M&E Validation Surveys – What They Are and Why They Matter
Considering a new fit out or construction project? Worried about the potential for hidden costs and unexpected extras? Read on to find out how the most experienced companies effectively manage and minimise this risk through use of a Mechanical and Electrical Validation Survey.
When Should You Conduct an M&E Validation Survey?
To ensure risk is managed as effectively as possible, a validation of the building services should be performed as early as possible in the project. This is so that any problems can be identified and incorporated into the specification early on. For fit out and construction projects, this will be at pre-contract stage after initial conception. Where a tenant is seeking to occupy a space, it is advised to carry out intrusive due-diligence inspections before signing any lease agreements.
This is necessary to ensure that all existing plant and equipment is performing in accordance with the base building design criteria. This can be particularly important if you are taking on space that will require extensive modification to the existing services.
This can save you from costly mistakes and potential disputes, which are sadly all too common in the M&E industry.
What Exactly is an M&E Validation Survey?
A building services validation is an inspection of plant and installations to assess three main criteria- Physical Condition, Compliance, and Capacity. The test would typically be performed on buildings scheduled to be fitted out or altered to Cat A or B standard. It includes taking readings and recording comprehensive data on all existing mechanical, electrical and controls systems.
The Condition of building services is a common focus of a validation report with a view to advising the client on the level of remedial work that will be required to restore an installation to a serviceable condition. This may include advice on the life expectancy of plant, with recommendations for replacement where necessary, to aid designers with specifying equipment for refurbishment projects.
Compliance reporting is particularly important for clients looking to occupy a space where existing building services are to be retained or altered to suit a new layout or level of occupation. Identifying any areas of potential non-compliance will enable clients to include remedial works into refurbishment contracts and align existing installations with industry and HSE regulations.
For clients seeking to extend an existing system, or increase occupation of a space, a key consideration will be the available Capacity of the building services. Measuring the expected demand on a system and comparing this against the available capacity can provide essential information for future expansion and support budgets/specifications for upgrading supplies or main items of plant. Failing to determine the available capacity of these services will likely result in costly ramifications post-completion if not identified and addressed at the design stage for the project.
Interested? Want to know more?
Contact Integra today with your project validation requirements – we’ll be happy to help.
Still unsure? Just look at this recent experience to see how this one validation survey made a 7-figure difference for one client:
On a recent project for a high profile retailer, the client appointed a consultant who condemned the full existing mechanical system and recommended it be completely replaced. This obviously had significant cost implications, so Integra recommended carrying out a validation survey to see if anything could be done with the existing system.
On receiving the instruction to proceed with this, Integra identified some minor upgrades that would allow the system to be retained and extend the useful service life by another 10-15 years. This saved the client over £1Million!