The Importance of MEP Coordination in Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

The Importance of MEP Coordination in Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

MEP coordination solutions assist contracting companies with clash-free and coordinated deliverables that drive better fabrication and onsite installation.

The complex design and coordination of hospital buildings due to their size and functions are particularly challenging. Factors that require careful planning and coordination include the nature of the hospital project, types of MEP services, and the accommodation of specialist systems. Healthcare facilities incur additional requirements, wherein MEP design and installation tend to be expensive.

Based on the crucial requirements of healthcare facilities, the MEP layout needs to function flawlessly with the approved design. Healthcare construction can draw in a myriad of challenges. These include rework, project overruns, material wastage, inadequate planning, disturbed hospital operations, etc.

More than 60% of hospitals adopting BIM have finished projects under budget and ahead of schedule.

Coordination of healthcare buildings require contractors and MEP engineers to use BIM MEP processes and tools to improve healthcare performance, cut costs, reduce rework and diminish material waste.

With over 45% of the budget invested in MEP systems, it is important for contracting companies to leverage MEP coordination and clash detection services for improvement:

  • preconstruction visualization
  • space planning
  • walkthroughs
  • scheduling
  • cost estimation

Benefits of MEP coordination services for healthcare construction

1. BIM-based HVAC systems drive improved airflow for healthcare facilities

Residential and commercial structures require HVAC equipment to manage humidity and temperature to preserve the indoor quality of air. Furthermore, healthcare institutions need high-performance and efficient airflow systems, climate control, and steam design specifications to create a restful environment. Contractors and MEP engineers need to deploy ventilation systems that inhibit the spread of other infectious diseases.

Humidification and dehumidification equipment regulates climate control, whereas steam is used in a myriad of hospital equipment. HVAC systems can create problems for patients and healthcare professionals if they are designed, fabricated, and installed incorrectly. Critical care spaces like surgery and patient rooms require streamlined HVAC design to promote quick patient recovery.

2. Healthcare facilities need adequate lighting and power ratings to efficiently manage advanced equipment

Large hospitals using and managing specialized equipment require an adequate power supply to achieve uninterrupted patient care and operations. Designing, fabricating, and installing lighting systems for day and night requires stakeholders to collaborate and plan for greater visual comfort for patients and healthcare professionals.

Uniform lighting without high-glare situations can be achieved through 3D modeling of lighting systems reinforced with customized Revit family creation. Visualization of daylight sensors, voltage distribution systems, fail-safe, lighting placement, etc. in real space can be achieved by rendered walkthroughs.

A project management solutions firm from Saudi Arabia outsourced its BIM service needs of a coordinated BIM model for a University Hospital to Hitech CADD Services. The business needs were achieved for the client through a 3D BIM model at LOD 500. The clash-free 3D model helped the client streamline onsite activities, lower rework, and save onsite construction time. It also helped the client gain a higher ROI through accurate scheduling.

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3. Efficient plumbing systems maintain hygienic conditions in healthcare institutions

Designing healthcare plumbing systems with 3D visualization promotes greater hospital hygiene. The simplicity and reliability of plumbing systems are key to the optimal functioning of the facility. There is a myriad of hospital plumbing systems that are exclusive to hospital construction. These include Dialysis systems, lab facilities, sterile equipment, pathology labs, hot water systems, etc.

Efficient plumbing design relies on 4 major attributes such as accessibility, maintainability, redundancy, and serviceability. Consistency in the design of plumbing products through specifications will help these components withstand high-traffic use. Coordination drawings and shop drawings extracted from 3D Revit models ensure that plumbing fixtures like toilets, faucets, basins, surgeon scrub sinks, etc. are fabricated and installed accurately.

Other high-end plumbing systems required for hospital construction include water filtration systems, acid neutralizers, drainage dump-load systems for decontamination, mixing valves, etc.

4. Advanced fire protection and emergency backup systems enhance the safety of healthcare facilities

Healthcare facilities need proactive sprinkler systems for fire protection and the safety of patients and medical professionals. Fire sprinkler systems that do not act upon fire detection can lead to an uncontrolled fire spread. Critical operations or surgeries cannot be interrupted if a fire erupts.

Reliable fire protection systems need to be deployed immediately without causing any harm to patients, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals. Shielding costly and advanced hospital equipment like MRI’s, heart monitors, etc. requires fire protection systems to be designed accordingly. Non-magnetic sprinkler heads are an excellent choice when it comes to creating non-interference for electrical and magnetic systems.

5. Operating a hospital at optimum levels requires complete MEP coordination before actual construction begins

As discussed above, there’s a myriad of MEP components and equipment that requires accurate fabrication and installation. MEP coordination for healthcare involves MEP engineers coordinating their models at required LOD to build a federated 3D BIM model. An MEP layout that works perfectly with the initial design reduces rework. Identification and resolution of clashes between MEP components in the preconstruction stage saves millions of dollars on rework and reduces project delays. Clash reporting with Navisworks allows stakeholders to gain clash detection reports to make informed decisions.

Model-based 4D scheduling through equipment, material, and resource sequencing gives contractors and MEP companies complete visualization on project timelines. This improves site logistics and reduces material wastage. Reinforcing the 3D model with 5D cost assists quantity surveyors and cost estimators to gain an accurate project budget based on component quantity and their costs.

Coordinated architectural, structural, and MEP models built at LOD 300 under AIA specifications helped the client achieve improvements in energy efficiency. All interdisciplinary clashes were identified and resolved during ongoing construction and 30% to 35% budget savings were achieved for the healthcare construction company.

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Coordination of healthcare buildings can impact the complete project lifecycle of a healthcare project. With an optimal design and layout, fabrication and installation can be achieved with minimal delays. A high-performance MEP design can improve Facilities Management by reducing the costs of operations and investment.

Outsourcing MEP coordination and clash-detection services and BIM modeling services to experienced BIM service providers is highly recommended to ensure hassle-free construction.

About Author:

Harika Singh is an academic and published writer. Her passion for engineering and technology reflects in the in-depth coverage she provides on technology trends. 20 years of work association with institutes of repute across India and the US positions her to provide valuable insights to business stakeholders on achieving scalability and operational efficiencies through digitalization.