Global data center developers face a myriad of challenges along the project lifecycle from inception to final commissioning. And these challenges have been exacerbated in the last 18 months due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. By understanding these challenges and needs of developers, H&MV Engineering have refined our pre-existing Early-Stage Engagement Model to combat and overcome these difficulties at the root cause, resulting in program reduction and cost efficiencies for our clients.
Focusing on three key challenges facing the data center industry across all jurisdictions, we take a look at how the use of the Early-Stage Engagement Model presents solutions.
Challenge - Understanding your market and having that insight is the foundation of Early-Stage Engagement. Without this vital step, planning or special infrastructure applications and even sourcing suppliers can increase your costs and delay getting your project started and off the ground. Having a comprehensive knowledge into the traditions and ‘local’ way of doing things, has a knock on effect throughout every facet of project development including utility engagement and procurement.
Solution - To really understand this local knowledge, you need a ‘local’. Having operatives and project teams on the ground early, working with experienced resident engineers with the relevant utility and industry experience is paramount to project success. Having these resident employees in-house and as valued team members, H&MV Engineering have been able to offer our clients something unique as they grow internationally, local knowledge.
Challenge - The grid in general internationally, is under increased demand from high energy users. Utility infrastructure is struggling to keep apace with the increased electrification of everyday life. Grid connection offers can potentially take years to be finalized which can have a detrimental impact on integrated systems testing and facility ready dates.
Solution - This can be maximized through Early-Stage Engagement with a supply chain partner who has an intrinsic understanding of the high voltage grid infrastructure and potential points of connection. With this unique understanding and internationally based staff, we have facilitated timely grid connections throughout the FLAP-D and EMEA markets, harnessing our global experience with local expertise.
Challenge - Each utility has a myriad of different requirements, from communication and submittal language preferences to design functional specifications. Knowing the intricacies of each and understanding their traditional operating model is a hard learned skill. Improper and ineffective communication and engagement with the utility, with a lack of understanding or appreciation for their specific requirements, can equate to significant delays in planning, power purchasing and programme management.
Solution - The integration of the utilities conventional and traditional business model with that of the dynamic and progressive data center industry remains a challenge. However, by retaining a workforce with local utility experience & knowledge, who also understand the data center industry, H&MV Engineering have been able to accommodate and abide by utility requirements while still meeting and exceeding the needs and wants of our clients. Communication in the preferred language, understanding of submittal portals and design specifications are the key drivers in a successful project delivery.
Through the successful implementation of this model, H&MV Engineering has grown in tandem with the industry, resulting in 16 office locations across 13 countries, connecting over 1.5 GW of data centers capacity to the grid, with the help of over 300 mobile and multi lingual skilled colleagues and 4 global design & engineering hubs whose global experience supports our local expertise.
By examining some of the challenges facing the data centrer industry, it is clear that through Early-Stage Engagement significant programme reduction and cost efficiencies can be achieved.
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