MEP 101 Series

4 AIA Learning Units
(GHT-MEP-022414 | 
GHT-MP-022414 | GHT-E-022414 | GHT-SS-022414)

Today’s high performance buildings and tenant spaces are complex environments, and the successful integration of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems requires close collaboration and an informed team. This four-part educational series provides partners in the building industry with relevant knowledge on MEP system
features, design and coordination challenges, and proven solutions. Topics include:

  • Session 1: Process and Planning
  • Session 2: Mechanical and Plumbing Systems
  • Session 3: Electrical and Fire Alarm Systems
  • Session 4: Special Spaces

Senior engineers from GHT will lead in-depth discussions on the unique design and planning considerations for these elements. Each session will also address RFP language, codes, cost cutting versus value engineering, and sustainable design and LEED topics specific to the discipline being covered.

Process and Planning

The process and planning session will focus on how to best plan to involve MEP engineers based on the scale and complexity of a project. It will also stress the importance of communication and coordination to achieve a successful project.

  • Learning Objective 1: Understand how MEP needs and considerations should be incorporated into project planning from start to finish
  • Learning Objective 2: Recognize how project complexity impacts the timing and need to involve an MEP engineering consultant
  • Learning Objective 3: Identify the benefits of including an MEP engineer prior to the start of design, including impacts on pre-lease building evaluations and space planning
  • Learning Objective 4: Learn why MEP engineers should remain involved in the project after the conclusion of design

Mechanical and Plumbing

An overview of common mechanical systems, with pros, cons and pricing of each will be provided. The session will also feature information about supplemental systems, airflow requirements, ventilation air and codes. Examples of common mistakes and how they can be avoided by communication and coordination will be discussed.

  • Learning Objective 1: Learn basic concepts of the refrigeration cycle
  • Learning Objective 2: Recognize components of typical mechanical systems
  • Learning Objective 3: Differentiate HVAC needs of perimeter and interior zones
  • Learning Objective 4: Understand how to avoid common problems that lead to tenant complaints after occupancy


An overview of basic power requirements for typical commercial office interiors will be provided. The presenter will also explain how to read and understand an electrical panel schedule on a set of drawings. Other topics will include lighting, power for systems furniture, energy code requirements, controls, daylight dimming, fire alarms and sub-metering.

  • Learning Objective 1: Learn what information must be obtained in regards to a building tenant’s access to the existing power supply in the building and how additional capacity can be obtained if needed
  • Learning Objective 2: Recognize the difference between roles played by electrical engineers and lighting designers
  • Learning Objective 3: Read and understand an electrical panel
  • Learning Objective 4: Understand basic fire alarm requirements within tenant spaces

Special Spaces

An overview of how to approach non-typical portions of an office fitout will be provided. These can include LAN/server rooms, data centers, and operation centers that require supplemental systems to ensure 24/7 operation and availability. The session will also cover other spaces that typically require supplemental system design, such as conference centers, fitness centers, and commercial kitchens. Other topics include how the inclusion of these spaces can affect above ceiling coordination, code compliance, and the pursuit of LEED.

  • Learning Objective 1: Identify types of spaces that require additional attention and high levels of coordination between the architect, engineer, and specialty consultants
  • Learning Objective 2: Understand how the properties of special spaces can require additional HVAC and electrical support that may not be included in the capacity of the existing base building systems
  • Learning Objective 3: Learn how to position special spaces within a typical office environment to accommodate HVAC, electrical, plumbing, security, and acoustic requirements
  • Learning Objective 4: Recognize what additional HVAC, electrical, and plumbing needs are dictated by specific types of special spaces, such as SCIFs, LAN rooms, conference centers, fitness centers and commercial kitchens