What is MEP in Construction?

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Overview of Terms

  • MEP is a term usually used by countries such as Finland, Spain and Indonesia.
  • Building Services is a term usually used by countries such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
  • M&E is a term commonly used in Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.


What is MEP?

MEP is an abbreviation for “Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing.”

MEP engineering is the science of planning, designing, and managing a building’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems. Those are the competencies that a typical MEP design firm specialises in. They help with equipment selection, budgeting, construction supervision, documentation, building management, and building maintenance.

MEP systems are often grouped together due to the high degree of interaction between various systems. By combining these systems together, equipment location conflicts during construction can be avoided.

MEP systems are the brains of every building. They make the building habitable by ensuring there are features and systems to make it comfortable and habitable. MEP systems also ensure that the building has safety features such as sprinklers or hose reels in the event of a fire.




The mechanical systems of a building, particularly the heating and cooling systems, contribute to a more comfortable interior environment. These technologies are known as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). HVAC enables us to occupy buildings in extreme heat and cold, as well as in all types of weather. HVAC systems maintain temperatures and humidity levels within a range that provides comfort to the occupants.

Meanwhile, mechanical ventilation also ensures that sufficient fresh air is supplied to keep pollutant concentrations at low and safe levels. Mechanical ventilation is also pertinent to ensure that CO2 levels are within the acceptable ranges as set by international standards. Insufficient and improper mechanical systems can cause sick building syndrome, thus taking a toll on one’s health.

Mechanical installations perform best when the equipment capacity is adequate. Over engineering, contrary to common assumption, have several detrimental repercussions. Oversized chillers and boilers tend to cycle quickly, leading them to wear out faster while simultaneously producing interior temperature differences. The other unintended effect of over engineering in mechanical systems is poor indoor humidity regulation.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends maintaining the humidity levels between 40%-60%. This humidity level obtains the highest level of occupancy satisfaction while minimising the growth of airborne germs and viruses.

Subsequently, other types of ventilation include natural ventilation. Read more in our blog post Green Building: Louvers in Natural Ventilation.



The electrical systems of a building keep the lights turned on, the electronics charged, and the rest of the systems working in tandem. The design and planning of electrical systems are an important part of the electrical engineering process.

One of the most arduous aspects of electrical design in multi-story, high-rise buildings is determining the best conduit and wiring paths. Electrical engineers also design electrical circuits and protection measures, enabling various equipment to run continuously and safely.



Plumbing is any system that allows fluids to flow, often involving pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other equipment. Plumbing requires laying out complex routes for pipes. High-rise structures require electric water booster pumps to supply water.

Plumbing systems are heating and cooling, waste disposal, potable cold and hot water supply, rainfall recovery and treatment systems, and fuel gas pipelines.



The Imperative Role of MEP


Preliminary Diagnostics

MEP engineers will add value throughout the building process, from schematic design and administration to post-occupancy surveys. They play a significant role throughout the process, helping to maximise investment through a wide range of services such as building evaluation, system diagnostics and feasibility studies.


Effective Collaboration

They will collaborate with architects, building owners, and other contractors throughout the duration of a project, including during the earliest planning and survey stages. Following an evaluation of the suggested site, a preliminary design is created and revised in collaboration with the architect’s ideas. They will also work with the pre-construction and project management teams to ensure that all services are carried out as efficiently as possible.


Water Conservation

Water conservation is critical in all parts of the world, from dry desert areas where water is scarce to tropical areas where water is abundant. It is the obligation of everyone to protect the available limited water resources. Given that water leakage accounts for a significant portion of water waste, simple approaches such as touch-free faucets, low-flow toilets and dual-flush toilets can increase water efficiency before deploying the more sophisticated water conservation solutions.



MEP services are almost usually required when the three domains of MEP design and execution overlap. Building automation is a growing service that includes all areas of MEP engineering, allowing for centralised hardware and software networks that control HVAC, security, fire alarms, interior and outdoor lighting, and many other key building activities. MEP engineers help to prevent delays, confusion, revisions, and redrafting throughout the early phases of a building project.


If you are looking for more information or resources, reach out to our team of engineers. We will gladly assist you. Visit our homepage or call us at +603 7955 5918.

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