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Insights What does the role of a mechanical building engineer involve?

Mechanical building engineering is a broad field. The role of a mechanical building engineer is exciting and multifaceted, and no two days are the same. On a large and complex project, you may be designing ventilation systems on one day and inspecting drainage systems on another. Tom says his most memorable career moment was working on designing a repair solution for a damaged power-plant boiler.

By delivering numerous projects in a wide range of sectors, including health, industrial, education, and data centres, AtkinsRéalis has built a strong reputation in the mechanical and electrical engineering of buildings. We’re known for our health and safety and environmental protection priorities, which we’re extremely proud of. Read more to learn what the role of a mechanical building engineer is, and how you can develop your career path in the industry.

image of hands drawing blueprints

Overseeing the design and drawing of mechanical systems

A mechanical building engineer is responsible for overseeing the design and drawing of mechanical systems within buildings, such as ventilation, air conditioning and fire protection. They will also analyze problems, perform calculations, supervise work, and carry out end-of-work inspections, ensuring quality, efficiency, and affordability throughout the lifecycle of a project. Increasingly, our engineers are using technology like Building Information Modelling (BIM) to provide accurate and holistic designs. BIM supports building mechanical engineers in designing and documenting systems in detail, whilst also enabling teams to work more collaboratively to deliver projects faster and more efficiently.

Collaborating in a diverse team

Mechanical engineers are part of diverse teams with varied skills and experience from which professionals can learn. Depending on the project, you could be working with project managers, civil engineers, structural engineers and more. To be effective, you’ll need excellent stakeholder relations skills to communicate with the team and clients and thrive working within a dynamic project delivery environment. Collaboration is critical, and by sharing challenges early on, issues can be resolved more effectively, with better outcomes. By being genuinely collaborative and working within diverse teams, mechanical building engineers at AtkinsRéalis grow in confidence and develop their skillset to pave a successful career path in the industry.

Innovating in all areas

A good mechanical building engineer knows that traditional methods are not always the most efficient. At AtkinsRéalis , we’re keen to constantly innovate and learn so that we are best equipped to react quickly to changes and discover new opportunities. Therefore, our mechanical building engineers benefit from continuous training while promoting advanced technologies, the environment and energy efficiency. Our professionals have the opportunity to master design technologies, including BIM and project integration as part of LEED® and Envisioncertifications.

Designing sustainably

It is imperative for mechanical building engineers to keep sustainability at the forefront of their minds. With the construction industry being responsible for 39% of global CO2 emissions, it’s not enough to add green solutions post-build; sustainability must be factored in early in the design stage. Innovative mechanical building engineers combine traditional and modern principles to create energy-efficient solutions. New forms of energy that are in the works can be integrated into buildings. Sensor technology, for example, ensures that lighting and air conditioning minimize energy requirements. Net Zero Carbon by 2050 is the global deadline we cannot afford to miss so, and at AtkinsRéalis , we’re committed to building the future and safeguarding it for generations to come with sustainable, innovative and resilient projects and processes.

Apply for a mechanical building engineer job today

Our teams benefit from vast expertise, and we’re always looking to collaborate and share our knowledge, skills and innovations with passionate people. In our recent Engineering Net Zero Canadian Technical Report, we describe how we plan to lead a low carbon future by using emerging and disruptive technologies and leveraging cross-sector solutions. However, we need driven engineers with new and exciting ways of thinking to help us deliver it.

If you are an experienced mechanical engineer, find out the top skills you need to list on your mechanical engineer resume, and apply for a mechanical building engineer job today. We’ve also got plenty of opportunities across North America for engineering graduates and anyone looking to start an engineering apprenticeship. Find out more about our graduate and internship vacancies in Canada, or check out our Graduate Development Program in the USA.