A few years ago, I was the architect for a very large remodel of a very established Arlington church. The buildings were completed over a time frame of 75 years.
We started the process by having meetings with all the leaders in the church and the church staff. A major element of the work involved demolishing interior areas of the original 1946 building. There was a lot of discussion of what needed to happen for the new space program and functions of the spaces. At one point I asked a question as to how the architect/ engineer (AE) team was suppose the handle the MEP portion of the project. The Senior Pastor of the church said..,” Terry, what is an MEP?” This was received with a bit of laughter, but I explained to him it was the Mechanical (HVAC), Electrical and Plumbing systems of the building. He immediately understood that the MEP of a building was critical to the functionality of the new spaces to be created. He was correct.
The Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing or MEP systems of a building are vital to the function and long-term viability of a building. Those systems must be engineered correctly if a building is to be utilized properly in the 21st century. The energy uses and sustainability of the building are directly linked to the design of the MEP systems. The great majority of architects hire a consulting engineer to create, design and detail these various systems within the building. The Mechanical system or HVAC system must be designed to keep the occupants of the building spaces within a range of comfort for temperature, humidity, and air quality. The Electrical system must provide the proper levels and quality of light depending on the use of a room. The Electrical system must also provide the power for lights, mechanical components, and equipment in the building. The Plumbing system must provide water delivery, waste elimination, fixtures for human use, water heating and water conditioning. The Plumbing system also usually provides for the removal of storm water from the roof. Each of these systems must meet a certain legal code standard to pass city review and inspection.