BIM solutions for MEP engineering

Autodesk software equips MEP engineers to deliver elegant building systems designs that support sustainability and occupant comfort. 

Image courtesy of BNIM.

HVAC system on building roof

MEP engineering solutions for an evolving industry

MEP engineers are under more pressure than ever to design and deliver building systems that balance performance, cost, and constructability. With BIM, design teams more effectively, design more sustainably, and raise the bar for industry excellence to keep their teams and firms one step ahead. 

Why is BIM the new normal for MEP engineering?

86%

Of BIM projects report savings on labor, collaboration, and/or materials.


70%

Of users say BIM has made them more productive.


72%

Report BIM reduces the risk of problems during fabrication and construction.



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Rendering of Lusail Stadium

“We saved almost 30-40% of our time. It would be impossible to have met the challenging schedule without the BIM workflow. It resulted in 20% cost savings for us and much more for the owners as we could optimize the design.”

– Bimal Patwari, Founder & CEO of Pinnacle Infotech

MEP firms making a difference with BIM

Mechanical contractor working

KLH triples its work with contractors

Using a single source of data enables them to provide higher-value outcomes.


rendering of of MEP system

Better data exchange and collaboration

TDIndustries' technology journey is changing the game and leading to greater client satisfaction.


Image courtesy of TDIndustries.

Mechanical building system

30-40% reduction in design time

With streamlined design process, Pinnacle improved operational efficiency on ambitious projects.


Image courtesy of Pinnacle Infotech.

Building spanning river

23% increase in worker productivity

Max Fordham has seen significant improvements in project outcomes since moving to into BIM.


Image courtesy of Laurian Ghinitoiu/BIG.

rendering of MEP system

Accelerating project delivery and staying ahead with BIM

For the Kirlin Group, BIM tools are reducing errors, preventing clashes, and keeping projects on track.


workers in lighted tunnel

Reducing costs and carbon by going "Full-Blown BIM"

Bravida built a streamlined process with BIM and integrated engineering workflows. The results: nimble teams, high performance, and reduced costs.


Image courtesy of Bravida.

Integrated BIM workflows in action

Rendering of building mechanical system

Work in a single, shared model

With BIM, multidisciplinary teams work securely and collaboratively within a unified design environment, providing a single source of truth for coordinating trades, sequencing project phases, raising issues and detecting clashes.

  • Create building systems in the context of a full building information model including architectural and structural components
  • Use parametric design to explore and propose design options parametrically
  • Automate routine or repetitive tasks and design workflows
  • Keep everything, and everyone, together in the same design environment to limit data loss and reduce errors
Rendering of building mechanical system

Run detailed analyses and generate reports

MEP engineers can use the data in BIM to conduct advanced simulation and analysis, with real-time insights as a project evolves.

  • Analyze building energy and systems loads, using the EnergyPlus analysis engine, to inform design decisions
  • Create analytical models to define spaces and zones, and model for occupancy, lighting, and equipment loads
  • Generate schedules, plans, and load calculations from modeled 3D elements, like mechanical and electrical equipment. .
  • Assess for optimal system performance, with tools for calculating optimal flow and return for piping systems

Image courtesy of BNIM.

Person at computer

Detail in 3D models

BIM-based tools enable engineers to integrate systems design and fabrication detailing workflows to better understand design impacts to a high level of detail and with respect to client requirements, local and regional codes, manufacturability, and installation.

  • MEP professionals can use BIM to generate a single model to support estimating for detailing, fabrication, pre-construction, and installation.
  • Improve design intent and data handoffs between engineers and fabricators
  • Easily keep documentation and shop drawings up to date as projects evolve, reducing rework
  • Help MEP trade contractors to value engineering models more effectively, increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
  • Extend pre-construction/fabrication workflows in to the field with Autodesk Construction Cloud and Autodesk Build for material tracking and commissioning. 

Streamline construction and project delivery

BIM helps you automate and collaborate at scale. The latest advances support seamless data exchange between all building design disciplines. Working with BIM can cut weeks, even months from project schedules.

  • Keep projects on schedule with real-time design collaboration.
  • Detect clashes in both the preconstruction and site execution phases of the project
  • Identify and manage issues
  • Design review and approval workflows
  • Track changes

Image courtesy of BNIM.

BIM for MEP engineering: Key benefits

Reduce errors and rework

Identify errors earlier on, coordinate changes, and reduce rework down the line with a centralized 3D model where all stakeholders have visibility.

Improve team collaboration

Create a single, digital source of truth that all stakeholders can access and contribute to. Connect your model via the cloud giving the entire project team access to accurate information whenever they need it.

Enhance design quality

Advanced analysis plus parametric design tools support optioneering and optimization from concept through shop drawings.

Reduce overall design time

Use design automation to eliminate repetitive tasks and to reach optimized​ design solutions faster.

rendering of electrical building components

Next generation BIM-based electrical design

Autodesk has formed a strategic alliance with Schneider Electric to enable electrical designers influence building design with more sustainable energy systems in mind. Schneider Electric’s Advanced Electrical Design for Autodesk Revit allows electrical engineers to make more informed decisions and play a more strategic role in building projects.

Autodesk software for MEP engineering

Powerful BIM and CAD tools for designers, engineers, and contractors, including Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Autodesk Forma, and more


Plan, design, construct, and manage buildings with powerful tools for Building Information Modeling.


Cloud-based design co-authoring, collaboration, and coordination software for architecture, engineering, and construction teams. “Pro” enables anytime, anywhere collaboration in Revit, Civil 3D, and AutoCAD Plant 3D.


MEP detailing and fabrication software—available as Fabrication CADmep, Fabrication CAMduct, Fabrication ESTmep


Building performance analysis software


Navisworks Manage, Navisworks Simulate software and the Navisworks Freedom 3D viewer for 5D analysis, design simulation and project review.


Get in touch

Contact us to discuss your MEP engineering needs and to learn more about how Autodesk software can help you engineer elegant solutions to the most complex challenges. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is BIM for MEP engineering?

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling, and it is a collaborative process that allows MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) engineers to create and manage digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of a building. BIM for MEP engineering specifically focuses on designing, analyzing, and optimizing MEP systems within a building

How is BIM used for MEP workflows?

Design and Modeling: BIM software lets MEP engineers create detailed 3D models of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. These models include information such as dimensions, materials, and equipment specifications.

 

Clash Detection and Coordination: BIM enables clash detection, where the MEP models are checked for clashes with architectural or structural elements. This helps identify and resolve conflicts early in the design phase, reducing rework and coordination issues during construction.

 

Quantification and Cost Estimation: BIM software can extract quantities and measurements from MEP models, allowing for accurate cost estimation and material takeoffs. This helps in project budgeting and procurement processes.

 

Analysis and Simulation: BIM tools provide simulation capabilities to analyze MEP systems' performance, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Engineers can simulate airflow, lighting, HVAC systems, and energy usage to optimize design and make informed decisions.

 

Documentation and Communication: BIM facilitates the generation of detailed construction documentation, including drawings, schedules, and specifications

What are the benefits of adopting BIM for MEP engineering?

1. Enhanced Collaboration: BIM enables better collaboration between MEP engineers, architects, contractors, and other stakeholders, improving coordination and reducing conflicts.

 

2. Improved Efficiency: BIM streamlines MEP workflows, reducing errors, rework, and project delays. It allows for faster design iterations and facilitates efficient decision-making.

 

3. Clash Detection: BIM's clash detection capabilities help identify and resolve conflicts between MEP systems and other building elements before construction, saving time and costs.

 

4. Cost Savings: BIM enables accurate quantity takeoffs, cost estimation, and material optimization, leading to cost savings during the construction process.

 

5. Performance Analysis: BIM allows for simulation and analysis of MEP systems, optimizing energy efficiency, sustainability, and overall performance.

 

6. Improved Documentation: BIM automates the generation of detailed construction documentation, reducing errors and improving communication between project teams.

Which Autodesk software enables BIM for MEP engineers?

  1. Autodesk Revit: Revit is comprehensive BIM software that allows MEP engineers to create detailed 3D models of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Revit also is used by architects and structural engineers, facilitating coordination across the disciplines.
  2. Autodesk Navisworks: Navisworks is a powerful project review software that enables clash detection and coordination between different disciplines, including MEP. It allows for the integration and visualization of MEP models with other building components, facilitating collaboration and clash resolution.
  3. Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro: BIM 360 is a cloud-based collaboration platform provided by Autodesk that facilitates collaboration and coordination among project stakeholders. It allows MEP engineers to share and access BIM models, documents, and project data in real-time.

Why is BIM important for MEP engineers?

  • Coordination and Clash Detection: BIM lets MEP engineers collaborate with other disciplines, such as architects and structural engineers, to detect clashes and conflicts between MEP systems and other building elements. This early clash detection helps avoid costly rework during construction.
  • Visualization: BIM provides 3D modeling capabilities, allowing MEP engineers to visualize and understand the spatial relationships of MEP systems within a building. This helps in identifying design issues and optimizing system layouts for better functionality and efficiency.
  • Improved Efficiency: BIM streamlines MEP workflows by automating tasks, enabling faster design iterations, and facilitating better decision-making. This leads to increased efficiency, reduced errors, and improved project timelines.
  • Performance Analysis: BIM software offers simulation and analysis tools that allow MEP engineers to assess the performance of MEP systems, including energy usage, lighting, and HVAC performance. This enables optimization for energy efficiency, sustainability, and occupant comfort.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: BIM encourages collaboration and coordination among project stakeholders. MEP engineers can easily share and exchange information with architects, contractors, and other team members, improving communication and reducing misunderstandings.
  • Documentation and Data Management: BIM facilitates the generation of accurate and detailed construction documentation, including drawings, schedules, and specifications. It also provides a centralized platform for managing project data, ensuring easy access to information throughout the project lifecycle.

How does BIM contribute to cost efficiency in MEP coordination?

BIM contributes to cost efficiency in MEP coordination through clash detection, improved coordination, accurate quantity takeoffs, value engineering, efficient design iterations, and enhanced communication.

How can BIM be integrated into the ongoing maintenance of MEP systems?

  • Asset Management: BIM can serve as a central repository for information about MEP assets, including equipment specifications, maintenance schedules, and warranty details. This helps facility managers and maintenance teams easily access and manage information related to MEP systems.
  • Maintenance Planning: BIM models can be utilized to develop comprehensive maintenance plans for MEP systems. By incorporating information about equipment lifespan, recommended maintenance tasks, and historical data, facility managers can schedule preventive maintenance and optimize resource allocation.
  • Visualization and Documentation: BIM models provide visual representations of MEP systems, making it easier for maintenance teams to understand their layout and configuration. BIM can be used to generate updated as-built documentation, including drawings, equipment locations, and specifications, to assist in maintenance activities.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: BIM enables the collection and analysis of data from MEP systems, such as sensor readings or performance metrics. This data can be used to identify trends, assess system performance, and make data-driven decisions regarding maintenance strategies and optimizations.
  • Retrofit and Renovation Planning: BIM models can be utilized during retrofit or renovation projects to assess the impact on existing MEP systems. By simulating changes in the BIM model, facility managers can evaluate potential clashes, modifications, and required upgrades before implementation, reducing disruptions and costs during the maintenance phase.

Can you share some examples where MEP firms benefited from BIM?

  • MEP firms using BIM have experienced enhanced collaboration and coordination with other project stakeholders, such as architects, contractors, and structural engineers. This has resulted in smoother project execution, reduced clashes, and improved overall project outcomes.
  • BIM's clash detection capabilities have allowed MEP firms to identify and resolve clashes between MEP systems and other building components early in the design phase. This proactive approach has minimized rework and avoided costly on-site modifications during construction.
  • BIM has helped MEP firms achieve cost savings through accurate quantity takeoffs, optimized material usage, and streamlined construction processes. By leveraging BIM's capabilities for quantity estimation and value engineering, firms have been able to identify cost-effective solutions and reduce unnecessary expenses.
  • BIM software enables MEP firms to create and modify designs efficiently, facilitating design iterations and evaluations. This iterative process has allowed for quick adjustments, improved system layouts, and optimized MEP designs, resulting in time and cost savings.
  • BIM's 3D modeling capabilities have provided MEP firms with enhanced visualization of MEP systems, aiding in better communication with clients, contractors, and other stakeholders. Clear visual representations have improved understanding and decision-making, reducing errors and rework.
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