December 8, 2020

How to Choose the Right MEP Engineer

Finding the right MEP Engineer can be difficult. Here are some tips to consider.

Working with the right MEP engineering firm can not only your improve your building performance, but also your bottom line. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems help create useable spaces for their occupants but require large amounts of water and power, resulting in high utility costs. MEP systems should function at the most comical cost to their owners. At Cleary Zimmermann Engineers, we help our clients across all industries and markets achieve efficient, functional, and cost effective buildings..

How to Choose an MEP Engineering Firm

Choosing an MEP partner for your building projects is one of the keys to its long term success. Major decisions made early in schematic design help dictate the course of the design development, construction documents, and the final construction of the building as a whole. Strong leadership in both project management and design have a positive impact on both schedule and cost throughout the life of the project. Having a complete understanding of your MEP partner’s experience and portfolio can also build an effective working relationship. When choosing an MEP engineering firm for your project, the following are some key elements to consider:


Meeting deadlines is non-negotiable. Ensure your MEP engineering firm has the depth of staff or subconsultant resources to meet your project needs. Ask about their project management approach, scheduling systems, and ways they account for deadline changes.

Ability to Deliver within Budget

Though you might expect staying within budget to be a given, ask your potential MEP engineering firm about their history keeping projects within budget. Ask specificially the reason for any changes orders, which may range from increased scope and owner-requested changes to errors and ommissions. While there is never a perfect project, a solid history of projects completed within budget can give you a better sense of how your project will go.

Superb Communication Skills

While engineers may not have a reputation for being the most social type of people, the ability to communicate with clients, owners, and other design and construction team members is of utmost importance. Verbal, written, and video communication are all essential skills in which your MEP engineer needs not only fluency, but expertise. Don’t be afraid to call past clients to learn about their experience working with your preferred engineering firm.

Innovation and Creativity

So long pocket protectors! Today’s engineers need to be able to think creatively and innovate solutions that mat not seem immediately obvious. That’s the heart of an engineer’s job – to solve problems – so ask your MEP engineer to give examples of how they have solved problems similar to yours in the past. Then push harder, and ask what they would do if that wasn’t an option. See how they think through the problem to develop innovative solutions, even if they don’t have all of the answers immediately.

Collaboration and Cooperation

Above all, your MEP engineer is part of a design team. They must be willing and able to collaborate with the owner, client, architect, other engineering disciplines, general and subcontractors, and other community stake holders. Without this cooperation and when all of the disciplines are in silos, it is difficult to ensure smooth project delivery.

For all your San Antonio MEP engineering needs, call on the professionals at Cleary Zimmermann. Our portfolio of projects spans decades serving the building needs of Texans, and we have a background in nearly every industry and vertical. Let our team help with your engineering project today.