Construction Planning and Scheduling of Data Centers
February 1, 2018
Our rapid evolution of technology, including mobile computing, the Internet Of Things and cloud computing is driving significant demand for the construction of new data centres globally.
In construction, it is rare that one size fits all and data centres are no exception, where factors such as climate, an uninterruptable power supply, energy costs, water costs as well as geo and political stability all influence the final design and build.
The construction of many data centres adopts the traditional contracting model of design and build, whereby the client individually contracts with the design team and the main contractor. This approach offers many benefits, a key one being that all parties understand the project and can move swiftly to the building phase. As the client has contracted individually, the client retains overall responsibility for the construction. The construction cycle for new data centres has significantly shortened over the past few years, with clients today expecting construction cycles of 6 to 9 months for state of the art data centres compared to 12 to 18 months, only a few years ago.
From our experience of preparing and managing construction programmes for the delivery of new data centres, there are a number of important factors that need to be considered.
- Project scope clarity: Given increasing complexity of data centre requirements and their shorter construction cycle, there must be clarity in the project scope by all stakeholders.
- A robust construction schedule: A comprehensive integrated project schedule, containing details on permitting, supply chain, design, construction, commissioning and fit out is crucial to success. A construction schedule is one of the primary ways in which you can identify and eliminate time and resource inefficiencies, yet many are poorly prepared and lack important information.
- Close collaboration between stakeholders; Regular meetings of project team with open communication, leads to a more efficient schedule, fewer change orders and more innovation as the team works together to solve problems.
- Procurement schedule alignment. Industry leading data centre clients today partner with key suppliers to design and make infrastructure components off site before shipping them to their data center for installation. The result if planned well, leads to better quality, lower costs and a faster construction cycle.
Data centres are the epi-centres of client companies. Badly planned, they are costly mistakes that result in higher capital costs, higher operational costs and can even cause downtime, leading to lost business. The increasing complexity of data centres coupled with the shortening construction cycle is a challenge for contractors and strategic project planning and scheduling is the cornerstone for success.
Strata are experts in construction planning and scheduling and we are currently providing planning management for new data centres. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how we plan and manage data centre construction projects.