Data Center

Schneider Electric partners with TierPoint on a hyper-fast data center build.

Data center service providers know customer demands dictate lots of requirements, including the amount of capacity they need. The business objective is to match sales with new white space. And sometimes that requires retrofitting an entire floor – in a mere 11 weeks.

That was the challenge facing TierPoint, a provider of cloud, colocation and managed services that operates nearly 130,000 square feet of raised-floor data center space in Baltimore, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Spokane, Seattle and Tulsa.

To meet customer demand, TierPoint needed to deploy more capacity in Seattle – and fast. Its solution was to convert the top floor of the six-story Fisher Plaza into a data center.

The company faced numerous challenges, including:

  • Retrofitting office space into a raised floor data center
  • Supporting heavy data center equipment, including 18,000-pound UPS units, while adhering to building codes that allow for building sway during seismic events
  • Water delivery and distribution for cooling units

“On day one, the 6th floor was deployed as office space and needed to be completely gutted before the data center construction could begin,” explains Darin Honodel, Director of Facilities. “The normal timeline for a project this size would be at least 180 days, and that’s starting from a bare shell.”

TierPoint had  a working relationship with Schneider Electric and once again turned to the company to lead the complicated, time-sensitive design and build project. Schneider, in turn, enlisted local contractors, including McKinstry Mechanical and Prime Electric, who had participated in the original construction of the building and knew their way around Seattle’s permitting processes.

Schneider also hired specialized experts – Degenkolb Engineers and WorkSafe Technologies – to deal with sticky problems like the UPS units. Together, they designed an innovative ball bearing isolation platform for the UPSs that enable them to sway as much as 20 inches in any direction during a seismic event.

Dealing with water delivery was another issue. The existing plumbing wasn’t sufficient to deliver the volume of water the CRAH units required. Plus, Seattle building codes require air economizers, fans and stands for the CRAH units. The finished design met all requirements, with sophisticated louvers replacing the building’s existing exterior window system, plumbing for the CRAH units and drainage for the condensation.

Long story short, TierPoint met their target date and commissioned the data center  in early  September , 2013 – just 11 weeks after executing the design-build contract.

That’s the level of performance Schneider Electric and our Data Center Service Provider Team can deliver. Learn more about the TierPoint project from this case study and give us a call to discuss your ongoing business objectives.


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