by Marina Lucier of EvolveMEP.com
Being an MEP contractor is not always a walk in the park. Many variables are at stake in an MEP project and contractors need to be prepared for any, or all of them, to go awry. Here are some of the top challenges faced by MEP contractors and potential solutions to overcome them:
Coordination issues: MEP systems are complex and need to be well-coordinated to ensure smooth installation and operation. Coordination issues may arise due to design changes, communication problems, or inadequate planning.
Solution: Adopting BIM technology can help MEP contractors to coordinate and visualize the installation of MEP systems. BIM enables all stakeholders to work collaboratively and share project information in real-time, minimizing the risk of coordination issues.
Skilled labor shortage: Finding skilled workers with adequate training and experience in MEP work is a persistent problem. The construction industry has seen a shortage of skilled workers in recent years, and MEP work requires specialized skills that are hard to come by.
Solution: BIM can help solve the problem of the skilled labor shortage in MEP work by making the construction process more efficient by reducing the need for specialized skills. BIM programs also provide better visibility and communication across teams to enable contractors to plan and coordinate the installation of MEP systems with greater accuracy and efficiency. In short, you can do more with fewer people on staff.
Material waste: MEP systems often involve significant amounts of materials, and any wasted materials can lead to increased project costs and reduced profitability.
Solution: With better models, BIM also provides MEP contractors with accurate measurements and quantities of materials needed for the project, reducing the risk of ordering too many materials and increasing the chance of reducing the amount of leftover materials at the end of the project. Some programs like EVOLVE can also use data from previous projects to create more accurate BOMs and minimize wasted materials.
Safety risks: MEP work involves several safety hazards, including electrical shock, falls, and exposure to hazardous materials.
Solution: BIM programs can identify potential safety hazards in MEP systems through 3D modeling and simulation. Specialized software will detect clashes and interference between MEP systems and other building systems, reducing the risk of accidents due to improperly installed or conflicting systems. This can prevent costly rework, delays, and potential safety hazards.
By implementing BIM, MEP contractors can overcome these challenges and improve their efficiency, profitability, and overall success in the construction industry.