“Did you do them? Wow, really old school” is normally the feedback I receive when engineers see my completed MEP sketches. It’s not old school, it’s pride and the challenge some projects present.
So far, I’ve gained 26 years’ experience within the MEP building services industry and I’m still amazed at the lack of sketching at the concept stage. I encourage junior engineers to purchase mechanical drawing instruments and practice to truly understand the MEP installation process. After all, engineering is an art and understanding the basics will assist a graduate to grasp a firm understanding of MEP design process.
Bluebeam is a useful tool to produce precise MEP drawings, however, it keeps engineers at their desk for long periods staring at their computer screens. It is also beneficial to take a break from your computer screen and find a quiet corner in the office and put pencil to paper. Over the years I’ve trained junior members of staff to draw MEP hand sketches and once they master the art they progress quickly.
Sketches are an important part of the design process, In a sense they tell a story, they assist to convey design ideas, demonstrate functionality, create an overall picture of spatial planning and assist non-technical individuals to understand the design and development process. Before commencing sketching you need to understand the problem you are solving. Initial ideas begin by researching the problem you are trying to solve and envision what you are trying to achieve.