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Mechanical engineering

Our mechanical systems create environments that are comfortable for occupants, economic for owners and efficient with resources.

When thoughtfully designed, mechanical services such as ventilation, heating and cooling can go unnoticed. Yet these essential services help make offices and apartments attractive to tenants, and hotels appealing to guests. At their best they are resource-efficient, easy to control and maintain, and adaptable.

Arup’s mechanical engineers provide simple and elegant solutions that enhance the long-term value of properties. Our experience encompasses passive and energy-efficient solutions that contribute to sustainable building design, and appraisal and retrofit for better performing services in existing buildings.

We integrate mechanical, electrical and public health engineering to deliver complete building services for projects of all types – from a 12-acre LEED Platinum campus for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, to Doha’s first fully underground substations, or an award-winning university gallery in Cork.

Well-rounded solutions

Arup works with clients to create buildings that meet their requirements as well as their aspirations. Many clients want to find balance between commercial performance, usability, comfort and sustainability.

Such balanced solutions demand coordination. Our mechanical engineers regularly collaborate – with façade designers and environmental physicists, for instance – to attain all-round performance.

Arup provided structural and building services design for Jessop West, a new faculty building for the University of Sheffield, next to a busy road. Our team created quiet and comfortable faculty offices, without mechanical ventilation, by using the UK’s first naturally ventilated acoustic double-skin façade. The resulting building met the University’s brief for a sustainable design that is low-energy in operation.

Above expectation

We regularly go beyond standard mechanical engineering solutions to create a better balance for clients.

Arup overturned convention when it designed the world’s first LEED Platinum data centre. Our mechanical engineering on Citi Data Centre in Frankfurt helped meet complex operational requirements while cutting energy use for infrastructure by 72% and water use by 30% compared to typical data centres.

Exceptional solutions often emerge from Arup’s sophisticated use of design tools such as energy modelling and thermal software. Our mechanical engineers are at the forefront of 3D modelling and building information modelling, which support seamless virtual prototyping and maintenance management.

Relevant responses

Arup delivers global best practice through locally relevant mechanical engineering services worldwide. Our specialists are active in their professional communities, closely connected with the sectors they work in and positively involved in shaping guidance on local building codes worldwide.

Across the globe, we engage locally to create appropriate solutions for widely divergent climates and contexts – from an Australian research centre beside a protected wetland to a new terminal for Canada’s busiest airport.

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Global contact

Alisdair McGregor
  • Alisdair McGregor

    Alisdair McGregor

    Your best solution to date?

    I’d choose two projects that are very different. The first is the California Academy of Sciences, a LEED Platinum building in San Francisco. The second is our energy consulting work with Walmart.

    Why is it significant?

    The Academy is a stunning example of integration or what our founder Ove Arup called “Total Architecture”. Each building system or component serves multiple functions. Our work with Walmart is moving low carbon into the mainstream.

    Your particular skill?

    Synergistic thinking or realizing opportunities for improved solutions by connecting different systems.


    Finding elegant solutions to reducing our carbon footprint whether in individual buildings our integrated districts.

    Why Arup?

    It gives me freedom to pursue interesting ideas.

    Anything else?

    Author of Two Degrees: The Built Environment and Our Changing Climate

  • Global Mechanical Engineering Leader

Explore our work

Alfred Hospital ICU. Image credit Rhiannon Slatter Photography.

Project: Alfred Hospital Intensive Care Unit

A world-class, exemplar healthcare facility.

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Project: Northern Arizona University Applied R&D facility

One of the most sustainable buidings ever rated under the LEED system.

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European Extremely Large Telescope Enclosure

Project: European Extremely Large Telescope enclosure

Design of 80m revolving enclosure for world’s largest optical telescope.

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Entrance view of Turin 2006 Olympics Ice Hockey Stadium. Credit John Fass

Project: Torino Palasport Olimpico

Winter sports stadium built for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

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