Facility managers and decision-makers generally place a heavy focus on interior components during data center design and construction. Often overlooked, however, is the opportunity to optimize the building’s shell.
Opting for custom-designed engineered buildings and applying a continuous improvement strategy when constructing the shell can result in improved project schedules, costs and outcomes. This approach helps businesses think through key decisions throughout initial planning stages, an important competitive advantage.
Consider these important strategies:
1 Identify opportunities for standardization.
There’s heightened interest by data center customers to tighten specifications for interior components (such as rack density) to reduce variability. But few have applied those same principles to the building’s envelope. Opportunities exist to take a more standardized approach to the building shell that still allows for site-specific customization. For example, electing the option of a custom-designed, engineered roof and structural system with conventional tilt-up walls through a design-build approach, which can optimize the build schedule compared with a conventional construction.
2 Establish a long-term team for strategic collaboration.
Identifying a consistent team is an important component in standardizing the building process across projects. In addition to reduced variability, facility managers and decision-makers can access captured lessons learned resulting in increased efficiencies from one project to the next.
3 Identify building team members with broad capabilities.
An integrated team focused on your success ensures each partner is vested in finding the best solutions and acting on them. Enlisting a global leader in building solutions with multiple capabilities will drive efficiency. For example, a building systems manufacturer that offers a centralized program management team for projects can provide early conceptual design services in addition to production engineering/detailing and manufacturing resources to accelerate your project.
The building envelope has potential to add value beyond the typical project requirements — value that can lead to significant ROI improvements for both first costs and the life of the building. Equipped with these three deployment acceleration strategies, data center facility managers and decision-makers can improve the speed and quality of their building projects and increase ROI.