MEP Engineering

With SES,
Owners know what they’re getting,
how long it will take, and what it will cost
before construction begins. SES offers:

  • Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering
    – Clearly-Defined Deliverables
    – Realistic Budgets
  • Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning
  • Construction Administration and Management

SES is committed to the design-build construction delivery model whereby our engineers work hand-in-hand with the contracting trades to provide a sensible solution for the owner. We are open-minded, flexible, and willing to consider all ideas. We anticipate problems, work through challenges, and seek team solutions. The involvement of contractors in the engineering process allows for innovation and creative problem-solving.

The fast track nature of the design-build delivery model makes ordering and delivery of equipment critical to meeting construction deadlines. As the design-build engineer, SES is often involved in selecting and assisting in ordering mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) equipment. Our goal is to find the correct balance of functionality, efficiency, maintainability and deliverability. Our responsibility is not only to design safe, reliable, efficient MEP systems, but also to be sensitive to the win-win goals of the owner and team.

Some of the systems we design include:


Heating, Ventilation and Air
Conditioning Systems (HVAC)

  • Central Plant Design
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Direct Digital Control
    (DDC) Systems
  • Chilled Water Systems
  • Heating Water Systems
  • Ground Source Heat
    Pump Systems
  • Outside Air Pretreatment and
  • Pool Dehumidification
  • Lab Fume Hood Systems
  • Energy Recovery Systems


Electrical Engineering Design
Power Distribution Systems

  • Interior and Exterior
  • Lighting Design
  • Photometric Analysis
  • Lightning Protection Systems
  • Fire Alarm Systems
  • Outlets and Raceway Systems
    for Voice and Data
  • Backup Power Generators
  • Uninterruptible Power Supplies
  • Dimming Systems
  • Special Grounding Systems


Plumbing  Systems Design

  • Domestic Cold & Hot Water
  • Domestic Waste and Vent
  • Fuel Gas Piping Systems
  • Storm Water Systems
  • Fixture Unit Analysis Calculations
  • Performance Specification of
    Automatic Sprinkler Systems
  • Lab Gas Systems
  • Medical Gas Systems
  • Compressed air systems
  • Vacuum Systems
  • Grease Interceptors

Clearly-Defined Deliverables

As an owner, have you ever engaged an engineering firm and been billed for conceptual drawings, or 50% or 80% drawings? Do you know what these descriptions mean?

Or if you’re a contractor, have you ever received 80% bid documents that had nothing but boxes and lines to nowhere?

At SES, our approach to MEP design is based on deliverables, not billable hours. We take as long as it takes to provide our customers with engineering solutions that have concrete outcomes.

  • Our permit drawings are submission-ready. We’ll even submit them for you.
  • Our budgets are, at worst, within +/- 20% because we actually draw the project and have our contracting partners estimate it BEFORE we give the owner a budget number.
  • Our bid documents are constructible, containing enough detail to require maximum price guarantees from all bidders. That means NO CHANGE ORDERS unless the owner requests a scope change or for circumstances that were impossible to know beforehand.
  • We can provide the coordination and as-built drawings to the chosen contractors so there are no interpretation mistakes.


  • Site visit
  • Scope of work meeting
  • Preliminary design report
  • Budget range for both engineering and construction


  • Full building system analysis and report

Conceptual Drawings

  • Site survey
  • Load calculations
  • Single line CAD drawings
  • Existing Architectural PDF to CAD conversion
  • Scanning services provided for existing physical drawings for owner. Client presented with CD of drawings for their records

+/- 20%

Design Permit Drawings

  • Generic elements and  layout drawings
  • Major equipment  selection calculations
  • Code compliance  review for scope of work
  • Permit form application process provided by SES
  • General duct and/or pipe sizing
  • Zoning Review (if required)
  • Outline Specifications
  • Professional Engineer stamped set of documents

+/- 10%

Constructible Documents

  • Complete set of constructible drawings including  CAD files
  • All equipment selections and schedules
  • Verification of any ventilation requirements being met
  • Review of all equipment clearances and dimensions
  • Completion of all work area load calculations
  • Final Specifications


Guaranteed Maximum Price

Construction Assist

  • Submittal/Shop Drawing Review
  • RFI (Request for Information) Review
  • Scope Review Checklist for Contractor Bidding Process
  • Pre-Bid Meeting Walk Through Assist
  • Contractor Bid Review Assist
  • Value Engineering  Review
  • Post Design Meetings
  • O&M Review

Construction Coordination

  • Fabrication Drawings
  • Purchasing of all equipment and materials
  • Crash Analysis (if applicable)
  • O&M manuals provided



  • As-built record drawings
  • Digital and hard copies provided to client

Additional Services Provided

  • Energy Analysis Report
  • Energy Calculations
  • DDC Upgrades review and drawings

Realistic Budgets

Have you ever been given a budget for your project only to have the price double when the bids came in? Then double again by the time construction is complete?

At SES we make certain we know the project in very thorough detail before we give the client a budget. We closely collaborate with the client to pursue a clear and shared objective: the right solution for every customer. Our approach means walking the corridors, climbing in ceilings, crawling through steam tunnels, and many meetings listening and sharing. In short, getting to know our clients’ challenges as well as they do. Then we begin the design process, frequently going through many iterations before settling on the solution that best serves our client’s needs. So, by the time we budget, we have a complete understanding of what we’re budgeting. Nothing is left to assumptions or chance.

Because it is typical for budgets to be created by professionals who have no actual construction experience, “square-footing” is a commonly-used budgeting methodology. For the past ten years or so, $25.00/sf has been used to budget the mechanical portion of a construction project. Costs have risen, but budgets have not, which leads to change orders, contractors being forced to cut corners or worse, the selection of sub-standard contractors. Our experience is that actual cost is currently around $34.00/sf and rising, but SES never square-foots a budget. Rather, we draw the project and estimate it. If the budget is more than you want to spend, we work to come up with a design that meets your ability to fund the project. You will always be working with realistic numbers, not what you want to hear, but what is true.

If your procurement policies require competitive bidding, we know up front where the bids should come in. We provide constructible bid documents that leave little or nothing to interpretation. We specify and get equipment pricing in advance so contractors can’t substitute lesser quality after award. In this way we can require all bidders to guarantee their price will not go up after construction begins. We try in every way to protect our clients from being trapped by the low-bid change-order process that is the norm in traditional construction projects today.