With a growing market for cannabis, many growers are looking to build or upgrade indoor facilities to better meet the rising demand. Recreational marijuana is now legal in 15 states, and cannabis is approved for medical use in 36 states. Sales of cannabis in the U.S. grew 67% in 2020, which provides plenty of opportunity for those on the supply side of the business.
Building indoor grow facilities requires more than just a warehouse, though. Understanding the concepts of optimization, the potential for growth, and the mechanics of facility control can make all the difference in whether a facility is efficient and successful. An MEP engineering firm can help ensure your building design takes into account the unique needs of the cannabis growth cycle and the business surrounding it.
Choosing an engineering firm can be daunting, especially if you’ve never worked with one before. Make sure you consider these criteria when choosing an MEP partner for your grow facility.
Understand what an MEP engineering partner does
MEP stands for mechanical, electrical and plumbing. This type of engineering firm can deal with all aspects of the systems that go into making a building live and breathe. These are the systems that make an office building habitable or a grow facility the perfect environment for growing cannabis. MEP engineering services are critical to the success of any project but especially an indoor grow facility where the atmosphere is critical to the health of the plants. An MEP partner will work with you to build systems that meet the specific needs of your business.
Communication is the key component of any good partnership and should define the way an MEP firm approaches a project. The engineers involved in your project will need to communicate not only with you but with architects, structural and civil engineers, and contractors to design the systems perfect for growing cannabis. Choose an MEP partner who puts a heavy emphasis on communicating frequently and in detail so you’re never in doubt about what’s taking place during the design and construction process.
Seek out expertise
With a growth industry like cannabis, new companies are jumping in all the time. You want to choose an MEP partner with expertise in designing and building systems specifically for growing cannabis. Whether it’s humidity or temperature control, lighting or airflow, you need an MEP partner who understands the needs of your crop. Choose an MEP firm that has worked on multiple projects like the one you’re considering. Your MEP partner should be up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices, bringing not just engineering expertise but industry knowledge to your project.
Demand high-quality work
An MEP partner is there to make your life easier, which means they should be known for providing high-quality work. MEP engineers should be able to oversee the project, making sure the job is done right and that it’s completed on time. This doesn’t mean hurrying the work at the expense of doing a high-quality job. Instead, look for a firm with a proven track record of creating realistic schedules that fit your budget and making sure the work is done right.
Whether you’re building a single indoor grow facility or multiple facilities, choosing the right MEP partner can make all the difference in the success of your business. Tap into our expertise to make your next project a success.
Marcus Howell is Dialectic Engineering’s Chief Business Officer. Founded in 1988, Dialectic is a 100% employee-owned, nontraditional mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering firm. Recognized as one of Kansas City’s Best Places to Work in 2020, Dialectic brings buildings to life across a broad range of verticals, including distribution, multifamily, retail/restaurants, cannabis, entertainment, senior living, hospitality and charter schools/higher education. Learn more at dialecticeng.com.