The MEP design and installation workflow involves a number of stakeholders and parties that are collectively responsible for overseeing a series of stages that will result in the building engineering (or building services) to be planned, designed, spatially coordinated, fabricated, installed, commissioned and maintained. Typically, the building services design stage follows the initial architectural design, from which point it can usually be designed in parallel with further architectural as well as structural design changes.
The engineering teams that typically design building services solutions are usually in one of two groups. The first group is typically the building designer, also known as the consultant engineer or the design engineer. It is the role of the design engineer to work closely with the architect to develop the overall building engineering elements including lighting, cooling, heating, drainage, waste, fire prevention and protection services. Traditionally, the design engineer will not be involved in the detailed spatial design of these services interior design hong kong. Instead the detailed spatial design and installation would normally be handled by the second party, known as the MEP contractor (M&E contractor) or trade contractor. The MEP or trade contractor is responsible for evolving the initial consultant design into a workable and installation-ready building services solution.
In some instances, there is also a third party involved – the fabricator, who will be responsible for creating MEP components such as ductwork or pipework elements or in some cases pre-fabricated solutions that consist of pipework, electrical ladder, plumbing, ductwork and sprinkler within a frame (module) that is delivered to site for installation in risers, plant rooms and corridors.
This article is concerned with the role of the MEP designer and MEP contractor, specifically, the focus for this article is to discuss how BIM (Building Information Modelling) has influenced the MEP design workflow between the designer and the contractor.
Why is flat design so popular? How did this come about and why did it catch on? In the age of social media anyone is a commentator and thus everyone has a theory and a soapbox from which to proclaim it. The amount of speculation and unsupported attribution is astounding. Many theories are to be found by anyone looking for answers.
To begin with, let us dismiss some of the easier targets, the theories put forth by people partaking of the ever popular “It must be so because I think it so” method. Theory: Graphic designers are busy – flat design is faster i.e. easier. This idea is nearly beneath comment. It is the kind of nonsense espoused by people who have little experience in the day-to-day world of getting professional work done. The fact of the matter is that the more fluff and ornamentation one has to work with, and the more external justification one can bring to bear on any work of art, the less scrutiny the real questions about choices and layout receive. A historical example will well illustrate this. We may like or dislike the David Carson / Raygun aesthetic (it is certainly outdated), but it will be immediately recognized to anyone who has worked in this style, that the irreverence is liberating. Impose a grid or golden mean based critique on such a work and what do you get? One finds few if any answers. The appeal of this and similar styles is the energy of the unrestrained creative process apparent in the finished work. While ‘harder vs. easier’ is a slippery slope we don’t want to venture upon, it is not reckless to go as far as saying that in any sort of art production, that irreverence is ‘easier’ than accuracy. Accurate attempts can be critiqued in terms of finite success, but abstraction and experimentation need to be critiqued in a less finite way.
Exceptionally simple styles must adhere to some guidelines to have power. The starkness puts the subtle relationships of colors in the palette out front; their success or failure cannot hide behind gradients, drop shadows and skeuomorphic faux-realism let alone the irreverent layouts and juxtapositions. Rhythm and balance are there, but they follow the rules they have adopted. To design well in a more conservative and functional style, a designer must pay exceptional attention to grids, guides, and proportions, as well as type choices, kerning, and color balance, or the design will display an awkwardness that is unsettled and lacking in gravity or stability. A designer working with fewer elements both on the micro level – no gradients or outlines or shadows, and the macro level – fewer items on the screen and more negative space, is forced to consider the details of each far more closely. The skeuomorph justifies itself – the button appears to be an actual button. It is the easy way out. This could not be more true than it is in the age of design kits; collections of ready made faux-real interface elements ready for drag-and-drop designers to do with what they will. The result has a built in appeal of polish and professionalism, and the client can see that it looks like what it is (supposed to be).