Hourigan

The Benefits of a MEP Systems Manager

06.18.19

Are you curious about the role of a MEP Systems Manager? A MEP Systems Manager manages the parts of a project related to mechanical, electrical and plumbing—focusing on budget and quality; the coordination of system design; and scheduling, installation, and commissioning. An individual in this role will be able to articulate and understand details of highly complex systems. By doing so, the owner is provided with pertinent information, which assures the owner that the project team has an understanding of what the owner wants and can deliver on their promise.

From beginning to end, the MEP Systems Manager assumes the role of liaison—linking the architect/engineer with the general contractor (GC) at the start of any Design/Build or Design/Bid/Build project. MEP Systems Managers carry the knowledge of engineers, but also possess an awareness of the needs and constraints of the contractor during the installation process. They can see through the clutter and help find a fair agreement between the GC and subcontractors when conflicts arise.

The MEP Systems Manager doubles as the negotiator. Since MEP Systems Managers have a background working closely with the MEP trades, it adds an extra layer of understanding to discussions that can become a little too “in-the-weeds” for a project manager (PM) who may not be as well-versed in these systems. It is critical that someone understands all elements of a project from a “big picture” perspective—from the engineer’s design to the reason a contractor may want to install systems differently. The nature of the position is to point out potential flaws on all sides, and work with the system teams to find the best solution. Having a MEP Systems Manager means that the GC’s PM can focus on the project and not the grit of MEP details.

At the end of the project, the MEP Systems Manager assists with project close-out. The end of a project always brings on the heart of commissioning and the Commissioning Agent. The MEP Systems Manager acts, again, as a liaison between the Commissioning Agent and the GC. They can inspect the installation and functionality of equipment prior to the Commissioning Agent setting foot on the project site, in some cases dramatically reducing the number of issues found by the Commissioning Agent.

All in all, having a MEP Systems Manager is critical in Design/Build and Design/Bid/Build projects to further enhance easy and effective communication across subcontractors. Increased communication across the fields leads to better solutions, and better solutions lead to successful projects.