Episode #4: Modular approach in construction or how to build a single volume data hall

In our last episode, we talked about the major initial stages of Phase 3 construction.  Working in chronological order, we started with the time capsule going into the foundations.  From here we moved onto the site preparation and assembling of the steel frame.  This was followed by the erection of walls, a new ceiling and the commencement of the raised floor.  It is at this point the chronological order faced a new challenge!

You see, all the subsequent stages, including the false floor, installation of lighting, cooling and fire protection systems, were done in parallel, sometimes overlapping each other. The main reason is the huge, undivided space that is the Phase 3 data hall.

To successfully accomplish all the necessary works in a 2500 square meter data hall, the decision was made to break the project into four sections and fit out layer by layer.  As soon as work in one quarter was complete, we would begin on another.  Consequently, with everything finished in the first half, the other half was still having its false-floor laid and sandwich panels still being worked on.

Let me illustrate this: when the electricians and false-floor engineers were already working in section one, in the third and fourth quarters of the hall others were still laying the sandwich panels. And when the time came for HI-FOG engineers to install their cutting-edge fire-suppression system in, in other parts their co-workers were just finishing priming the pillars with the fire-retardant coating “Krauz-ultra”. In parallel to all of the above, the lighting crew moved from section to section, with fire alarm team breathing down their necks!!

In early March, the first CRAC units started arriving.  Completion of the hall was almost 50% at that time, so once again when in some parts you could already see newly installed air conditioning units, in other parts there were still people adjusting the false-floor tiles.

The second half of March and April was all about preparing the hall for the first client. With that came cabling works, wiring, installation of PDUs and HI-FOG, clean-up etc. The final results show a 2500 square meter data hall which is the single biggest data hall in Russia – and provides IXcellerate with a USP unseen before in Russia.