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Station utilities
So, pipes, chutes, APCs, wires, etc.

These are all things that are necessary, but what's the best way to go about placing them? Do you start by laying out those basics first, build the room with them in mind, or place them afterwards and make adjustments? 

I honestly have no idea, other than having a maintenance tunnel nearby that links them. I suppose keeping them away from explosion prone areas would be a good idea to keep things running after a bomb goes off, and a main path that all your rooms branch back to makes sense.
I'm probably not the benchmark for map artistry, but I generally do things in this order:
- Lay out general room amenities, including disposal chutes
- Add APC wherever it "makes sense"
- Introduce data terminals and wiring
- Add pipes, slightly shuffling room contents if necessary to ensure pipe flow

Generally, when possible, I route disposal pipes through maintenance. Mail pipes, on the other hand, often end up going directly through main hallways for a greater deal of their span because A) they're not quite as crucial of a system to keep intact through explosions, B) the nature of the mail loop means routing through maintenance could inflict a heavy cost in package travel time and overall amount of pipe space required.

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