With around sixty percent of the world population now active internet users, data has become the fuel of the digital economy and is interwoven into all aspects of our modern lives.

Dan Ayley

Director

UK

Global demand for data centres was outstripping supply even before COVID-19 struck. As the pandemic brings reconfiguration of both working patterns and our everyday lives, internet usage has soared across global markets.

Data centres are increasingly seen as critical infrastructure. They enable companies in all industries to collect, interpret and capitalise upon vast amounts of data. New approaches to the construction and operation of data centres are required to keep pace with this rapidly rising demand.

Market context

The global data centre construction market size is expected to reach close to 70 billion USD by the end of 2020. The adoption of cloud computing coupled with increased usage of interconnected devices in public and private spaces has created an exponential demand for data centres which can store and process vast amounts of data. This has led to substantial investments in recent years from colocation service providers, telecoms companies and hyper-scale service providers.

Avoiding downtime is essential for data centres. As big data is increasingly harnessed, people depend on data in their home and work lives, so projects need to be planned to avoid any outages. Adequate, resilient power is the key. Planning for increased capacity now saves costs further down the line.

Data centres are hugely power-intensive structures, consuming around one percent of total electricity worldwide. There is growing focus and commitment to building energy-efficient data centres, which harvest renewable energy sources.

Meeting the challenges

Constructing, maintaining or upgrading technological infrastructure presents many challenges, especially in cases where extensions or refurbishments are made to functioning data centres.

Substantial redevelopments can involve the removal of all existing structures and the construction and fit-out of entirely new facilities. Programme management and project controls become essential when upgrades and new developments impact on connected facilities. In all situations, minimising downtime is key.

We understand the specific pressures associated with data centre developments and appreciate the particular challenges and risks that face these projects. We have consistently been at the forefront of the development of tier II, III and IV data centres across the globe for the major players in the industry.

On data centre projects, we effectively manage and coordinate the team of contractors, sub-contractors and specialist consultants, and enable their effective interface with our client’s engineering department, specialist suppliers, designers and contractors. We also provide procurement strategies for specialist data centre needs.

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