Will My Rangehood Work?

RAngehood Ducting length example

It is a requirement of the New Zealand Building Code that spaces in household units, including apartments, that contain cooktops must have mechanical extract that discharges outside. This is typically achieved through a rangehood which are often rated to a maximum “length of duct”.

Some entry level rangehoods may only be rated for as little as 3m by the supplier or even rated to only discharge immediately through the wall they are installed on. This can pose a problem. In modern day apartments it is not unusual for the kitchen to be located 5m or more from the point of discharge!

Duct fittings like a 90° bend may be equivalent to 2m or more of straight duct in the suppliers documentation. A rangehood rated for a maximum “duct length” of 5m could be reduced to only 3m with just one bend! Careful consideration of the duct route and rangehood requirements must be taken when locating the kitchen and oven.  

When choosing a kitchen rangehood it is important to consult with the supplier and the project mechanical engineer for proper pressure drop calculations to confirm whether the rangehood will meet the required performance.

Refurbished Warkworth Hotel Nears Completion

Warkworth Hotel

The heritage listed Warkworth Hotel nears completion of it’s full revamp into a new restaurant and conference facility. MEPS has worked closely with Brown Day Architects to fit sympathetic Electrical, Lighting, HVAC and Hydraulics services into the existing envelope while still still providing a modern level of services including a full commercial kitchen. We look forward to joining future diners in appreciating good food in comfort surrounded by beautifully restored features.

CFD modelling at MEPS

CFD example

At MEPS,  our computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work is assisting clients in making informed financial decisions and devise fit for purpose design methodologies and system design. This allows for early validation of design solutions. Therefore, reducing design costs, building costs and potential rework .

Uses for CFD modelling include:

-Ventilation modelling to demonstrate temperature and air velocity comfort in public spaces such as schools, offices, and retail spaces.

-Carbon monoxide concentration/ fume analysis in carpark ventilation systems.

The example shown is a temperature analysis model for a naturally ventilated large electrical compartment.

CORVID-19 LEVEL 3: Working from home but available for site visits


Now that New Zealand has dropped to Level 3 we are now able to attend sites by complying with the MBIE guidance for construction sites. We are still generally working remotely and all meetings will still be attended remotely online. Otherwise we are working as normal continuing with design and site queries. Drop us a call or email for any inquiries otherwise keep safe and be kind!



MEPS have switched to working from home and we are able to run at full capacity and attend or host online meetings. Until the alert level drops we cannot attend site visits but otherwise it is business as usual.

All our staff are available by email and mobile.

Please stay safe, keep in (non physical) contact and we wish everyone and their families all the best in this unsettled time. Lets works together and minimize the impact to all.

Video Conferencing – A Good New Tool Waiting

Video Meeting

With the recent advancement and affordability of video conferencing and collaborative software, more and more project managers are opting to meet with project teams over the Internet.

MEPS Building Engineers has attended video conferencing-based meetings. Here is what we found;

  1. The quality of video and audio are very good even with a good number of attendees.
  2. Ability to share screens and plans on the fly, never forgot to print a plan again.
  3. Travel costs, parking cost and travel time etc, was cut to nothing!
  4. Time spent on attending a meeting is cut by more than half if one considers travel is not required.
  5. Positive impact on the environment, as there would be no CO2 emissions and no printing of plans.
  6. Safer for the participants as risk from normal travel is removed.
  7. More flexibility in meeting times as you can go straight from one to another.
  8. Greater discipline participation from each firm becomes economic as multiple representatives from the same firm no longer required to attend in person.

We believe that the coming months will see a greater uptake of video conferencing among building professionals.

MEPS in Otago


MEPS Building Engineers are establishing an office in Otago. Our new office will be in Queenstown and it will be managed by Pierre-Jacques Gandino who we also welcome to the MEPS family.

We are excited about the prospect of being able to assist with building projects in a very special part of New Zealand.

We will cover HVAC, hydraulic, electrical and aquatic services design and observation

Hawkes Bay Sports Park Hall Nears Completion

Sports Hall Lighting & Ventilation

MEPS Building Engineers designed the Electrical, HVAC and Hydraulic services for the new Sport Hall at Hawkes Bay Sports Park. This include a large variety of spaces including indoor netball and athletic facilities, gym, office spaces, conference spaces, and sports lab with the capability of heating the space up to 30°C for simulating overseas ambient temperatures during competitions. The building has also been designed with no services penetrations in the roofs (to minimise roof maintenance and maximise lifespan), hidden air conditioning condensers (to keep the clean building look) and communal water heating and HVAC services to maximise energy efficiency.

Hawkes Bay Sports Feature Light
Feature Light in Entrance
Hawkes Bay Sports Showers
Changing room showers with exposed services for an industrial look
Hawkes Bay Sports Exposed services
Sports Lab with exposed services and high temperature heating system
Hawkes Bay Sports Athletics
Sports Hall Athletics area
Hawkes Bay Sports Hidden condensers
Hidden Condensers
Hawkes Bay Sports Staff room
Staff area
Hawkes Bay Sports Feature light 2nd floor
Feature light framed to be seen from multiple locations and angles
Hawkes Bay Sports Gym
Gym with exposed systems and both air conditioning and ceiling fans for air movement so the air conditioning can be left off in mild weather
Hawkes Bay Sports Cafe
Cafe served by feature lighting and radiant electric heaters as the doors will be generally open during sport days
Hawkes Bay Sports Exterior
Building exterior

Copper or Plastic Piping: Which is best

Copper Piping

Water Piping – Copper or Plastic

When it comes to water pipes, copper has been the material of choice for a very very long time.

Plastic pipes of all sorts (PEX, uPVC, HDPE) have become increasingly popular in the past 20 to 30 years. One reason being the increasing cost of copper pipes over their equivalent in plastic.

So, what are the pros and cons?


There is no one 100% safe solution. Little is known at present about the plastic piping release of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and assimlable organic carbon (AOC’s). Copper is the system with the easiest of issues to control and mitigate and on balance appears to be the better option.