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Typical Construction Sequence for MEP Works in High Rise Building

Grouping of MEP Fixes:


1. MEP 1st Fix - All Concealed Items/Pipe Sleeves in Verticals/Horizontals
(Column/Slab)
2. MEP 2nd Fix - Stage 1: High Level MEP Works at False Ceiling
i) Fixing supports, installation of Firefighting, Chilled Water piping, drainage pipes, water
supply(hot & cold), rain water, cable ladders, G.I Conduiting, AC ducting
ii) Pressure tests and insulations
iii) Installation of FCUs, water heaters
(Note: False Ceiling people will fix runners after the Stage 1 of MEP 2nd Fix)
3. MEP 2nd Fix - Stage 2: Clearance for False Ceiling People
i) Sprinkler droppers, AC duct droppers, flexible cable for light fixtures, fire stopping and
identification works etc.
(Note: False Ceiling people will close ceiling tiles and MEP people will connect their
diffusers in position on the ceiling tiles - too much coordination is required at this stage)
MEP 2nd Fix: Other Areas
Installation of all equipments like AHUs(Floor mounted), all pumps, heat exchangers(if
any), bus bars, generators, water tanks etc.,
4. MEP Final Fix
Installation of Air terminals, sprinkler heads, wiring accessories, low current devices,
CCTV, Public Address System (PAS), Isolators, fire fighting equipments(Hydrants),
Sanitaryware, DBs, SMDBs & Dressing, SMA TVs, Structured Cabling, All Switch Points

External and other MEP works


i) Connections to Main lines of Govt. Authority, water supply and drainage.
ii) LV Room installations (MDBs, SMDBs, DBs)

iii) Installation of external piping, Manhole construction


iv) Installation of lightning protection, Backup System, Intercom System etc.,

Hi, as Im working with MEP & Fit-out planning. I have regular discussion with
Project Manager about the definition of First Fix / Second Fix/ Final Fix for
Electrical,
HVAC,
Plumbing
&
Fire
Fighting
work.
The practical idea behind these fix is to make the Cluster of activities which
require resources of similar skill sets and Status of Interior.
Is there any official definition of "Fixes" for these services in any building codes /
Standard ( In UK / US etc.).
This is very interesting topic. u know when i started my carrier before 1 year my seniors
explained one type of definitions for each fixes. Now the scenario had been changed
into
some
other.
1st fix means Inside slab works or u can say in-cast services (conduiting, pipe
openings, sleeves, duct openings)and also support fixings, trays & trunking works....
2nd fix defined for Duct installation, CHW Piping works, cable laying, water& drainage
piping works, FF piping works, MEP Equipment installations like (chillers, AHUs,
FAHUs, FCUs, cooling towers, fans, MDBs, SMDBs, DBs, Panel Boards, DG Set,
Transformers, Switch gears, Heat Exchangers, Water Tanks, Droppers, water heaters,
Pumps,
etc....)
Final fix includes Installation of Grills & Diffusers, Light fittings, Smoke detectors,
Sprinklers, Taps, Sanitary ware fittings etc......(which is visible to the visitor mostly)
But these definition are being modified or considered based on the project team of
client/consultant, MEP Consultant, civil contractor, MEP contractor... Somebody will
consider
In-cast
services
only
as
1st
fix
works.
Then all support fixings and sleeves as 2nd fix with above mentioned 2nd fix definitions.
So can you pls tell me,,, is there any proper definitions to identify these Terminologies in
the proper manner.

What to Expect from Your MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) Consultant
by Evan Parganos

Whether you are an architect, building owner or engineer, a time will come when you
require the services of an MEP consulting firm. Of course, you'll want the highest quality
work for a great price. Keep these prerequisites in mind as you research the best team
for your project:

Responsive service. Response to your questions should be quick. Construction


projects move fast, and the solution to one problem is often the determinant for the next
step moving forward. All queries should receive a reply within 24 hours.

Full service MEP. A quality MEP consulting firm should be able to show you hard proof
of their experience. Conduct a thorough interview of your potential candidate to
determine that they have successfully designed projects for their clients in the following
fields:

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning. Your goal is to have systems designed and
developed that are efficient, environmentally friendly, and capable of delivering optimum
user comfort. These projects should also conform to your specific needs and budgetary
requirements.

Electrical Power and Lighting. From the initial workup to the design details, to
purchasing of equipment, there is an incredible amount of detail involved with the
electrical and lighting phase of your building project. Lighting systems are an integral
part of a building's energy usage and indoor quality. Make sure your MEP consulting
firm is well informed and experienced in these areas so that you can save money in the
long run.

Fire Alarm and Fire Protection. Your fire alarm and sprinkler systems should not only
conform to industry standards and meet all code requirements, but also measure up to
the needs of your institution. Building code requirements for fire alarm and sprinkler

systems can be extremely complex and require interpretation. Look for an MEP firm
who has designed fire protection systems of varying sizes and for the specific purpose
that you have in mind.

Plumbing. From selecting the right equipment, determining pipe size requirements and
load calculations, to potable cold and hot water, to sanitary vents and sewage
systems... plumbing projects require industry experience and precision planning. Ensure
that your plumbing system is safe, efficient, and expertly designed using the highest
quality fixtures and equipment.

Energy Management. The world is changing, and your MEP consultant should be up to
date with all of the latest energy management solutions. The goal is to help you make
the most efficient use of your building systems while saving money in the process.
Knowledge of government energy rebate programs that can save the client up-front
costs is a must.

Attention to detail. Part of the deliverable for every project should include expert
Energy Management, Utility Coordination and adherence to all Safety Codes. This
means a higher quality end result and greater cost effectiveness for you, the client.

Minimal change orders. You are paying the engineer to thoroughly survey the job site
for all existing conditions. Multiple surveys of a space should be expected for any
renovation project. Small assessments can usually be completed with one survey.
Expect attentive design that ensures the job gets done right the first time!

Valued design without over-engineering. You are paying the engineer to analyze
different solutions and weigh their cost implications NOT just solve the problem in the
only way they know how. Your engineering consultant should always be thinking outside
of the box and should also have knowledge of the costs of systems they are specifying.

Accountability. Each phase of your construction project requires specific knowledge,


equipment, procedures and teams. Be sure that your engineer and architect are able to

work as one "your design team". Each must be available and accountable for
coordination between their trades.

Communication. While your MEP team should of course be professional and experts
at what they do, they should also be open to outside suggestions. Additionally, it's
important that the engineer communicates the intentions of their design in a language
the client understands to avoid taking the wrong direction when designing the project.
TOP 5 MEP MISTAKES TO AVOID
Weve seen our share of issues come up on projects which can be avoided with simple
coordination during the early design phases.
Here are the top 5 issues we have seen on projects and how to avoid them:
1)
Not
using
the
latest
backgrounds
This is probably the most common design mistake that happens on construction
projects. Often times the architect is working on their backgrounds up to the last hour
that the job goes out. The engineers usually are then submitting a set that does not
have the latest architectural backgrounds incorporated. The best way to avoid this
mistake is to have the architect freeze their backgrounds 1-week prior to the project
being submitted for bid. If for some reason the architect had to make changes during
that week, the FINAL background can be submitted to engineer immediately and then
an addendum can be prepared so the bidders have a coordinated set of architectural
and
engineering
plans
prior
to
submitting
their
final
number.
2)
Not
Understanding
Hours
of
Operation
When designing a space one of the first questions the engineer should be asking is
whether or not the space will need to function after hours. Then the building system and
lease must be investigated to see if the base infrastructure can provide cooling and
heating during these times. For instance, if a tenant has to work on Saturdays and the
building HVAC system does not operate on weekends, a supplemental system is
needed. If this is omitted from the design, the tenant will incur great costs to provide this
after
the
construction
is
complete.
3)
Not
Coordinating
Work
in
Floor
Below
Another important due diligence item during the early design stages is to find out if the
building will allow work in the floor below. This is critical for electrical connections to
remote/island furniture and also for new plumbing fixtures whose drains come out into
the ceiling of the space below. If the building does not allow for this work or if it

physically is not possible due to obstructions in the ceiling below, the design team must
take proper steps to provide required services, such as trenching electrical connections
or
pumping
the
plumbing
drains.
4)
Undersized
Air
Conditioning
Systems
A dreaded occurance on any project is when the user occupies the space and finds out
they cannot keep it cool. There are many factors that can lead to this happening, but the
most common one is when the occupancy of space (# of people) differs from what was
designed. The engineer may design a conference room AC unit for 10-people but the
user is actually putting 20-people into the space. This can be avoided with a simple
diagram provided by the engineer which shows to the Owner the head counts they are
designing for in each room. The Owner would then sign off on this diagram as their
intended
use.
5)
Not
Complying
with
Energy
Code
for
Economizers
2014 Energy Code changed a lot of economizer exemptions. We can no longer use
Ashrae 90.1-2007 which allowed any system in NYC climate zone to be exempt from
economizers. Now, to be exempt, the design team must use the exemptions set forth in
the code. The most common exemption is to increase the cooling efficiency of the
equipment by 42% or more above the code minimum efficiencies. This can be done
easily with creative HVAC design and utilization of VRF technology (i.e. mini split).
Economizer code complaince is a critical step of the design phase since omitting an
economizer and having to install one later can have disastrous ramifications since they
require completely different

Avoiding Change Orders: How to Keep Costs Down and Your Project
on Schedule
by Evan Parganos
Change orders can be a major obstacle to the completion of a successful construction
project.
Change orders in the construction industry are by no means unusual, but they typically
increase the cost of and time to complete the project. Because they were not allocated
for from the beginning, these unwelcome surprises can cause tension between the
design team and the contractors/subcontractors on site, as well as frustration on the
part of the owner.

At EP Engineering, we know that one of the keys to a successful project and a satisfied
client is to minimize scope changes during both design and construction. To do this, we
keep an eye on certain factors that are known to lead to change orders. We try our best
to maintain constant communication with the client and to avoid potentially costly design
changes. Below are the four most common situations in which change orders can occur.
Miscommunication between the Members of the Design Team.
Miscommunications between the architect, engineer, and other members of the design
team make up the most common type of change order. This typically occurs when the
design teams spends too little time together coordinating their separate trades.
To avoid situations like this, EP Engineering takes extra precautions at the start of every
project. We work very closely with architects-- scheduling and attending extra design
meetings, constantly updating progress plans, and keeping every member of the team
updated and informed on the latest developments.
Unexpected Field Conditions.
These are most often due to complications when existing conditions are not accounted
for in the design. Such problems occur more often in older buildings, which can be
difficult to survey.
On a project where conditions were not accurately surveyed, you'll typically see a
notation on the engineering plans that reads Connect to nearest. During construction it
is often discovered that nearest is actually far away or difficult to access. On each
project, EP Engineering conducts extensive surveying and creates "as-built" plans for
the existing MEP systems pertaining to the renovated space. This allows us to fully
integrate our design with the existing conditions without making assumptions. The
process we use helps us steer clear of complicated issues that can develop down the
road due to unanticipated field conditions.
Plans and/or Specifications Require Modification.
This refers to a project that cannot physically be constructed as indicated in the
Contract Documents. The problem is often realized during shop drawing preparation,
when plans don't "make sense on paper," or during coordination between various trades
where one team relies on the other before they can move onto their portion of the work.
Typically, this is a mistake made by the engineer. In extreme cases, you will see MEP
plans where the HVAC & Electrical plans look that they came from separate offices.
EP Engineering avoids creating inoperable plans by taking the following actions
at the start of every project:

We draw double line ductwork to ensure it fits prior to construction. Final plans
are brought to the job site to conduct a feasibility check before they are issued.

We review our designs with either members of the construction management


team or with CM colleagues in our field. All plans coming out of our office are
previewed by construction professionals to ensure that they're workable in the
real world.

Engineering firms typically allot 75% of their fee to design and 25% to
construction. We allocate 90% of our fee to the design portion of each project
because we know that if a design is good, we will spend much less time making
modifications during construction. We view this as being "proactive up front" so
that we can get things right on the first try and not have to retrace steps and
redraw plans.

We release project designs from our office ONLY after they are checked
thoroughly by a PRINCIPAL for inter-trade coordination.

Scope Change by Owner.


Scope Change refers to when the owner of the property decides to add, remove, or
relocate systems or equipment. This is likely to happen in cases where the client
(owner) decides to expedite the project to be completed faster than the original contract
indicates and reasonable time allows.
EP Engineering avoids running into the above situation by working closely with the
client from day one of the project. Things like project scope, existing field conditions,
and surveys are addressed in advance. We work hard to get a full understanding of all
the site conditions and systems that will be included in the project before we start our
design. Working with the owner, we inform them of our objectives and the process
involved so that they have a clear picture of what to expect when the job starts. Once
the above is finalized, we can then meet the client's budgetary and scheduling
requirements as well as accommodate any special requests that may have been made.
At EP Engineering, we pride ourselves on our ability to reduce and/or eliminate the
number of change orders that happen during our construction projects. To do this, we
take precautionary steps at the start of the design phase that will ensure proper
planning and development. It is our goal to maintain a smooth construction process and
keep projects costs at or below budget - and to achieve this, there must be clear
communication and precise coordination between the client, design team, and
contractors.
Operational Issues Great ways to stretch O&M Budgets
1. Pumps
If your pumps are running on constant speed they are probably running more
often than needed. Pumping systems were designed for full capacity often only
see that requirement a few times a year so the rest of the time is spent running

above what is needed. Your building may be able to stage pumps (if multiple
pumps exist) or install VFD drives to save operational and maintenance cost.
2. Fans
Similar to pumps, fans are often sized for the worst case design day which is only
experienced a few times a year. Fans are often a great candidate for VFD Drives.
If you are waiting for the belts to start to squeal before changing them, then you
are waiting too long. The squealing is an audible indication that the belt is
slipping. Building owners should have an inspection schedule that implements
rpm measurements to determine when belts need to be changed.
3. Free Cooling and Pre Cooling
If your building has an airside economizer setup you may be able to benefit from
free cooling and even pre cooling depending on your buildings operational
schedule. You should be careful of economizers that only use temperature as a
means to decide when to use free cooling. In moist climates such as NYC, a low
temperature may be associated with a very high relative humidity which overall
will cost you more money to condition and deliver to the spaces. A better
approach would be to use a robust central weather station that determines when
to use free cooling based on temperature and relative humidity.
4. Thermostat Setbacks
Often times thermostats and their programing/set points are changed after they
are installed. Its very good practice to periodically inspect these to make sure
that the parameters were not overwritten by accident or on purpose. If you are
still using manual thermostats without scheduling capability you should urgently
consider an upgrade to programmable thermostats. Improperly programmed
thermostats could cost you an additional 15% in operating energy.
5. Occupancy and Vacancy Sensors
It doesnt pay to keep the lights on when no one is in the office so implementing
these devices into your building spaces is a no brainer. A prime example is if the
cleaning crew forgets to turn the lights off when they are done with a room.
Current technology allows for these sensors to be wireless so retrofitting into
existing buildings is not as much of an issue anymore. Be sure to use the correct
sensors for your space and these should not be used whenever their installation
could cause a life safety or security risk. If the lights are left on you could be
using 15% energy more than you need to.
6. Duct Leakage
Duct sealing deteriorates with age and vibration. Its a good idea to periodically
inspect your ducts and look for signs of air leakage such as whistling or dust
spots. Sealing these leaks helps deliver the air to the space so the fan does more
beneficial work for you. The amount of wasted energy could be upwards of 5%.

7. Low Refrigerant Charge


Part of maintenance is maintaining a proper refrigerant charge in your equipment
including chillers and AC units. Its best to keep the refrigeration circuit sealed as
much as possible so a good way for the staff to see if the refrigerant may be low
is to look at the temperature drop across the cooling coil/heat exchanger. If you
now the airflow/water flow (from a balancing exercise) and the capacity of the
unit you can see if the unit is putting out the full refrigeration effect. If its not
then perhaps you are low on refrigerant.
8. Building Automation Systems
The adage Knowledge is Power applies to all areas life, including the operation
of your building! Building automation systems are a great way to monitor and
streamline the operation your buildings MEP systems. By having accurate data
on the energy usage and set points of all the individual MEP systems within your
building, the knowledgeable owner can identify sources of waste before their
energy bills come through the mail. By using energy saving strategies like
temperature set-back, water temperature resets and matching water and air
flows to the current demand; buildings can reduce up to 5% of their yearly
operating costs without changing any of their existing MEP system.
A Building Management System is only as good as the sensors that it uses. If the
sensors are faulty, dirty or otherwise fouled then they are feeding inaccurate
information back to the processor which is then making operational decisions
based on this bad information. A BMS System requires periodic retuning and
calibration so be sure that your annual maintenance contract includes this work.
Faulty controls can contribute as much as 5% to your operating energy.