How your jobsite network helps manage the data center construction process
October 26, 2022

Tips on managing the data center construction process to keep projects on schedule.

Demand for data storage capacity continues to drive the construction of new data centers.  Market momentum is keeping large contractors busy with project backlogs as developers scramble to meet the ever-increasing need for storage. These facilities are usually huge, taking up thousands of square feet of space and incorporating cutting-edge technology to ensure that they are always operating at peak capacity. Due to size and complexity, the data center construction process requires careful management of costs to ensure they don’t get out of hand. 

One of the reasons data center projects are difficult to manage is that they must be constructed to meet strict guidelines for tier certification. These tiers range from TCCF I to IV (Tier Certification of Constructed Facility), with each level corresponding to a particular type of function or defined set of criteria for maintenance, power, cooling, and fault capabilities.

To ensure that these certification standards are met, data center builders must pay careful attention to every aspect of the facility’s operation. Factors like material selection and placement must be carefully considered to minimize downtime and maximize energy efficiency. Additionally, modern data centers must also have the necessary resources in place to quickly recover from any unforeseen events like power outages or equipment failures. Overall, maintaining high levels of tier certification is essential for data center operators to ensure their facilities stay competitive in today’s fast-paced digital world.

Heading off common problems in the data center construction process.

It is no secret that the data center construction process can be challenging. In a recent study from the Uptime Institute, the performance of data centers around the world was analyzed with a focus on construction practices. The results were less than ideal, with many common construction problems cited as contributing to poor data center performance. These issues included poorly integrated systems, short or nonexistent commissioning schedules, design changes that disrupted normal operations, and even substitutions of materials or products that did not meet specifications. Given these widespread issues, it is clear that the careful management of the data center construction process is needed to ensure the stability and profitability of modern data centers. The following are several important areas that impact tier certification:

Automatic Transfer Switches

Automatic transfer switches allow power to be switched seamlessly between different sources. This is crucial for ensuring consistent availability of power and preserving data integrity. In order to maintain certification for their data centers, companies must follow strict standards related to the use of automatic transfer switches. These standards were put in place by governing bodies such as the National Fire Protection Association, who recognize the importance of these switches in managing energy efficiency and safe operation within a data center. By adhering to these rigorous requirements, companies can be confident that their data center equipment operates at peak performance levels, ensuring optimal performance and reliability for their customers.

Fire Suppression Systems

Fire suppression systems play an important role in protecting data centers from potentially catastrophic damage. These systems typically include measures such as sprinklers, which can help to extinguish fires quickly and minimize their impact. Additionally, they often have built-in sensors that detect the presence of smoke or heat, triggering an automatic response to prevent further damage.

For certifying bodies such as the Uptime Institute or ASHRAE, the key question is whether fire suppression systems are necessary for a data center to achieve a high level of availability and efficiency. Ultimately, this depends on several factors, including the location and size of the facility, as well as existing safety regulations and existing infrastructure. As more organizations rely on digital information for everything from business transactions to personal communications and entertainment, it is crucial that any potential risk is minimized by utilizing the most effective tools available. Therefore, fire suppression systems may be an essential component of data center certification moving forward.

Underground Utilities

Underground utilities play a critical role in data centers by providing a reliable, low-maintenance power supply for all types of computing equipment. By routing power lines underground, utilities can help to minimize disruptions caused by potential threats such as severe weather and vandalism. Additionally, underground utilities allow for more efficient cooling strategies and offer built-in protection against power surges and grid outages, making them crucial for ensuring the uninterrupted operation of data centers. Thus, given their many benefits, underground utilities are an essential component of any data center operation.

Using jobsite internet communication to keep data center projects on track.

Technologies such as construction management software, 3D modeling tools, and GPS tracking systems provide important solutions for managing the data center construction process. These technologies rely on an internet signal in order to function properly, since they use remote servers to store data or generate real-time updates. For example, a construction management software program may monitor and track the progress of a project across multiple teams. This requires a robust jobsite network to pull data from the various teams’ computers and keep track of the overall status of the project. Similarly, GPS tracking systems allow architects and engineers to view real-time information about their sites, including which workers are where, what equipment is being used, and any potential safety hazards that need to be addressed. In all cases, these technologies require internet connectivity to communicate effectively with remote servers and ensure that their users have access to the most up-to-date information possible.

Managing data center construction requires the use of a variety of technologies and tools, as well as careful attention to detail and adherence to industry standards. One critical aspect of data center management is achieving tier certification requirements, which determine the level of reliability and efficiency that a data center can offer. To ensure that these requirements are met, many project owners are increasingly utilizing technology and software integrated with IoT devices designed for construction management. Managing data center construction by utilizing these tools can not only help meet certification requirements but also minimize delays or other potential issues along the way. Ultimately, investing time and resources into technology-based management strategies can help ensure a successful data center project from start to finish.