When you hear about Data Centers, seldom do you think of Civil-Structural engineers. The word Data Center immediately hijacks the reader to Electrical-Mechanical-Computer engineers. But did you know that Civil-Structural engineers have a big part to play in several areas of DC design and development?
Starting from site selection to designing the building and its associated ancillary structures (substation structures) and finishing up anchoring all the equipment inside and outside the DC, there is plenty of things that involve the Civil-Structural engineer. Let’s start with site selection. Here is an info-graphic pamphlet for the site selection criteria based on environmental factors.
There is more than just environmental factors that affect site selection. Read (and watch) all about it in the new multimedia course “Design of Data Center-Role of Civil-Structural engineer” that is now published. This course would benefit anyone who wants to learn about the basics of site selection and retrofit and also the equipment design and anchorage information for environmental loads.
What do you have to do when you find an existing building in a great location that is highly sought after? How do you check an existing building to see if it can be retrofitted and brought up to code to use as a Data Center? What are the common pitfalls of existing buildings? How to identify structural irregularities in existing buildings? Do you know how to check if your building site is in a flood zone, tornado alley, hurricane prone or earthquake prone region? How to easily find out the latest code level wind and seismic loads for your site?
What about the various environmental criteria to be considered for the most important items inside the Data Center-the equipment (Computers, Racks, cabinets, Power distribution units, Auxiliary equipment (battery backups, motors, chillers, heat-exchangers)?
What about equipment anchorage? Do you follow International Building Code (IBC) or Telcordia GR-63 standard (which is now owned by Ericsson) for design of equipment and its anchorage? Do you know the difference between the two? What is mentioned in FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) about Equipment anchorage? Do you know the 400 lb rule? If something is on wheels does it mean it is temporary and does not have to be anchored? Do you know what type of damage (building damage or damage of components inside) ends up being the most expensive to fix after a seismic event?
How do you find out about tripping hazard that is regulated by OSHA? What are some of the ancillary structures outside the DC that go together with Data Center design?
If you are interested in learning more, sign up and try the free portion of the course!! You can also familiarize yourself with a summary of differences between IBC and GR-63 “free” when you sign up. As always, thank you for reading and thanks to everyone who has already signed up to my other courses. A warm welcome to students who are coming from the Civil Engineering Academy.