Q&A MEP Engineer

Introduction to MEP Engineering (or Building Services Engineering)

I have been asked a lot of questions ever since I started my career as an MEP Engineer. Hence, through this blog, I would like to share some of my knowledge regarding this field. I hope it will help you who are still confused about MEP Engineer and MEP Engineering field. If you have any other question, please drop a comment below and I would be happy to answer. Thank you.

ASK : What is MEP Engineering?

MEP engineering is a multi-disciplinary engineering field. It consists of a combination and comprehensive understanding of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Plumbing Engineering in the building. Nowadays, plumbing engineers are also covered by mechanical engineers.

The term MEP itself is commonly used in India, Middle East, US, and Indonesia. However, in countries like the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; the term Building Services is commonly used.

ASK: Why MEP Engineering is Important?

In modern days, the term “building” is already shifted. From only as a shelter to people, to a high-tech building that can fulfill the people needs such as for comfort, safety, and security. And most of these building systems are designed by MEP Engineers.

Broadly speaking, the system includes HVAC system (to control temperature, humidity, and ventilation inside the building), Fire Fighting system (to extinguish accidental fire, Fire Alarm system (to inform and evacuate the occupants in case of fire), Electrical system (to distribute the power to lighting, socket outlet, and other appliances), etc. Engineers from various disciplines especially Mechanical Engineer and Electrical Engineer are required to design, install, operate, and maintain these systems.

ASK: Can We Learn MEP Engineering in the University?

As far as I know, one can only choose to learn mechanical or electrical engineering as his major. You can fully learn about MEP Engineering once you join the industry. Be it as a consultant, a contractor, or a site engineer. It will not be taught in the university as a major because you will need a good understanding about mechanical or electrical engineering first before you can combine the two of them and make a good system.

ASK: What is MEP consists of?

MEP consists of three main sectors:

  • Mechanical Services
  • Electrical Services (and Ancillaries), and
  • Plumbing Services

Mechanical Services, include:

  • ventilation
  • air conditioning (heating and cooling system)
  • building transportaton system, such as escalator or elevator.

Electrical Services and Ancillaries, include:

  • HV, MV, LV power distribution (in other countries may use the term HT and LT)
  • Power and control cabling
  • Lighting system
  • Emergency and exit lighting
  • Earthing and lightning protection
  • Low voltage system/ancillaries — fire alarm system; telecommunication, and data system; sound system/acoustic system; security system; MATV system; etc
  • Building Management System (BMS)
  • Smart home system

Plumbing Services, include:

  • Domestic hot and cold water supply
  • Waste water management
  • Rain water management
  • Fire protection/fire fighting system

Although there are many sub-specialist in MEP design area, such as lighting specialist, fire protection specialist, ancillaries specialist, and HVAC specialist, most of them are mechanical or electrical major graduated. Also you need to learn about local code where the building will be built. A building in Canada will not use the same MEP concept as a building in Singapore because of the climate difference, humidity difference, and also culture difference.

This would be the first part of the Q&A section about MEP. It would continue in another blog post. So be sure to leave a comment below.

See you in the next post!

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