A building’s plumbing system is more than just drainage and water supply. It’s a critical factor in the cost, efficiency, and quality of a construction project, not to mention the residents’ safety and quality of life. With so much riding on this component, building projects cannot afford to neglect having a plumbing engineer on their construction management team.
What are Plumbing Engineers?
Many people mistakenly think “plumbing engineer” is just a fancy term for a plumber. In general, a plumber maintains water-related systems by fixing a leaky pipe or a broken toilet. On the other hand, a plumbing engineer is a certified professional who designs all the gas- and water-related systems of a construction project.
Here’s a quick look at the responsibilities of a plumbing engineer during the early design stages of a new building:
- Verifies the efficiency of all hydro-related design and all pipe connections
- Checks the quality of all materials for the plumbing system
- Designs hot and cold water systems in the most sustainable way possible
- Creates a stormwater management system
- Designs the entire building’s sewer system
- Helps develop fire retardant systems such as sprinkler systems for the whole facility
Plumbing engineers have expertise in the civil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering disciplines involved in construction projects.
Plumbing engineers are considered a critical influence on a building’s sustainability, fire protection, energy efficiency, water efficiency, and pollution systems, and they are invaluable to the success of any construction project.
Maximizing Efficiency and Savings with Plumbing Engineers
Compared to electrical and mechanical installations, plumbing systems are more difficult to modify post-construction. Not only do they carry water, but most of their components are already embedded in ceilings and walls. A plumbing engineer can help make smart, strategic decisions during the design stage to prevent expensive problems down the line, such as:
- Simplified Plumbing Design
Plumbing engineers will be able to identify design conflicts before construction to arrive at a simpler, yet more effective approach.
- Budgeting and Equipment Selection
Well-designed systems by plumbing engineers help reduce the total length of plumbing, the selection of long-lasting, high-quality equipment with the right capacity, and ensure efficient use of plumbing power. These choices lead to lower costs for the building without sacrificing quality and performance.
- Water Conservation
Water conservation is another priority of plumbing engineers. This provides a two-fold benefit: lower water bills for the facility, and a positive impact on the environment. This can be achieved through sustainable design such as low-flow toilets and faucets, hot water efficiency, and insulated pipes.
- Simplified Maintenance
Much like in mechanical engineering, the benefits of hiring plumbing engineers extend way after the building is completed. Sound plumbing designs prevent future breakdowns and component replacements. Thanks to detailed design documents, maintenance staff will be able to zero in on potential issues and solve them quickly and correctly.
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