Building Services Engineering

Building services engineering is also known as M&E, MEP, or Building systems engineering (BSE). It is an engineering discipline responsible for the design, installation, and monitoring of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system incorporated in a modern building in other to achieve a comfortable indoor environment. This engineer provides value-added services to ensure sustainability and high quality of living for the building occupants.
Building services engineers are responsible for ensuring that the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing aspects of buildings perform effectively and efficiently by working closely with other construction professionals such as architects, structural engineers, and quantity surveyors.

Although Building services engineering was not initially recognized as a profession. However, as the range of services required in our modern buildings is continuously expanding, the design process for infrastructure must be planned appropriately and organized based on codes and safety standards. There is an urge for professionals who solemnly study these services in other to achieve user or occupant needs.

Based on this, building services engineering encompasses three professionals with different certifications. Mechanical engineers who are to take up the mechanical services such as HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and Air Conditioning), energy supply, Elevators, and Escalators, etc., Electrical engineers who all the electrical features, lighting, power supply, automation, and security systems are directed too and a Plumbing engineer who is to take up all piping process and in most cases are also mechanical professionals.

1- Education

building services engineer needs an engineering degree in an area such as building services engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, architectural engineering, or any closely-related subject. At the educational level, building services engineering as a department offers an extensive course outline for students. In contrast, students of other fields such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and plumbing engineering need to undertake the industry-academic route as only a few related courses are taught in school.

Certifications and accreditations by appropriate professional bodies are also required, such as the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineering (CIBSE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE).

Knowledge of the basic Building Codes and standards, understanding of Green Building practices, etc., are also required.

2- Building Services Engineering Software

The industry began with sketching and hand calculation methods but has now progressed. Many building services firms use computer-aided engineering software programs either in-house or by external parties to assist in their system design and analysis. Software used in the industry today includes

  • The general and modeling software, AutoCAD, MagiCAD, etc., for drafting. Revit, Naviswork, FINE MEP Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), DDS CAD, Cymap Building Services Software, Hevacomp for drawing, coordination, and visualization. Likewise, Microsoft Excel for arithmetical and scheduling operations.
  • Electrical software; DIALux, Elite light, Chalmite, Relux Informatik AG Trevos for Lighting planning and design. AMTECH Power Software for Electrical design and verification, discrimination studies, and quick cable calculations.
  • Mechanical software; Carrier HAP for Calculating building HVAC loads, sizing mechanical equipment, perform hourly analysis of the building. Elevate for Elevator traffic analysis and simulation software, and Autofluid, which is mainly used for configuring, drawing, and dress installation drawing.

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