Ensuring Data Center Reliability

Joe Duggan, Communications

April 14, 2021

When it comes to data centers, reliability is critical.

The full range of services Olsson provides to data center clients includes commissioning, which refers to pre-operational inspections and functional performance testing to determine if mission critical infrastructure performs as designed. Commonly abbreviated as Cx, commissioning requires inspection and testing of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems before new or upgraded buildings go into service.

Olsson’s Cx performance has garnered praise from 1623 Farnam, a carrier-neutral edge data center provider undergoing a $40 million expansion in Omaha, Nebraska.

“We are extremely grateful to be working with such a reliable partner,” Todd Cushing, president of 1623 Farnam, said in a news release. “This is a vital part of our expansion project, and I have complete confidence in the capable team of Olsson designers and engineers.”

Olsson’s multiphase Cx process begins with design. Our staff then observes equipment at the factory, verifies installation at the project site, and runs tests after installation. Finally, we perform an integrated system test with the goal of simulating real-world conditions the system was designed to handle.

1623 Farnam provides network-neutral, edge interconnection and data center services to clients that include several Fortune 500 companies. The company operates in a converted multistory bank building in the heart of the city’s downtown district.

The project entailed retrofitting an operating data center. We performed commissioning tests without interrupting operations, which made the project more challenging than greenfield construction. In addition, we delivered general civil design work for the project.

In addition to our work in the data center industry, we also perform commissioning in the commercial, industrial and health care spaces as well.

“We take the time to listen so we can understand the needs of our data center clients,” said Patrick O’Neill, Olsson’s mission critical team leader. “We enjoy the challenge that comes with solving tough problems and we do the extra things clients need us to do.”

Cx is just one of the comprehensive design solutions Olsson provides to our clients, which include the world’s largest data center owner/operators. We are committed to the entire life cycle of a project by performing:

  • Due Diligence
    Comprehensive site evaluation, survey, geotechnical, environmental studies and permitting, and master planning
  • Design
    Site civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, fire protection (FP), information technology and telecommunications engineering, and associated public improvements (power, roadways, water/wastewater infrastructure)
  • Construction Support
    Quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC), Cx, mobile labs; scanning, testing and inspections; short circuit, coordination, and arc-flash studies
  • Closeout
    Documentation, as-builts, building information modeling (BIM) management, building audits
  • Ready for Day 2
    Expansions and capacity upgrades