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Insights | 19th Mar 2024

Three Ways an MEP Systems Manager Creates Value in Construction

With Jake Fox 


In an overall construction budget, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) construction systems will make up about 30-40% of the overall cost. However, these systems are some of the most complex scopes of the project requiring careful consideration. At Haselden Construction, MEP Systems Managers serve as an expert advocate and resource from project award through warranty, creating a streamlined process for both clients and subcontractors. Throughout the project there are several ways we work with the team to develop and execute a project that meets both the client’s vision and budget.

Ensuring Accuracy in Preconstruction

MEP construction is crucial to the final function and cost of the project, so getting the scope and budget right in preconstruction can set the foundation for the entire project. At each iteration of design, the MEP systems manager will review the drawings to identify and correct any gaps or missing information. Although it may mean drawings need to be adjusted, this can save time and money avoiding redesign, value engineering, and rework later in the project. The complexity that comes with these divisions means mistakes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. When correct and complete construction documents are released for bid, the subcontractors can provide the most accurate price for the scope of work.

Throughout the entire bid process, MEP systems managers partner with preconstruction to manage the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing subcontractors, reviewing their supporting documents, manpower, and scopes to provide an informed opinion throughout selection. Getting the right subcontractor with a complete budget and appropriate capacity benefits the project more in the long term than simply selecting based only on the lowest number. When the scope and manpower are accurate to the project’s requirements, that budget can be trusted to hold through the duration of the project, solidifying almost half the cost before the first shovel of dirt.

Serving as a Resource for Construction Accuracy

MEP construction managers are a resource to the entire construction team throughout the construction process. Since we’ve been working with the team since the project award, it eliminates the handoff between preconstruction and construction, ensuring important items don’t get missed. Due to the complexities of the scopes, having a resource that can assist in coordination and management provides another level of confidence during installation and testing. Throughout commissioning, the MEP manager serves as a bridge between the construction team and the commissioning agent, attending meetings and tracking any adjustments. They can then take this information back to the project team to ensure that each change and adjustment is tracked and communicated without getting lost in the other punch list items.

Building Relationships and Planning for the Future

Building relationships with subcontractors and engineers helps to create a solid foundation for each project. When the team can rely on MEP construction partners to give an honest review of a drawing set or provide advice on a challenging problem, it creates a culture of collaboration resulting in a better project for all parties.

Not only do MEP systems managers serve as a resource for current projects, but they also continue to monitor the trends and code updates that will be implemented in the future. As Denver and the State of Colorado look to develop climate-forward codes and policies such as energy efficiency ratings and electrification, existing buildings will need to adapt to meet the changing requirements. MEP systems will make up the foundation of these changes as the energy drivers of a building. As more information is released, we continue to explore the measures and how MEP renovations and changes can work to help our clients meet the requirements to come. From attending peer groups to classes, our team at Haselden is preparing to be a resource for our clients today and in the years to come.

If you have any questions on this information or have an MEP project you’d like to discuss, please feel free to reach out!

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