T5 now has seven full-service data center projects operating across the country, which means we have much experience in designing and building robust, turnkey data centers. What gives us a unique advantage is that we understand what it takes to be a data center owner as well as an end user. When working with our data center clients, it’s important to appreciate and understand their needs, and develop strategies to ensure that we meet their design and construction schedule.
When undertaking any kind of data center deployment, the best way to deliver a perfect data hall construction project is through collaboration and teamwork. That’s why you need to adopt a collaborative approach from the design phase through completion for any data center deployment.
Preplanning for Success
The first step is to identify the tenant’s specific data center needs and then translate those requirements into a design schematic.
The best approach is to utilize building information modeling (BIM) software to create a comprehensive 3D model of the data center. This will include, but is not limited to, raised access floor, ceiling grid, unistrut, MEP (mechanical/electrical/plumbing) infrastructure, fire protection infrastructure, busway / RPPs, cable tray / basket tray, containment, cabinets / racks, power strips, etc. Using BIM modeling makes it easier to troubleshoot and identify any potential problems before construction commences.
- BIM makes for a more efficient and accurate data center design and workflow. For example, elements such as resizing piping or reconfiguring cabling can be done quickly and checked in real time.
- BIM modeling creates better-coordinated installations thanks to features such as “clash detection,” which unifies data from multiple construction and building sources.
- Three-dimensional BIM modeling is the best client collaboration tool, making it easier to assess designs and actually see potential issues before the installation stage.
Equipment procurement is also a critical aspect of any successful data center project. When looking for a wholesale data center partner, it’s important to find a provider that has strong vendor relationships. This helps secure the best costs with the best lead times to ensure a successful data center delivery.
As part of the planning stage, it’s best to work against a target “go live” date. To meet the provisioning deadlines, the data center provider and customer need to collaborate and investigate a phased data hall delivery approach. Then you can establish early “rack and stack” dates to assist the customer with their internal milestone commitments.
The security system design and installation is another essential part of the data center delivery. Depending on the customer, the security system may have different requirements from keypad entry to more stringent security protocols. Work with a data center provider that has flexibility in deploying security systems. As part of the data center design phase, determine what security features are required such as access control, cameras, and network infrastructure security.
Commissioning is a Team Effort
Data center MEP system commissioning and security system commissioning are the final steps prior to going live. It’s essential to thoroughly test and commission the mechanical, electrical, and security systems to ensure compliance prior to deployment. Commissioning is truly a team effort and requires participation from the customer side as well as the data center operations team, managed services team, design team, construction team, etc. Working closely with the client during the commissioning process offers a number of benefits:
- Reducing downtime and unplanned outages by checking redundancy and identifying single points of failure, identifying training needs, etc.;
- Reducing lifecycle costs by optimizing system performance from the outset;
- Fewer delays since closer collaboration results in fewer change orders;
- Better documentation and pre-established performance benchmarks; and
- Enhanced safety and compliance to reduce potential problems as well as liability.
Delivering a successful data hall project is extremely important to T5 Construction Services, which is why we have developed precise data center design and deployment protocols. The ability to manage cost control, schedule control, and safety control as part of deployment is critical to a successful data hall delivery. Delivering superior customer service has to be the number one objective, and that starts with working closely with data center customers through the entire design and construction process.
Watch the video
Why Partner with T5 Construction Services?
Robbie Sovie, VP T5 Construction Services, gives an inside look into the T5 process of delivering a perfect data hall construction project.