Asee peer logo

Using Building Information Modeling To Teach Mechanical, Electrical, And Plumbing Coordination

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

BIM and Other New Construction Practices

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1320.1 - 15.1320.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Thomas Korman California Polytechnic State University

author page

Lonny Simonian California Polytechnic State University

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Building Information Modeling to Teach Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Coordination

Abstract The coordination of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems has become a major challenge for project delivery teams. The MEP coordination process involves locating equipment and routing Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) duct, pipe, electrical raceway, and fire protection systems in a manner that satisfies many different types of constraints. For the past several years MEP coordination has involved sequentially comparing and overlaying drawings from multiple trades, in which representatives from each MEP trade work together to detect, and eliminate spatial and functional interferences between MEP systems. This multi-discipline effort is time-consuming and expensive. With the recent development of Building Information Modeling (BIM) this process has been able to evolve with the software technology thus enabling new teaching methods. This paper demonstrates how BIM technology can be used to teach students how to perform the MEP coordination process using a work process utilizing modeling software and information technology.

Introduction and Background

In recent years, there has been increasing consideration given to integrated curricula by construction engineering and management faculty and industry advisors. According to Hauck and Jackson5 each proposal has tried to address core problems associated with an overly segmented curriculum and the lack of project based learning in different ways. A model proposed by Hauck and Jackson5 attempts to teach construction management as a series of labs integrating the various construction management courses into an active, applied learning experience. Their integrated curriculum proposal for the construction management department is centered on the creation of seven project- based seminars. They are as follows: ≠ Fundamentals of Construction Management ≠ Residential Construction Methods ≠ Commercial Building Construction Methods ≠ Heavy Civil Construction Methods ≠ Specialty Contracting Construction Methods ≠ Construction Jobsite Management ≠ Interdisciplinary Project Management

A new curriculum recently adopted at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) is based on a model similar to that proposed by Hauck and Jackson5. Students receive six (6) quarter-hours of lab credit for a total of sixteen (16) contact hours per week. Similar to a studio in an architecture curriculum, each seminar is taught in a dedicated lab filled with models, samples, contracts, marketing documents, specifications, estimating guides, computer references, and other tools appropriate to that market sector, all available to students in that seminar.

Korman, T., & Simonian, L. (2010, June), Using Building Information Modeling To Teach Mechanical, Electrical, And Plumbing Coordination Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15643

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015