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  • Writer's pictureCraig Drabyk

Fast-Tracking IT Room Completion Saves Overall Construction Schedules

Today’s world is increasingly driven by digital technology, and for many organizations, IT rooms serve as the heart of their building.

On large construction and renovation projects, fast-tracking the completion of IT rooms and the various networks, building automation systems, and controls contained in them is key to supporting the overall construction schedule. Systems must be installed, configured, tested, and ready for early start-up, so ideally, construction of these rooms and completion of electrical, data, and IT/AV should run on a separate, detailed schedule.

As obvious as this may seem, however, delays in completing IT room construction still commonly holds up many construction projects.

So how can this be avoided? First and foremost, the building’s IT, MDF, and IDF rooms should not be treated like other areas under construction. These rooms require the early installation of static flooring, doors, painted walls and ceilings, and other finishes so they’re ready for cabinets and racks. Though it may be convenient for the construction management team to order, receive, and install all of the building’s flooring at the same time, this approach can potentially hold up progress in the IT room and snowball into overall project delays.

The next step is the installation of UPS, electrical power, and grounding. CAT6 and fiber optic cables must then be run throughout the facility and ready for testing and termination on the proper patch panels. Next, cooling and ventilation must be in place and operating in the IT room before electronic hardware switches and servers can be installed on racks and in cabinets.

IT, MDF, and IDF rooms are often designated to contain other systems and control panels including building automation, fire alarm, WAPs, lighting controls, etc., most of which are vital to the building’s operation. These rooms must be completely finished, including punch list items, and thoroughly cleaned before expensive electronic components and equipment can be installed.

Now, with the networks complete, HVAC and building ventilation systems can be started to support construction finishes and provide comfort heating and cooling. Lighting control systems can be programmed, wireless antenna systems and WAPs can be brought online, and fire alarm systems can be tested and put into operation.

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