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Why 3D MEP Coordination is a Better Option than 2D MEP Coordination?

MEP coordination identifies and resolves multidisciplinary clashes among various disciplines such as architectural, structural, MEP before the initial stages of design before actual construction starts. A clash-free MEP 3D BIM Model results in reduced rework, thereby saving construction time and cost for stakeholders.

One of the major challenges for complex buildings and industrial plants is the coordination of various components of MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing). Coordinating various disciplines including architectural, structural, MEP is time-consuming and expensive and requires knowledge regarding each system over the project life cycle.

According to Korman and Huey-King’s report, almost 60% of the cost of a building depends on the Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing systems. These are active parts of the building and are really crucial to building construction.

However, there occurs a significant problem when such systems are not properly coordinated. For instance, say if there is overlap in coordination points; it leads to diverse problems like wastage of materials, labor, or financial issues. When clashes are identified and resolved during the initial stages of design, owners, contractors, and stakeholders can save millions on construction costs.

Contracting companies prefer to outsource their MEP requirement to trusted BIM service providers in order to ensure clash-free and coordinated 3D MEP BIM models. Effective MEP coordination requires recalling and integrating knowledge regarding the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of each MEP system.

What is 2D MEP coordination and the issues facing them?

In a typical 2D MEP coordination, the design consultant is in-charge to create the manual design of the building. Later, the sub-contractors involve themselves in creating MEP specific designs. The drawings include sections of the ceiling space where the MEP systems will be placed.

Based on the completed drawings the contractor will try to visualize and see if there are potential clashes. In 2D MEP, the coordination activity happens during the construction process; any modifications also take place during this phase.

2D MEP Coordination Drawings

Challenges of 2D MEP coordination

The 2D MEP coordination isn’t automated to identify the clashes, as a result, the contractors need to rely on their personal experience to ensure proper coordination

  • Since the ceiling heights differ proportionately, it becomes difficult to visualize the overall coordination
  • The 2D MEP coordination does not offer sufficient data to understand the impact of building architectural & structural elements over the MEP system.
  • The 2D drawings make it difficult to communicate with other team members.
  • Also, changes in design are difficult to incorporate into the drawings.

How 3D MEP coordination is different as compared to 2D MEP?

The 3D MEP coordination is a sophisticated method for effective coordination. Another important fact, through this coordination it is easier to communicate with the team and work in a collaborative fashion. The features of the 3D MEP coordination like visual orientation and collaborative approach ensures an effective design process.

Diagram of 3D MEP model showing visuals for clash-free designs

3D MEP Coordination

The 3D MEP coordination offers many benefits compared to the 2D model.

The architecture models are created using BIM software and the 3D MEP models are superimposed to check for clashes. The geometry intersection method in the software helps to detect the clashes.

  • The advanced capability of the software allows orbiting the clash points to gain an in-depth understanding.
  • Once the clashes are identified; it is time to resolve them while keeping the design intent and functionality intact.
  • After the successful creation of 3D MEP BIM models, corresponding drawings are extracted from the software.
  • Duplicate efforts are avoided since changes to the building plan are automatically updated in the software.

Benefits of 3D MEP coordination

  • Get clash-free 3D models
    Coordinated 3D models are created for various disciplines including architecture and structural and MEP components of the building. Based on the 3D models, Autodesk Navisworks software is used to check for clashes and later generate a clash detection report. The clashes are resolved by making the necessary alternative changes in the BIM model for clash-free designs.
  • MEP coordination saves time
    Imagine if the MEP drawings consist of clashes and you find them during the process of construction. This results in wastage of time and cost as it is better to identify such errors earlier in the construction activity.
    Therefore, 3D MEP BIM services become essential to save project rework and labor time.
  • Easy inter-disciplinary collaboration
    Using the BIM software, a collaboration between project team members becomes easier. As a result, the design process can become transparent and everyone can have a better understanding of the building project.
    Early collaboration during the design phase eliminates the design errors and makes them more effective.
  • Saving on construction costs
    Through the BIM modeler, you have the privilege to build twice to reduce possible errors. Firstly, in the form of a design model and later in the physical form on-site.
    Using this technique, it is possible to resolve the building contentions before the construction process actually begins. As a result, there is far less wastage in terms of construction materials and money savings too.

Clash free 3D MEP model saves $7million in 6 months

A general contracting company needed a clash-free MEP BIM model for its office buildings, passenger terminals, South Tier, North Tier of an Airport in Oman.

The BIM experts at Hitech CADD Services delivered a clash-free coordinated MEP BIM model created in Revit with clash detection reports in Navisworks. The client was able to save $7 million in 6 months and 100% of MEP systems were installed with zero change orders due to diminished field conflicts. Read the full case study >>

  • Reduction in material waste
    3D MEP coordination produces clash-free designs that help to reduce the material waste during construction.


This illustrates the efficacy of 3D MEP coordination over the 2D model and the importance of MEP elements in a structural building. However, the 2D model can be utilized to map the coordinates, but the 3D model is highly preferred. The 3D BIM model ensures proper visualization and collaboration between professionals for a hassle-free construction process. It is evident that utilizing advanced BIM software saves valuable time and effort.

Hitech CADD Services are available for construction professionals to benefit from clash-free building designs. Feel free to contact us for any inquiries.

Hitech CADD Services
Trusted CAD services company; delivering outsource CAD drafting, 3D design, and BIM services to architectural, engineering, and construction sectors across USA, UK, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

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