Once the requirements for a data center or other critical facility reconfiguration, upgrade, or new facility are identified, initial design concepts with rough budget costs need to be developed.
PlanNet begins by working with owners to develop requirements. Then, existing conditions are documented, including developing or validating existing as-built construction drawings. Conceptual design options and complete master plans are developed as required. Configurations may range from basic to highly redundant. Maintainability and ease of operation are incorporated. Energy efficient approaches are explored, especially for cooling systems. Energy management, remote monitoring and control systems are developed as applicable. We focus on making sure fire suppression and other life-safety systems, including emergency power off (EPO) circuitry is adequate and effective but does not increase risk of unnecessary or erroneous shutdown.
PlanNet is an industry leader in design of highly reliable and efficient power and cooling for data centers and other critical facilities. For power, our expertise runs from the utility service through switchgear, generators, UPS systems ands power distribution to the rack, outlet and device power supplies. For cooling, our expertise includes objective evaluation of the best technologies for your specific application, including aisle containment, in-row vs. perimeter equipment, overhead vs. underfloor air distribution, outside air vs. chilled water vs. direct-expansion and central plant topologies. Equipment vendors boast of highly efficient designs – we cut to the chase. And we have extensive expertise with building automation systems (BAS) and remote monitoring, including data center infrastructure management (DCIM) systems from power components to rack-mounted asset management.
PlanNet provides full design, works with your selected designers or helps in the selection of designers. If detail design will be performed by others, PlanNet can develop a Basis of Design (BoD) including sketches, block diagrams and summary equipment specifications. PlanNet oversees design by others, keeping them on track with client requirements. We are sometimes tasked with peer-reviewing designs by others.
Some designers are not capable of or willing to expend the time necessary to develop vendor-neutral designs for truly competitive pricing and unrestricted expansion, avoiding vendor lock-in. Many vendor sales people don’t fully understand their equipment’s cataloged features and accessories. PlanNet takes the time to effectively match equipment to the application, avoiding unneeded and costly extras.
PlanNet provides detail design, drawings, specifications sequences of operation and construction documents. Gaining agency approvals are the next step.
We often function as an owner’s representative developing RFPs for design teams, major equipment purchases and construction teams.
Final design steps include as-built drawing development. We expand this task to additionally develop consolidated single line and flow diagrams, striving to simplify complex designs to single sheets, organized and color-coded to assist operation.
PlanNet has been helping Fortune 500 and mid-size organizations with proven expertise since 2001. Our critical facilities client experience includes:
- Data Centers
- Colocation facilities
- Mobile phone towers (small “edge” data centers are increasingly located in the hut at the base)
- Server rooms, Networking & Computer rooms, IT equipment rooms
- MDFs (small data centers that largely function only to connect building functions to the outside world)
- Financial Operating Centers
- Telecom Facilities
- Call Centers
- Data Center Verticals:
- Public Safety Centers
- Fire & Police Stations
- Trading Floors