MEP, or Mechanical, Engineering, and Plumbing, is at the core of a structure’s comfort and livability for its future inhabitants. HVAC systems, lighting, security systems, fire alarms, energy management, hot and cold water, natural gas, these are just a few of the elements involved in the MEP part of a construction model. There are two kinds of people that work closely in relation to these systems, MEP consultants and MEP contractors, and the models they make to plan out the structure differ.
To explain it simply, MEP consultants suggest a process for the work, operating as an advisor and generating a building model that incorporates each individual MEP system in a general way. MEP contractors are in charge of actually scheduling the work, and adjusting the building models for that specific project in regards to the actual materials and parts that will be used. Both work with the construction models, usually computer generated, to anticipate future problems and create ease of access both during and after construction.
An MEP Consultant will create building model that will implement all the systems involved with mechanical, engineering, and plumbing, using basic measurements and setups. Their primary responsibility is to offer expert advice during the design process, anticipating future problems and how to avoid them.
Where MEP Contractors differ is that they are in charge of the actual installation of the MEP systems, and they adjust and change the building models accordingly. They schedule the order in which different systems are installed, supervise the work, and take charge of the process to ensure as few delays as possible while construction is going on.
The simplest way to differentiate between MEP contractor and consultant models is this: consultants create a detailed, generic rough draft, and contractors personalize the model for that specific project. Both are very important, necessary parts of the construction design and building process.