Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering, as used in the building trades, consists of HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), and plumbing / piping systems. It requires a solid understanding of the intent of a building and its’ functioning as defined by the Architect and the Owner. It is the responsibility of the mechanical engineer to integrate the appropriate equipment and systems into the building design. Consideration of functionality, efficiency and aesthetic values of the proposed mechanical systems without compromising the building or operation of the systems must be adhered too.

The entire building forms a functioning unit, where the mechanical systems provide the means to circulate fresh air, add heating and cooling, and maintain humidity as appropriate for the heath and comfort of the occupants. The plumbing and piping systems are designed to provide clean water and other necessary services.

The correctly applied and designed mechanical system should be invisible to the occupants. Equipment is remotely located to minimize any visible impact to the building structure. By working with other professional consultants, such as the architect, structural engineer and electrical engineer, the design and operation of the mechanical systems will result in a vibration and noise free installation while able to maintain proper environmental conditions within the building. With rising costs of materials and labor, it becomes even more important that the mechanical systems be designed at a reasonable first cost, while maintaining economical operating and maintenance expenses along with enhanced efficiency. Where appropriate, the use of renewable energy sources should be considered to supplement the use of nonrenewable energy sources.

With each type of building construction, there are considerations that guide the design of the mechanical systems. Generally, all systems are designed for environmental comfort and efficiency, although different types of building usage results in specific design priorities. In residential construction, the goal is to provide an efficient, aesthetically pleasing and quiet environment, relying on a minimum of specialized devices which will give the occupants control over the system without undue complexity.

In commercial applications, the design considerations are directed more along utilitarian standards. Commercial spaces have more environmental variables due to occupant and equipment density. Factors such as lighting levels, equipment generated heat, carbon dioxide build-up and fresh air requirements also influences the design of the mechanical systems.

For process, bio-tech, pharmaceutical, medical facilities, clean-rooms, industrial, electronics and manufacturing facilities, the need for flexibility and functionality supersedes the need for aesthetics. In these projects, the process requirements are paramount to the design and application of the mechanical systems. Such systems may include cooling of process equipment, enhanced air filtration, microbial removal, and the design of specialized gas and fluid systems, such as water-for-injection, and reverse osmosis.

In today’s global environment, it is imperative that the design of the mechanical systems be consistent with the use of the building, provide comfort conditions for the occupants, and perform efficiently while adhering to ever increasing environmental considerations.  

Mechanical Systems:

Mechanical Systems Design includes the environmental heating, air conditioning, ventilating and exhaust air systems. The type of system used depends on the function of the building, the environmental parameters to be maintained, and needs to be balanced with first costs and projected maintenance costs. Types of systems used includes the following:

Heat Pumps, split system and packaged type.
Gas fired heating and DX cooling, split system and packaged type.
Central Systems with constant volume, variable temperature controls.
Central Systems with variable volume, variable temperature controls.
Dust Collection Systems.
Energy Recovery Systems.
Process Cooling and Heating Systems.
Process Exhaust Air Systems.

Plumbing and Piping Systems:

Plumbing and Piping Systems design includes all piping necessary for domestic and process requirements.

Domestic Piping Systems:
Condensate drain.
Domestic cold and hot water piping systems.
Natural gas and Propane.
Sanitary sewer and vent piping.

Process Piping Systems:
Compressed Air Systems.
Chilled Water Systems.
Grease Waste piping.
Heating Hot Water Systems.
Special Gases, including Argon, Helium, Nitrogen, Oxygen.
Steam and Condensate Systems.
Trade waste and vent piping.
Vacuum Systems.