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23 January 2018
Kuldeep Bwail

Selecting MEP Design Partners in India

MEP (M&E) design, or mechanical, electrical and plumbing design, arguably the most essential component of construction design for comfortable living, involves a slew of vitally important services that must come together in near-flawless integration. Executing MEP design services can be taxing on time, budget and manpower for individual engineering design firms. Therefore, finding MEP design partners that deliver quality design services within schedule, for less cost and with the backing of experienced and qualified design professionals becomes both practical and desirable. Outsourcing follows as a viable option to fulfil these requirements, and MEP consultants in India cover an entire gamut of design services from concept design to detailed design and analysis. Selecting the appropriate partner need not be challenging if you know what to look for.

To choose the right MEP design partner in India, it is important to decide what is required of an effective MEP design partner in general. Fundamentally, an MEP design services provider must fulfil the building’s needs today and also prepare for the needs of tomorrow with efficient, high-performing, energy-saving features. Global MEP industry practices are changing regularly, which calls for precision and high quality in MEP design. Reliable design solutions with primary focus on AutoCAD software, coupled with advanced technological skills and qualified design experts seem increasingly necessary.

A desirable partner must provide a spectrum of MEP design services, such as mechanical, electrical, public health and fire protection building services design (also known as building engineering and architectural engineering) to building services designers and consultants. A team, or teams, of mechanical design engineers and electrical design engineers with international accreditation are a bonus. The engineers should be well-experienced in providing MEP design services for structures in Western nations.

Additionally, they should be able to interact comfortably with clients to correctly understand client requirements and they should also possess the necessary qualifications. Projects must be managed comprehensively with regard to sustainability, architectural design and structural and commercial features. Designs should preferably be provided in BIM format for BIM modelling so that spatially coordinated models can be created and utilised by BIM modellers and BIM coordinators of contracting and installation teams over time. Sound design support for concept, schematic, design development, tender and construction stages of the design process is another service that is useful.

An efficient MEP design partner in India should ideally provide the following services in MEP design:

Mechanical Design
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning design (HVAC) for environmental control
  • Water supply/ return distribution design
  • Energy related design – including gas, oil, renewable and solar design and systems
  • Air conditioning load analysis

Mechanical design partners should provide designs that cater to optimum climate levels, energy efficiency and easy operability. Seek LEED-accredited professionals on the design team for smooth collaboration. They should be well experienced in designing HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and other mechanical systems for a variety of buildings, understanding the importance of air quality, especially for healthcare and educational institutes. They must adhere to zonal codes and analyse whether existing HVAC and mechanical systems are adequate for new buildings during building conversion projects. Areas of specialisation can include:

  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Pool dehumidification
  • Ventilation
  • Data centre environmental control
  • Environmental controls
  • Condition analysis reporting
  • Indoor air quality assessment
  • Special hospital and isolation systems
  • Industrial kitchen exhaust systems
  • Industrial ventilation
  • Industrial vehicle exhaust systems
  • Potable water systems
  • Automated building controls
  • Pharmaceutical and laboratory ventilation systems
  • Boiler room design
  • Chiller plant design
Electrical Design

Areas of specialisation for electrical design include:

  • High voltage & low voltage electrical power distribution system including design of essential/emergency power (generator & UPS) systems
  • Lighting (including artificial and emergency lighting) and lighting controls design
  • IT, telecoms, security and lightning protection design
  • Fire detection and activation alarm system design
  • Riser and panel schedule design
  • Lux level calculation and lighting design
  • Special grounding systems
  • Clean power systems

Telecommunications and internet facilities maintain the stability of infrastructure globally. A reputed MEP design partner will create and maintain flexible, reliable power infrastructure. Geometric information can be used to deliver services by syncing electric logic diagrams with electric wires using the latest software. Electrical schematic layouts and PCB designs can be created for electrical and electronic equipment.

Plumbing or Public Health Design
  • Domestic water supply design (both normal and hot water systems)
  • Sanitation and waste water design
  • Storm water drainage and rainwater harvesting design
  • Fire suppression water design

Water efficiency, sustainability, energy efficiency and pollution control can be monitored and maintained by a plumbing engineer, keeping the project teams updated at all times.

Fire Protection Design
  • Sprinkler protection design
  • Water and mist system design
  • Dry riser and wet riser design

Ideally, the entire design team in India must consider design standards, codes, site requirements, insurance requirements and safety criteria of the relevant global zone when designing fire protection systems. The design team should be aware of changing fire codes and insurance requirements. Several years’ experience is required to balance costs of fire protection and control overall construction.

Design Review

A good MEP design partner in India should provide MEP shop drawing services after exhaustive project and design analysis, utilising the expertise of senior and skilled design engineers and specialists. Their experience should cover MEP systems, equipment sizing, ducts and pipes routing, cooling and load calculations, international codes. They should coordinate services running above the ceiling, inside shafts and recessed in reflected ceilings. A report can then be generated with design defects and solutions.

MEP design and coordination services in India can offer a high-quality MEP engineering service in a short duration of time. The designs are accurate and professional, and the approach is cost-effective.

Some of the advantages of using MEP design outsourcing services from India are:

  • Diverse and Customised Services – A large client base can tailor cost-efficient services to architects, building contractors, mechanical consultants, construction companies and CAD service providers across the Western world.
  • Advanced Technical Expertise – Technical experts update themselves continuously on the latest technological trends and use the latest software available for MEP design and drafting. These experts are proficient in AutoCAD, Revit, MicroStation and Navisworks.
  • Qualified Professionals – Engineers and draftsmen are LEED certified and are well versed in ISO/FDA regulations. They are well qualified to address reverse engineering, prototype creation, system-level simulations and can create 2D and 3D CAD designs.
  • Extensive Experience – Many years of experience can contribute to high levels of quality, accuracy and efficiency. Effective cost-reduction and on-time delivery may also be expected. MEP design services from India have led to designs being provided for residential, commercial, government, industrial, institutional buildings, healthcare units, hotels, hospitality units, laboratories and data centres across the globe.
  • Compliance to Building Codes, Standards –  MEP design professionals must comply with all required civil engineering standards, including ASHRAE (HVAC), AS (mech.), IBC (civil), ACCA (HVAC), UBC (civil) and AIA-drawing standards and ensure that drawings and designs are compliant with BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) and IFMA (International Facility Manager Association) standards.

In India, the sheer number of available technical professionals in the MEP field ensures that dedicated teams are a distinct and desired option for construction firms in the Western market. The advantage of these dedicated teams is that a group of experienced and qualified personnel handles the project from initiation to completion in shorter time, with improved quality and cost-effective solutions.

It can be concluded that to determine a viable MEP design partner in India, infrastructure, expertise and years of domain experience in providing MEP design solutions for a variety of business needs are necessary prerequisites. Such design partners can provide MEP conversion services for hand-drawn sketches, PDFs, AutoCAD files, GIF or JPEG files, pictures, photos, scanned images, mechanical drawings and MEP concept drawings. The drawings would be converted to precise 2D and 3D CAD designs. Appropriate MEP partners would be engaged in industry best practices and have a strong domain knowledge of relevant software.

Appointing the right MEP design team from India as a partner for Western countries will ultimately save time, effort, money and talent. Working as an extension of engineering teams from a different location, these teams are sure to cooperate and collaborate with customers to produce MEP designs of high quality.