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Why You Need MEP Shop Drawings and the Outsourcing Benefits

A well- planned, detailed, and flawless MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) system lays a strong foundation for any construction project.  A well-built MEP support system defines an efficient and performing HVAC, lightning, power control, piping, plumbing, and other aspects, of a building. These three technical disciplines majorly decide a building’s suitability for human use and occupancy.

MEP Shop drawings act as a roadmap for creating complex mechanical, electrical, and plumbing structures.Engineers and contractors refer to these drawings sets for the precise and accurate specification of the MEP components, their layout, identify and fix any inter-disciplinary clash or flaw at the pre-construction stage.These shop drawings help in the fabrication, manufacturing, installation, assembly, and maintenance of MEP elements.

Moreover, with the detailed and coordinated information, MEP Shop drawings add value to the overall construction documents. Thus, giving an advantage to the project team in terms of time, money, building quality, and efficiency.

MEP Shop Drawing and Its Significance in Construction

MEP Shop drawings are the coordinated 3D rendering of the construction project. These drawings are created by integrating the architectural drawings, structural drawings, and civil drawings of a project.  Shop drawings are the detailed and drawn version of the construction documents that include information about dimensions, manufacturing standards, fabrication, and other technical and functional specifications of the MEP components. Coordinated MEP shop drawings support the project in several areas such as equipment placement, electrical component technical drawings, underground & above ceiling coordination, pipe fabrication, sheet metal drawings, ductwork drawings, HVAC drawings, etc.

Each project has a unique set of MEP shop drawings. The three main components of these shop drawings are; Mechanical shop drawing, Electrical shop drawing, and Plumbing & Firefighting shop drawings.

Mechanical Shop Drawings

Mechanical shop drawings include the HVAC shop drawings, duct workshop drawings, mechanical piping detail drawings, represents the transportation system such as lifts and escalators, infrastructural elements, and even industrial components.

The significance of MEP shop drawings are -

  • Accurate positioning of HVAC Units: HVAC shop drawings demarcates and positions the heating vents, ventilation units, and air-conditioning units.
  • Detailed Ductwork layout and specification: Duct workshop drawings display the unit names, unit sizes per submittals, ductwork sizes, ductwork fitting type, sheet metal sectioning, etc.
  • The detailed specification for accurate fabrication and Installation: These shop drawings give precise dimension, manufacturing standard, and fabrication details that help in proper installation and fabrication of the HVAC units, ducts, customized piping connections, and air-handling units.

Electrical Shop Drawings

A building electrical system includes the power supply and distribution channels, control systems, access & security system, information & communication system, and interior and exterior lighting. Electrical shop drawings detail the power and lightning layout, cable routing, parts and assembly shop drawing, termination diagrams, fire alarm diagrams, etc.

The shop drawings of the electrical system are crucial for an accurate field installation. Here are a few pointers –

  • Coordinated electrical drawings: Electrical shop drawings are developed, coordinating with the HVAC and plumbing system to avoid any clash or overlapping.
  • Spatial Coordination of electric cables: Elements like cable trays, electrical equipment, and trays spatially coordinated with the other plumbing and HVAC system.
  • Detailed Layout for Installation: Exact layout and dimensions of electrical devices makes the installation easier and smooth, like point to point wiring connections.

Plumbing and Firefighting Shop drawing

Plumbing shop drawings include technical drawings related to the piping system, drainage, garbage, and waste carriers. It also shows the fuel gas piping, fluid and air transport for heating and cooling, potable or non-potable water supply, waste removal, etc. The coordinated firefighting shop drawings display the placement of pipes, sprinkler system layout, floor plan, fittings, and other accessories.

Plumbing and firefighting shop drawing, essentially required by the contractors and fabricators due to the following reasons.

  • Detailed plumbing specifications: The pipe dimension, plumbing fixtures with color-coding, and precise specifications support the plumbing contractors and fabricators in smooth and efficient installation and fabrication of the plumbing system.
  • The layout and dimensions of Firefighting accessories: It details the pipe dimensions, top and bottom elevation of pipe, occupant loads, location of high-temperature sprinklers, the relative elevation of sprinklers, sprinkler head, dimension lines to the grid for field installation, etc. The details help in the right placement and installation of the firefighting system.

Benefits of MEP Shop Drawings

As compared to an architect’s drawing, MEP shop drawings are more detailed and add a lot of information to the construction documents.Drawings extracted from the BIM MEP models bring several advantages that help the contractors, fabricators, engineers, and other stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.   

Precise and Comprehensive MEP Detailing

MEP shop drawings give accurate and vital details of the MEP operations like dimensions, weight, layout, piping connections, and other technical specifications. It helps fabricators to choose the precision detail of fabricated elements from MEP shop drawings. Thus, comprehensive detailing creates sound technical drawings for; supporting engineers, contractors, and fabricators.

Drawing with Assembly Instructions

The shop drawings create an assembly instruction for various Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing components. The scaled outline of the final assemblies and sub-assemblies gives a clear idea to fabricators and contractors of the final product.

Coordinated Drawings

Each discipline shop drawing gets created in coordination with the other discipline in MEP shop drawings. For example, to develop the layout for freshwater supply pipes or drainage pipes, it is collaborated with the electrical and mechanical components to avoid any discrepancies.

Clash-detection Before Fabrication and Installation

Multi-discipline collaboration and integration get performed to create MEP shop drawings. The architectural, structural, civil, and MEP coordination helps identify and fix the potential flaws and clashes before field fabrication and installation.

As-built Drawings

MEP shop drawings give an exact representation of the MEP system, i.e., cable layout, piping links, mechanical component placement with the right size, weight, and other dimensions. The as-built drawings give an idea of the construction design and future look.

Why Outsource MEP Shop Drawing Requirements

MEP Shop drawings give an enhanced level of detail and specification that requires experience and working knowledge of machine shop process. Outsourcing MEP Shop drawing requirements brings numerous benefits to the team and the overall project. Few are listed below.

Promotes Off-Site Fabrication

Accurate and precise technical and other functional details of the fabricated MEP elements promotes off-site fabrication. Additionally, using assembly drawings makes it easy to assemble and fabricate the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing units off-site.

Quick Reference Through Build-in Documentation

In case any issue is found in an MEP unit, MEP Shop drawings can be referred for locating that unit. For example, any problem in the HVAC pipeline can be located using the mechanical shop drawings and rectified.

Many licensing authorities refer to the MEP shop drawings to grant permission and license for construction projects. Also, in case of delivery of damaged products, contractors refer to these drawings to identify and place a new order.

Accurate Cost Estimation

The MEP units’ details and specifications help determine their price, material, and assembly and installation. Shop drawings help in generating a Bill of materials that helps in determining the overall project cost.

Uniformity Across Products

Uniformity across products can be achieved; with MEP shop drawings in all the construction phases. When products meet the industry standard, construction permits and the license is easy to obtain.

Saves Cost and Time

MEP shop drawings help to keep an eye on the project budget. The details of the MEP components and the installation and fabrication specifics help; reduce the wastage of materials occurring due to manufacturing and placing wrong orders. Reassembling, reinstallation, and overstocking also get reduced, promoting cost-efficiency.

Reduction in rework, reinstallation, and reassembling saves time resulting in an improved delivery schedule by almost 40 percent. Also, the turn-around time of the drafting and assembly gets reduced.

Convenient in Sharing and Training

With the advanced technology, MEP shop drawings get conveniently shared with the fabricators, contractors, engineers, and suppliers within no time. Its accessibility on any device makes it easier and fast to share.

Sharing flexibility and technology also gives an edge in training the interns, students, amateur hobbyists, or young graduates who are new and entering the AEC industry.

Enhances Building Quality and Productivity

Building performance and its quality largely depend on its MEP system. The accurate and coordinated Shop drawings resolve various discrepancies at the design stage itself. Fully coordinated HVAC, electrical, and plumbing design create a performing and functional MEP system, enhancing the building quality and productivity.

Reach a Team of Experts for Clash Free MEP Shop Drawings

MEP shop drawing is unique for each project, requires expertise and knowledge to detail the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system. MSK Consultants (MSK) is an engineering company with specialized services such as – architectural, civil, structural engineering, BIM, and MEP, along with customized project management consulting services. At MSK, we have a team of BIM specialists experienced in delivering MEP design audit, clash detection, and coordination services for complex construction projects. If you are looking to outsource MEP shop drawing requirements for your next project, don’t look further – let’s get on a call to get started.

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Comment (1)

  1. praneeth gandi
    March 27, 2021

    Well elaborated.

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