical relates to anything related to the HVAC systems in a building or other structure, such as the heating, ventilation, or air conditioning. When a building of any kind is being constructed, the HVAC equipment must be positioned in particular areas to allow for the effective and efficient flow of air throughout the premises.
The electrical features of a construction project’s blueprints refer to any wiring or power supply capacities in a building. Similarly, adequate plumbing is needed to produce optimal water flow through a building and the necessary removal and draining of waste and wastewater (this refers to water that has already been used in some capacity).
General contractors oversee the work of numerous subcontractors during the process of any construction project, such as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing contractors. It is the job of the general contractor to ensure that these MEP technicians’ work is accomplished on time and under budget. As such, it stands to reason that the industry that uses engineering MEP drawings the most is the construction industry.
As mentioned above, these drawings are incredibly detailed and provide specific instructions to plumbers, electricians, and HVAC workers. With the blueprints in hand, the various MEP technicians can confidently install piping and plumbing for water and waste, ductwork, as well as electrical wiring, conduits, and fire protection buffering. It is critical that the MEP drafting services take into consideration the project as a whole, such that none of the different systems’ physical properties or implementations impede the work of any of the others.
Furthermore, the general contractor must ensure that each one of the structural aspects of the building project — the many varied architectural elements — work cohesively as a unit as well, within the framework of the entire building, from foundation to walls and ceilings, from what’s running within the walls to what’s positioned on the roof.
In addition to the many separate drawings for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing technicians, a general shop drawing must also be produced that takes every feature into account. This draft allows each of the disparate units to coordinate with one another on the job. To ensure that nothing goes awry once construction begins, these MEP coordinated shop drawings have to get approved and signed by each of the teams working on the project.
Naturally, this means that ductwork, piping, and electrical wiring/conduit work all goes on the same coordinated project blueprint. Such shop drawings and vital to the success of a construction project. Because they require such intimate knowledge of a project’s inner workings and the multifarious aspects of construction work in general, only highly qualified and experienced MEP drafting services technicians should be trusted with this particular phase of the process.
In the modern era, drafting services of any kind are typically produced using computer-aided drafting (CAD) software, such as AutoCAD drafting, Autodesk Inventor, Revit MEP, CADDUCT, or CADPIPE. Other computer systems technology such as geographical information systems (GIS) or asset management systems (ASM) are also employed for these projects’ purposes.
The drafts, drawings, and blueprints themselves used to be created by hand, but the advent of modern computing technology has made this particular workflow nearly nonexistent. Thankfully, this means faster, more accurate drawings. The downside is that companies often do not have the resources to adequately train internal employees due to the steep learning curve of most of these software suites and applications.
Alternatively, many firms hire this particular work out to highly qualified, well-trained, extensively experienced drafting services freelancers. Going this route allows for teams to work with an expert in CAD programs that can provide excellent MEP drafting services. Even better, this is often at a much lower cost than it would require to hire in-house, ultimately protecting the bottom line for clients while maximizing profits for themselves.
To get a sense of how these drawings function, it may be helpful to note that due to the need for coordinated efforts across disciplines, MEP drafts must convey a visual sense of a project’s many moving parts and how they operate to everyone involved. In other words, these blueprints must communicate all the necessary ideas for an entire construction team. Due to this necessity, MEP drafting services technicians make use of a predetermined set of symbols and notation that is readable and understandable to the whole crew.
In construction, few things take a higher priority than accurate and legible units of measurement. As such, these drawings must also comply with a set of industry standards, such as SMACNA, ASHRAE, NFPA, or IEEE. Further, specific firms have their internal standards, and sometimes clients even need to understand the documents (or have the drafts explained to them), depending on the nature of the project and the client in question.
Just as there are many different teams involved in a construction project, so there exist several distinct types of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing drawings for the proper and efficient establishment of the building. Here are a few of the different kinds of MEP drawings that are common in the construction industry.
MEP shop drawing detailing is completed for several different aspects, all of which contribute to the overall accuracy of the project. Typically, however, this refers to the MEP drafts’ annotations, dimensions, and elevations. Steel fabricators have to use shop drawings when they shape and form the steel or rebar for use in a building. As in all other facets of MEP drawings, these must also comply with industry standards and conform to the needs of the firms and clients involved.
Whenever an electrician, HVAC technician, or plumber needs to pierce through a wall in the building, they have to know exactly where this occurs and the necessary guidance around the wall penetration. Penetration drawings let these workers know where the electrical conduit, water piping, or ductwork is required, along with the necessary clearance.
Many technical documents in construction get utilized for contractors in steel and cement work. Some of these are known as block-out and sleeve drawings. Block-outs provide an immense amount of critical information, such as ceiling and floor clearance for cut-outs in relation to HVAC, conduit, or piping work. Sleeves are a type of block-out that detail precisely where specific hole placement works in conjunction with ductwork or pipes.
In MEP work, a spool is a group of parts that get prepped in a shop and subsequently shipped to a construction or installation location. The drawings associated with these spools are known as pipe spool drawings and become utilized by shop workers when putting together the needed spools for a specific building project.
Plans change, and drawings need to be updated to reflect these alterations. On construction sites, often changes are made during the actual building of the structure. “As-built” drawings are then made to show what was constructed as opposed to what was planned for the construction. Contractors frequently notate what audibles were called at the site and make changes along the way.
As previously mentioned, coordination drawings provide context and clarity for the entire team working on a given construction project. At the site, there will be HVAC technicians, electricians, and plumbers, along with the general contractor and everyone else on the team.
Each individual and team needs to have a “lay of the land,” so to speak. Coordination drawings give exactly this bird’s eye view of the whole undertaking and where everything fits together to create the unified whole. With these in hand, teams can achieve seamless integration in the building and avoid technical conflicts throughout with appropriate 3D BIM clash (hard or soft) detection. This results in a reduced chance for human error or overall change orders required, allowing for earlier project finish dates and fewer wasted resources.
To set up a construction project for success, it must begin with the planning and the documentation. To provide for the best possible experience from start to finish, a firm must use the highest quality MEP drawings company. Otherwise, a project can be doomed to repeat failures, run into costly clashes, and end up completing the work off schedule and over budget.
This can all be avoided by simply hiring out MEP drafting services from individuals that are experienced, committed, and efficient. When teams try to train in-house for these projects, they often come up short. Likewise, hiring out to someone that isn’t dedicated to the task at hand can produce lackluster results.
When each and every detail can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in time and other resources, it is pivotal that architectural design services, contractors, and other firms find someone capable of completing the work accurately and on time, every time.
The short answer: great technicians produce great MEP drawings.
Giving Cad Crowd the chance to join your team allows you the freedom to manage and grow your business as necessary. You also gain the comfort of knowing that only the very best MEP drafting services technicians in the world are building and rendering a work of art that can benefit you and your team for the life of the product.
We make sure to work with only the finest freelance artists on the planet with everything that we do, including MEP drafting services technicians. Our network of artists and designers have an incredible amount of experience. They work closely with businesses in just about every industry imaginable. Whatever your MEP drafting service needs are, know that the artists at Cad Crowd can create exactly what you’re looking for. We’re able to discover a design solution for every company, regardless of industry or specialization.
Cad Crowd can help you immensely by employing a vast array of vetted artists, designers, and drafters. Our repertoire consists of only the finest, top-notch specialists. They all utilize the very best and newest design software, so you can rest assured you’re getting modern digital models. If there happens to be a specific software you need to be used, tell us, and we will find you the perfect freelancer for your specific project. Our MEP drafting services technicians are available at all times to help a company either get started with a design or build a virtual model from an existing work. Wherever you are in the process, we can help you get to exactly where you need to be to impress your customers and reap the benefits of MEP drafting services.
No one else works with the same team of designers and artists that we do at Cad Crowd. We are, without a doubt, the best place online to have your product turned into a beautifully designed, three-dimensional product rendering. Contact us today to find out how to get started.
At Cad Crowd, we have a network of some of the best architectural design freelancers on the market. If you're looking for help with any type of project, conact us today for a free quote.