MEP Masterminds: Prefabrication, MEP Construction and MEP Force Conversation

by | Oct 6, 2020 | All

During the October 1 episode of MEP Masterminds, James Simpson, “Mastermind of the Month,” reflected on the MEP Force 2020 Virtual conference. “Those three days were slam packed,” he said. “I’ve been thinking through some of the tidbits that came from that event.”

Although Applied Software plans to sponsor next year’s MEP Force 2021 conference in person in San Antonio, the virtual event was a resounding success, with over 1,300 registrants from six countries and four continents.

During the Amy Marks keynote address, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) trades were reminded that they have a much bigger role to play on construction projects nowadays. As MEP software continues to improve, and more and more companies make the move to Revit in order to utilize building information modeling (BIM), trades contractors can be increasingly involved early in the process with electrical design and mechanical design, rather than being brought in toward the end of the project. Because of schedule issues and safety requirements, Marks emphasized that prefabrication has become critically important to getting jobs done on time and within budget.  

The partnership announcement among Autodesk, eVolve MEP and Stratus was good news to the industry. Promising full material management logistics and fabrication processes, the cooperation is not only symbolic for the industry, it is a fundamental step in making it easier for CAD users to migrate to BIM. Simpson pointed out that contractors are becoming overwhelmed by technology, and this partnership was initiated to bring the contractor a higher quality of work life.

Simpson said the technology highlighted at each year’s MEP Force is more and more exciting. “We can collect information from these classes about technology,” he said, “and what’s exciting about next year is there will be all new information.” Simpson said the topics covered during MEP Force are useful when the lessons learned can be leveraged. “Don’t let the idea die at the conference,” he said.

Simpson urged a growth mindset for companies. “The industry is progressing rapidly, and we need to progress just as rapidly to keep up,” he reminded. Many contractors find it difficult to stray from processes they know will work. Yet that’s exactly what’s needed to stay competitive. He also pointed out that sharing issues and solutions among attendees is a hallmark of MEP Force. “If we want to improve as a whole, we have to share intel where we can and where it makes sense.” From an industry standpoint, Simpson said that sometimes it hurts everyone if we safeguard the information we have and don’t share our lessons learned. From that perspective on MEP Force 2020, Simpson said, “I think it was worth it. I think it was a great event.”

You can partake of MEP Force 2020 breakout sessions on demand at the Applied Software MEP Force web page. Learn from your peers, take advantage of real-world opportunities to get the most out of the latest technology, and glean from lessons learned. In addition you can see which prefabrication trends will affect your MEP business the most.

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