The overall scope of mechanical engineering for commercial buildings includes the flow of air and liquid along with transferring heat to where it is needed or to where it can be rejected. Properly designed mechanical systems create energy efficient facilities that are safe for the people within them.
Photo Reference: General Mills
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning starts with capacity planning and includes all equipment selection, pipe sizing and coordination studies with all other trades. HVAC engineering includes working closely with local code officials and published standards to ensure the buildings designed are safe, healthy and comfortable.
Engineering of plumbing systems is more than designing piping that will move the fluid to its desired location, it encompasses the complete building design to provide the client with reliable hot and cold water supplies, eco-friendly fixtures, and code compliant storm and waste water systems.
Medical Gas Piping
Hospitals, clinics and medical facilities of all kinds require a number of gas types in an even higher number of areas. Every hospital room in a specialized wing requires identical wall mounted gas connection assemblies because in a crisis situation, the patent’s safety relies on the medical staff’s ability to quickly find the correct medical gas required for the solution.
A fully engineered fire protection system is much more than adding a few sprinkler heads in the ceiling, it requires complete coordination throughout the design and construction process. This includes discussions with Architectural, Electrical, fire alarms, insurance underwriters, risk managers, and code officials. Quality fire protection design demands full knowledge of all applicable building codes and assessments of material types and densities used throughout the facility.
With everything from fume hoods to paint spray booths, the design of the HVAC system is crucial to the quality of the laboratory test results. When toxic chemicals are required in a client’s facility, it is the job of the HVAC engineer to ensure the employees working with those chemicals remain unharmed from both airborne and spray back conditions.
Clean Room certification relies heavily upon an HVAC engineer who completely understands the requirements for air change rates, filtration and room velocity. When a client requires a clean room of a specific ISO rating, if the specifications are not met at every minute of their process, products may become defective or contaminated leading to lost revenue, user safety concerns and a large audit.
In restaurant, food service and food prep areas it is crucial to provide a properly exhausted area with code compliant hand and dish washing sinks and equipment. Because the food industry is heavily regulated, proper engineering of these systems is requires to follow code requirements, while keeping employees and customers safe.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a design approach providing the construction team with more detailed documents from which to build. BIM can provide the Owner with a real time document, commonly referred to as a 3D model that can be used by facilities to manage current and future systems.
Revit MEP is a technology MCE has integrated into numerous projects. Revit MEP performs advanced calculations and facilitates project coordination and quality control between design team stakeholders. Revit allows the visualization of complex models and quickly detects system interference between objects. The dynamic sectioning process allows us to create multiple sections with a complex design so that we are able to more easily convey design intent. Revit provides a platform for a simultaneous design process and a unique work environment structure that fosters collaborative project development.
Navisworks, much like Revit, imports all discipline models to create a single collaborative 3D model. A benefit of using Navisworks is it affords you the ability to run clash detection between disciplines for coordination of design elements. With Navisworks, a perspective can be created that allows our client to see how their building will look inside and out before construction starts.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
MCE uses two different programs for CFD modeling. Both of these programs are design tools provide the ability to analyze and predict airflow graphically during the design phase of a project. These graphical results show temperatures, pressures and air velocities throughout an entire region. The Tileflow program is used for modeling airflow in mission critical environments. This tool can perform growth modeling to predict hotspots and trouble areas in advance as well as failure analysis to model cooling performance if a cooling component fails. The MicroFlow Application within IES-VE is another program that can be used for unique airflow analysis situations outside of mission critical projects. MicroFlo calculates the air flow and heat transfer inside and outside buildings given minimal information. This allows MircoFlo CFD to be utilized and provide feedback early in the design process and influence decision making.