Smart Solutions

Take Advantage of Expert Advice for Mechanical Piping System Design

Planning Support Helps Reduce Waste and Save Time

“Measure twice, cut once” is perhaps the oldest adage in the construction industry. Companies like Grinnell Mechanical Products offer a technical services team of experts who work with engineers and contractors to think through every detail, and the result is improved project management that reduces scrap, decreases labor, and saves money. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of mechanical services.

Use the Right Tools and Technical Team to Avoid Rework

The second most familiar saying in construction is, “The devil is in the details.” Failing to attend to the minutiae can send your project spiraling over budget and past deadline. Rework costs your company in three different ways: you pay for twice the labor and twice the materials and get off schedule, causing a ripple effect that usually goes right to the bottom line.

Building information modeling (BIM) minimizes this risk. Using BIM, the services vendor and the design and engineering teams at the commercial construction company can expedite plan development and identify conflicts in project documents before they become problems on the jobsite.

When considering a mechanical services provider, look for a vendor that can provide BIM information in the most useful form possible. Grinnell Mechanical Services offers Virtual Layout Process, which lets companies identify interferences and space constraints before they become work-delay issues. Vendors should also be able to provide the data in multiple file formats, such as AutoCAD® and Revit®, to ensure that files can be shared with all subcontractors in the format that best suits their needs.

Your Technical Expert Should See the Big Picture

The mechanical design services provider can and should help companies stay on schedule and on budget with reporting that addresses every aspect of the build—not just the plumbing, HVAC, or electrical.

In a mechanical room, for example, a mechanical services team should help resolve conflicts by focusing on a systems approach. The plumbing component of a BIM plan, for instance, must address vents, drains, gauges, sensors, and other parts beyond the pipe. The plan should identify the right solution and provide system controls, so that one solution does not create a problem in a separate system.

Further, mechanical services providers should always recommend the best technology available for a system—not just their own products. The provider’s solution must be specific to the details of the situation. For example, a piping problem may need to be resolved with connections that are welded, flanged, pressed, or some combination thereof. A plan that employs just one type of solution is probably not the best solution and may result in a less efficient or more expensive system that will be difficult to maintain and repair over the long run. A quality mechanical services provider should also bring creativity and in-depth knowledge to problem resolution.

Ensure a Smooth Transition From Planning to Project Site

One of the most difficult steps in any job is moving it from the planning phase to the actual build site. Thousands of details can derail the process. A full-service vendor can provide a roadmap for the transition, as well as tagged cut-to-length materials that allow contractors to use less manpower, produce less scrap, and stay on schedule.

Your services provider should supply drawings and bill-of-materials documents that let supervisors eliminate multiple shipments, back orders, and overages. Pre-fitted materials, bagged, tagged, and delivered to the jobsite, increase productivity by 25 percent or more, minimizing change orders, field cutting, and scrap.

While costs for materials, handling, and labor continue to rise, schedules keep getting shorter, and good skilled labor keeps getting harder to find. Using BIM and 3D planning documents will enable engineers and job planners to save money and avoid rework. It’s the modern way to measure twice, cut once.

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