How is BIM effective for data center construction?

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Data Centres are service rich projects with tremendous coordination required in numerous services within the limited space.

– Vikas Tripathi
AGM, ACS
Pinnacle Infotech

Introduction to BIM

Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is a practical science behind any project under construction. It is the acceleration that this construction industry has gained in the last two decades and achieved certainty with technology. BIM services can turn complexities into simplicity and almost vanish manual efforts with its offerings like clash coordination through Naviswork, cost analysis, etc.

BIM is also currently the most in-demand technology worldwide. Not just for one reason but due to its multi-dimensional nature, which includes facility management, time analysis, and sustainability.

 

How is BIM effective for data center construction

 

This article is about BIM’s effectiveness in the construction of Data centers. Let’s first know why Data centers are so important and what additional is required while constructing them, unlike other structures.

Why are Data Centers Unique?

Amongst the most complex types of buildings, Data centers are such structures that demand more than usual perform as expected from them. To perform quickly, the IT and Electrical equipment in the Data centers release a lot of heat, for which proper cooling arrangements are required at any cost.

Also, maintaining an uninterrupted power supply becomes quintessential, which is very obvious to understand.

If the server room gets overheated, it may affect the rate of data being accessed worldwide and get the data-dependent services down adversely. Therefore, it becomes essential to maintain the temperature and continuous power supply to sustain the computation rate of the data center. Let us now dive into the portion of BIM services to explore their effectiveness while constructing a Data Center.

How BIM becomes A Helping Hand While Constructing Data Centers?

Building Information Modeling is commonly used for the 3D modeling of a site to be constructed. The modelers or engineers take help from the CAD-drafted designs in 2D and then prepare a 3D or a 4D model for the site on REVIT, a BIM-based software.

Considering BIM for Data Center construction, we need to model it with the most significant challenges. For example-

  • Less space, More Services
  • Easy Commissioning
  • Uninterrupted Power Supply
  • Air Flow Analysis

These are some of the most common but quintessential requirements and challenges around Data Center construction.

  • BIM services help visualize, plan and execute the adjustments required to implant as many services as possible in the available space. It allows us to sit and coordinate altogether so that the changes and adjustments can be settled without physical construction taking place. That saves a tremendous amount of time, as well as money, for which the entire AEC industry is thankful to BIM services, not only for the Data Centers but for any construction it may be.
  • Data Centers demand performance and reliability. For this, a robust commissioning process becomes essential that is quite difficult to conduct for every piece of equipment conventionally. BIM services include commissioning information tagging for equipment that can be added to the BIM model, making the commissioning process easily trackable through a live database. Advanced coordination checks through NAVISWORKS also offer a regular review process so that easy commissioning can happen before final execution.
  • An uninterrupted power supply can be easily set up with the help of a 3D model using a BIM tool and is coordinated with the other trades involved, like Fire Protection, etc.
  • The BIM model allows engineers to evaluate the server layouts based on thermal modeling. With the help of computational fluid dynamic simulations, engineers can accomplish this task with the help of a BIM model. When the CFD simulations are incorporated into the BIM model, the airflow inside the data center can be visualized along with the temperature variation across the building.

Significant Challenges faced by Pinnacle Infotech While Constructing Data Centers

  • Raised access floors: One of the trickiest parts to handle because the floor installers forget to model their installations and adjustments for structural bridging.
  • Site Infrastructure work
  • To finalize the up points
  • Code Compliance AND Safety
  • Controlling Construction Change Directives
  • To tackle space crunches and facilitate service accommodation using a common support system.

Solutions Provided to Data Centers By Pinnacle Infotech

  • Pinnacle used one Central BIM Model on the cloud for all the stakeholders for preconstruction analysis.
  • For non-BIM participants, a common data environment was set there by Pinnacle.
  • RFIs on the Design Stage Model for design glitches helped control possible bottlenecks.
  • A Weekly Coordination Meeting was held using BIM Station to compare actual site issues and relate the same digitally.
  • Precise Contour Study and help fix the Pit levels at the site.
  • Pinnacle determined the BOP of the pipes and Cables.

Benefits of BIM in Data Center Projects

  • Constructability Analysis
  • Value Optimization
  • BIM Utilization at the Site
  • BIM Utilization – Quantity Take Off
  • Reduces Rework
  • Reduces Document Errors and Omissions
  • Fewer Claims & Litigations
  • Reduces the Project’s Overall Duration

Post constructing multiple data centers, including Amazon, Facebook, Greenfield Denver, and ITC Sankhya Datacenter, Pinnacle Infotech is capable of showcasing the BIM implementation plan to meet the project challenges effectively.

Facebook Data Center
Facebook Data Center

 

ITC Sankhya Data Center
ITC Sankhya Data Center

 

Pinnacle Takes Help of BIM In-

  • Constructability analysis to reduce the conventionally required rework.
  • Ensuring Integrated Project Delivery with the help of well-defined CDE (AWS work DOCS).
  • Increasing resource engagement to meet the deadline using BIM model fragmentation.
  • Accelerating Shop Drawing approval from design consultant by Coordinated Shop Drawing from BIM Model.

  • In early risk detection at BIM coordination meetings in the presence of all the stakeholders.
  • In Value Optimization, using BIM to reduce material usage, support system cost, and enhance system efficiency. Almost 35% of the material usage and support system cost by 30% were reduced in a project by Pinnacle. System efficiency was increased by approximately 15% by reducing unnecessary bends with proper clearance. Overall fittings were reduced by 20% by routing the pipes effectively without change in the design intent.
  • The overall length of the pipes was reduced by 40%, keeping the pipe penetrations at the pit level without compromising the code.

In The Nutshell

Pinnacle has value-engineered several data centers worldwide. With the experience of which, it is capable of stating that Data centers are the most demanding form of a structure due to global dependency on them for their performance.

It is challenging yet easy just to envisage the rough idea of a data center going underperforming. Or how it can affect the rate of digital operations happening worldwide.

BIM has been the reason behind a series of successful steps involved in construction. Be it design approval from the design consultant, clash coordination in the presence of all the stakeholders, or easy implementation of any BIM plan to construct certainty with technology. BIM has been the hero behind the curtains before and will be the same ahead.

To know more about Pinnacle’s BIM usage and accomplishments through BIM, give sight to the portfolio having numerous other sector-based projects, including Airports, Commercial Buildings, Hospitals, etc.

Author’s Bio-

Aayush Goswami

Aayush Goswami is a Mechanical Engineer who chooses to contribute instead as a technical writer. He believes in doing things that make him feel effortless. Therefore, he has written for over seven years to transcend his writing skills. He enjoys debates on social problems and their solutions and possesses expertise in automobile engineering. He is always a keen learner excited to add new things to his knowledge arsenal. Nowadays, he is writing professional articles on the technologies and tools used by AEC industry leaders, which is a part of his interest as well.

How is BIM effective for data center construction?
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