The world of construction is constantly moving forward with technological innovation, and prefabricated building services are the latest development that has helped this industry advance. Prefabrication can help projects in a number of areas, including lowered timeframes and costs and more effective use of labour. Prefabricated MEP modules that incorporate mechanical, plumbing and electrical modules are developed off-site to facilitate projects. These modules could include things like electrical housing, plant equipment, ductwork or piping and can streamline how projects are run.
One of the main methods for implementing these prefabricated MEP modules is Building Information Modelling (BIM). BIM can incorporate these modules into the construction project that yields a practical, cost-effective and high-quality output. You can also bring in DfMA design principles and frameworks in BIM to bring fabrication and engineering together intelligently, which allows for MEP collaboration and reduced clashes.
What is MEP and what is included in a prefabricated MEP module?
MEP is an abbreviation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing and it relates to building design and construction. It is a specialised area of construction that is beneficial for planning, documentation, costing, decision making and maintaining buildings, structures and facilities. It covers the full scope of designing and installing these components, rather than having a contractor install individual components.
Standard MEP modules tend to incorporate a framework for structures, such as pipework, ducting or cable management for buildings. These modules are variable in terms of size, allowing them to work well across different building projects. They are developed off-site before being brought on-site in a completed fashion. Upon arrival, these modules can be affixed to ceilings, lowered into riser shafts, adapted to fit under flooring or in specific areas such as plant spaces, where they can be connected to mains systems.
The importance of pre-planning and design for prefabricated MEP modules
MEP modules work most effectively when they are carefully planned out, as taking them off-site for adjustments can hamper project timelines. To do this, it’s important to use precision tools and realistic designs to create a functional prefabricated MEP module. BIM is a crucial component of this work as it gives engineers and designers enough time to effectively create designs and solutions for the project.
6 reasons why you need to adopt prefabricated building services
There are a host of benefits associated with prefabricated MEP modules in construction. Below is a breakdown of why you should consider adopting prefabricated building services into your next project:
Prefabricated MEP modules can be rolled out and installed faster than traditional installations. One week of work in an established prefabrication facility like ours in Melbourne, Australia is the equivalent to three weeks of work on-site. The project benefits from working separately from the site, so there aren’t weather disruptions and any adjustments or reworking can be performed faster. All told, this can work to reduce construction times by up to 60%.
Prefabricated building services and MEP modules offer a more sustainable way of working by being efficient with energy and waste. Around half of the world’s landfill consists of construction waste, so any approach that lowers that number is good for the environment. It also reduces road traffic to and from work sites by up to 60% and can reduce energy usage by up to 30%.
All projects are bound by financial constraints and tight budgets, but implementing prefabricated MEP modules can help lower the cost of projects. The speedy construction of these modules means that projects are completed faster which lowers on-site overheads and expenditure. There are also fewer workers required for the work and less overtime needed, which lowers staff costs. As well as an improved cash flow, you can expect up to a 40% reduction in overall construction costs.
Prefabricated MEP modules are developed off-site, where there is much more room for quality checks on components. These checks are also performed in a controlled environment, which allows for a much more refined and high-quality end product. Defects can be reduced by up to 80%, which can help across multiple areas of a project from costs to timescales.
5. Health and safety
Due to the nature of prefabricated MEP modules, workers are in a safe, controlled environment. This means they don’t have to work in poor weather conditions or potentially dangerous workspaces. Health and safety incidents can drop by up to 80 % when using prefabricated MEP modules over traditional manufacturing techniques.
6. Less disruption
As prefabricated MEP modules are developed off-site, there is less traffic on-site which can lower disruption and keep the work going as intended. There’s also less noise, pollution and vehicle traffic on the road because the two parts of work are being conducted at separate locations.
Prefabricated MEP modules can improve construction projects across a multitude of areas to improve how work is done. From lowering the cost of construction to establishing a more sustainable way of working, prefabricated MEP modules are the next revolution in the industry. To find out more about how prefabricated MEP modules can help your next project, contact our specialists at EVO-MEP for more information.