It used to be that if your organization needed a data center, you had no choice but to break ground on-site and take the traditional stick-built approach for your construction project.
Even in the best-case scenario, you wouldn’t be able to turn your servers fully online for at least 18 months. You’d also be crossing your fingers, hoping that the data center you ended up with wasn’t riddled with errors and defects. Let’s also hope that you were able to stick to your budget and your timeline, which was much easier said than done, as according to McKinsey, the average large construction project has typically run 80 percent over budget and taken 20 percent longer than predicted. To accelerate project timelines, reduce budgets and increase quality, more and more organizations are opting to use prefabricated construction to build their data centers.
What is prefabricated construction?
Instead of having a team of contractors build a data center on-site, prefabricated construction takes place off-site—at the vendor’s facility. Teams of skilled contractors build modular data center components at their own facilities, and once they’re ready, those parts are then brought to the client’s property and assembled there on-site.
Due to this approach, companies are able to accelerate construction timelines by as much as 30 percent, and completed data centers can be delivered in a few short months. Due to the construction being done somewhere else, additional steps of site preparation and permitting are eliminated from the equation.
What’s more, companies get the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will end up with a high-quality data center on the other side. By partnering with the right vendor, you gain access to a team of skilled contractors who adhere to the highest quality standards in the industry.
Why is prefabricated construction on the rise?
Prefabricated construction is becoming more and more common, because it delivers a number of benefits that, for many, prove too good to pass up.
1. It helps solve the skilled labor shortage
As the U.S. population gets older, a national skilled labor shortage is looming. Research suggests that the vast majority of younger workers are not interested in joining the construction industry. Yet at the same time, in the age of cloud computing, mobile devices and ubiquitous connectivity, data center demand continues to increase. By opting to build a modular data center, organizations can avoid running into labor shortages by contracting a dedicated team that builds data centers all year round.
2. It costs less and takes less time
A recent McKinsey report found that off-site construction can reduce costs by up to 20 percent and accelerate project timelines between 20 percent and 50 percent. Organizations that are trying to spend their money efficiently and open their data centers’ doors faster—or both—are increasingly opting for the modular approach to save time and money. Even in the COVID-19 era, companies can move data center projects forward on schedule by taking this approach.
3. It’s completely customizable and easy to secure
Like the name suggests, modular data centers are flexible by design. Configure components however you want, and build a bespoke data center that meets your organization’s unique needs. As an added bonus, when you partner with the right vendor, you end up with a high-quality data center that features robust security mechanisms.
4. It’s better for the environment
By 2025, it’s expected that construction waste will double to 2.2 billion tons. With off-site construction, you can reduce the construction waste of your projects by half. As a result, your company can lower its environmental footprint and help preserve a brighter tomorrow for future generations.
How is prefabricated construction done?
Once you’ve decided to go with a modular design for your data center project, here’s what you can expect to happen next:
- The vendor will begin engineering your data center, completing concept design and detail.
- Construction begins when companies would usually be dealing with approval, permits and site prep.
- Once completed, the data center is tested and approved.
- It’s then transported to your property.
- Once it arrives, the data center is put together and then turned online.
As you can see, it’s a relatively straightforward process—and one that should help you open your doors considerably faster than taking the old-fashioned approach.
When should your company consider prefabricated construction?
There are a number of reasons why organizations like yours are moving to prefabricated construction. You should consider modular data centers:
- If you have budgetary concerns
- If you’re facing deadline constraints
- If your property is in a remote location
- If you want a high-quality data center
- If you don’t want to disrupt day-to-day operations
- If you want a completely customizable solution
- If you want to leverage cutting-edge technology
For more information on modular data centers and whether prefabricated construction makes sense for your organization, check out our free guide, The Complete Guide to Modular Data Centers.