PCL completed a major expansion to an existing data center for Flexential in Chaska, Minnesota. The client needed to expand the data center to accommodate additional tenants. The exterior scope included the expansion of an exterior mechanical yard by adding precast walls, dry coolers, CRACs (computer-room air conditioning units), generators and other site infrastructure, including widening the roadway and adding walkways. The interior scope consisted of installing electrical switchgear, raised flooring, acoustical ceiling and plenum wall framing, along with the new tenant’s office fit-out.

Flexential needed to complete a quick expansion to the data center for a new co-location client. The project had two constraints – the data center would continue running full-time during construction and the new tenant had to move-in two and a half months after the design was scheduled to be completed. It was a tight timeline to mobilize, build and commission the building.

PCL engaged with Flexential and the design team quickly after the contract was awarded. The team worked with designers to release early bid packages before design was complete, with a focus on long-lead items and the largest scopes for the project, which included mechanical and electrical.

The team provided a collaborative, proactive, flexible approach that stemmed from having to construct the project out of sequence. Typically, the construction would follow a linear path – build out the space, finish the space and then move-in. With the Flexential data center, the priority was to complete the space for tenant move-in, then backfill.

The team managed to develop a workable plan based on the needs of Flexential and the incoming tenant. The plan included daily and sometimes hourly coordination, while keeping an eye toward major milestones and ensuring  client work loads were never interrupted.

Working with Flexential and the entire team, PCL proposed a budget and plan to utilize overtime hours to meet the tight deadline. With the client’s awareness and approval, the team established an overtime allowance within the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), which predicted the time needed to keep the project moving. The team used the overlap with the design period to actively dive into the understanding of the scope and proactively run through all known and potential scenarios that could affect the critical path. Through creatively sequencing the project and constant communication with Flexential, the designer and subcontractors, the team was able to focus on hitting critical milestones and the project was delivered below the GMP. Flexential received the project on time and under budget and were able to get their new tenant moved into the space within the promised timeframe.

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