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A good BIM model improves data centre usability

A good BIM model improves data centre usability

3.8.2023 – Building information modelling (BIM) helps in the scheduling of projects, among other things, and offers the opportunity for cost calculation and management thereof. How ever, the perspective of the user is often forgotten in this discussion. When designing a data center, usability and operational reliability are highlighted.

Themes
Data and digitalisation
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A good BIM model will help the user gain a picture of the spaces being designed, as well as of their use. It is important for a data centre system to be reliable, secure and energy-efficient, but also easy to maintain. It must be possible to perform maintenance on the system while the other systems of the centre are still in use. These issues can easily be specifed and ensured using a good BIM model.

BIM models have many different levels and precisions. When drafting a device in a data centre, you can choose whether to represent it with a simple black block, or with enough detail that you can see how its doors open. Or should the device be modelled in such a way that everything in the centre is already in its place?

In the same way as details are added to the model of the device, the precise technical data of the device, up to and including its components and cable locations, can be imported into the BIM model. If a cable needs to be replaced, it is known exactly where it is located and how it is connected. Similarly, in addition to cooling data, electrical data can be added to a cooling device. This way, every designer can check their own information using the same model and everything is ready for the user.

Including the user in design

It is important to determine what should be included in the BIM model. If construction is carried out based on a basic model, no final values are added, which is what truly brings ease of use to the system. BIM specifications should be made clearly at the very start of the project, not thought up later when the project is already under way. In addition, all parties involved in the project should be included in defining the requirements and aims – the designers and implementors, as well as the user. This is how you achieve good and sufficient results.

We offer data centre consulting services and design, from finding and developing a plot of land to project management and commissioning.

Timo Ranne, International Business Development Director, Granlund

There is usually a lot of technology in a data centre compared to other buildings, and thus the requirements for modelling the technology and use increase significantly in data centres when compared to others. At the same time, the positive effects of good BIM design are multiplied. Large international customers have already pointed out that, alongside construction and design, data centre use becomes easier and cheaper when the BIM models are good and accurate. The requirement level has risen.

Smooth international cooperation

Here at Granlund, about 50 people work continuously in data centre design. We are the largest local supplier specialised in data centres in the Nordic countries. We offer data centre consulting services and design, from finding and developing a plot of land to project management and commissioning. We work together with the world’s largest data centre owners and bring strong local expertise to projects. In addition to the Nordic countries, we have ongoing projects in Germany and the Baltic states, among others.

We cooperate internationally a lot in data centre design, and our designers work simultaneously in several different countries. With a good BIM model, combining designs happens exibly. The design and construction time for data centres is very short. With good BIM coordination, it is possible to keep up with challenging delivery times and to plan ahead far enough that no more planning is needed at the work site.

The article has been published in the Construction Tech Review Magazine 5/2023

Further information

Timo Ranne

International Business Development Director
Granlund Oy

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