C+S February 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 2 (web)

the expected range of construction. Based on these objectives, the project’s preconstruction engineering and design phase has an esti- mated cost of $23.55 million. Projects such as these have been shouldered by the Army Corps of En- gineers for multiple centuries. That responsibility will continue, and in the future, USACE will depend even more than ever on the dedicated efforts of private sector partners.

MARY SCOTT NABERS is president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc., a business development company specializing in government contracting and procurement consulting throughout the U.S. Her recently released book, Inside the Infrastructure Revolution: A Roadmap for Building America, is a handbook for contractors, investors and the public at large seeking to explore how public-pri- vate partnerships or joint ventures can help finance their infrastructure projects.

Magic Happens When Engineering & Interior Design Converge

By Jayna Duke

An eye-catching Interior Design (ID) scheme is often the first thing people notice when walking through a new building. However, these visible elements are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating ideal environments for each project. The creative ways in which buildings continue to evolve generates myriad design opportunities that require close collaboration with the engineering team. In particular, proactive coordination with the project’s Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) engineers can generate more holistic solutions for optimizing building function and occupant well-being and productivity. A multitude of tools are available to facilitate this cooperation, includ-

Blue Hole Elementary School Library - The exposed MEP systems are incorporated into the design and add visual interest.

second approach is to expose MEP system elements in intentional ways that support the visual and educational emphasis of building systems. Collaboration between ID and MEP Engineering makes adopting either, or a combination, of these approaches much more effective. Careful consideration can be given to areas where ceilings, lights, and HVAC equipment will play an important role in transforming a space from the traditional into a unique environment that supports occupants beyond just basic functionality. While showcasing MEP elements is typically considered as an option for high-design or high- end spaces, even facilities that have smaller budgets can benefit from this type of coordination. In many cases, when there are fewer design elements in a space the lack of coordination is amplified. For example, if an area’s primary opportunity to create a warm, re- flective feeling is through accent paint, a large air diffuser nearby can greatly detract from that goal. Working together, the ID and MEP teams can identify alternative locations for systems with the poten- tial to impact the visual dynamics of a space. Small adjustments can

ing widely-used technology and modeling programs. When Interior Designers and MEP engineers work together, the solutions are sig- nificantly better for the entire project and the people it supports. “A new building is not just about finishes and furniture. Each project must integrate both designand engineering teams to create a beauti - ful, effective, efficient structure. Designers make the building beauti- ful, but engineers make it run.” -Jill Ross, Lake Belton High School The Possibilities When Interior Design and MEP systems are envisioned together, ideas are more likely to become reality. It is important to note that there are two general strategies for incorpo- rating MEP systems into the architectural elements and interior design of a building. The first approach is to conceal MEP systems in areas where architectural elements are the primary visual focus, and the MEP system components may detract from the overall design aesthetic. The



February 2022

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