Even just a few years ago, an M&E specialist consultant was a fairly unusual addition to a smaller-scale project team – with responsibility for the design of HVAC and other building services systems often falling to the sub-contractor tasked with the installation. But thanks to the greater demands of planning departments (and indeed legislation) when it comes to energy efficiency, projects are becoming more technically complex, and often the best value option is to engage an M&E specialist right from the earliest stages.
You might think that adding an additional consultant to the project team would increase costs, but in fact it makes sound financial sense:
- Although fees for building services design may be perceived as ‘extra’, they often aren’t really additional – design/build contracts generally have an allowance for this built in to the total amount.
- Early engagement of an M&E specialist consultant will help ensure schemes make it through planning more speedily and easily (with fewer amendments, which can be expensive).
- Where an M&E installer is given responsibility for building services design, the solutions are often devised at a later stage in the build, and time pressures (especially if there are delays due to equipment lead times) either lead to compromises being made, or additional expense.
- Installers are often not experienced in designing installations which both meet energy efficiency demands and are well-integrated into the building design – if the end result is not fit for purpose, more money must be spent to put it right.
Of course, not all consultants are equal; it’s important to get the right mix of skills, experience and accreditation to complement the existing project team. M&E specialist consultants who are only used to working on large schemes may suggest overly complex solutions for a small project (which may exceed budget or be expensive to run), while some energy consultants who offer early stage performance ratings don’t do specification work or site inspections.
At AJ Energy Consultants we cover it all. We have the benefit of all work being overseen by our Managing Director, John Simpson, who is a Chartered Engineer and full member of CIBSE, with many years of building services design experience. We can offer M&E specialist consultancy for projects of all sizes, from pre-planning M&E strategies to post-planning performance duties (including compliance), and a complete design service.
To find out more about our M&E consultancy service, please call us on 01206 266755 or email email@example.com.