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Building Data Centers Faster, Safer, and with Better Quality

There is more data to store than ever. Companies all over the world have transitioned the majority of systems, files, and processes to the electronic world. And it is incredibly important to those companies that this data remain secure and accessible. 

This shift in the way we do business has caused a growing number of mission critical facilities to pop up across the country. When looking for construction partners to build their data centers, owners and facility managers are looking for companies that can deliver their facility quickly and efficiently.

Mission critical General Superintendent for DPR construction, Jeffrey Smith, has seen a major change in the construction of data centers over the past five years. “There is most definitely an added speed to the market. Competition is stiff, schedules are tighter, and owners are demanding more consistent cost models,” says Jeffrey. “To stay ahead of the competition, it is crucial to deliver a fast, safe, and quality product every time.” 

Faster Building Practices

Figuring out ways to streamline the building process allows contractors to meet those growing demands. “Using lean methods like SIP – Short Interval Planning – BIM technology, and bringing major players on early, helps speed up the process significantly,” Jeffrey adds. 

Lean construction methods that certainly speed up the process are pre-fabrication and modularity. Pre-fabricating ductwork and entire racks of piping in a clean environment before even getting to the jobsite is a huge advantage in delivering mechanical solutions in the most efficient manner. 

The ability to perform pre-fabrication and modularization when constructing mission critical facilities benefits both the construction team and the owners. For the contractor, it:

  • Allows for large-scale pre-fabrication work to be done in a controlled and safe environment away from the jobsite
  • Allows the team to control costs better 
  • Lowers the amount of paperwork the construction team does, creating a more streamlined process
  • Keeps multiple trades from needing to work around each other on the jobsite at the same time

This innovative method not only helps contractors deliver faster mission critical facilities, but safety and quality are improved as well. 

Safety and Security

Safety is a major priority for contractors and owners alike. By doing most of the pre-fabrication in an off-site location, construction companies are able to reduce man hours on the jobsite, which is generally a more dangerous environment. The pre-fab shop also has the benefits of being a controlled climate – cooled in the summer and heated in the winter. Another advantage is that the workers are familiar with the people and equipment around them. Performing pre-fabrication and modularization in an off-site setting is not only safer, but it provides a more comfortable work space that tends to attract the best workers. 

Quality Control

The quality of the components built in a controlled environment can be superior to those built in the field – contractors have the ability to perform quality control that may not have been as efficient on the jobsite. Off-site construction provides for greater use of manufacturing technologies like laser cutters and computer-guided machines that can ensure each measurement is exact.

It also allows for client customization. For example, one of MMC Contractors’ current clients requires that all of the material delivered to the site be painted and cleaned before being installed. The ability to do this at the pre-fabrication shop saves time and gives the client confidence that the product provided is up to their standards.

“Mechanical and electrical contractors are essential to the success of data centers, and through a team approach with the general contractor and owners, the project is stronger,” adds Jeffrey. “MMC Contractors has become a ‘can do’, reliable, and quality team, and DPR has enjoyed several successful projects with them.”