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How Augmented Reality is Improving Data Center Construction

Ar data center construction

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We live in the era of smart cities and data centers. From the Line in Saudi Arabia to technological parks and smart factories in the United States, there is no doubt that our surroundings are becoming more and more advanced.

One of the leading technologies spearheading this transformation is augmented reality (AR). The AR software market was worth $11.6 billion in 2023, and the figure is expected to catapult.

In construction, AR lets engineers overlay digital models onto physical job sites, creating a 3D visual representation of the project. The superimposition of virtual elements onto real-world scenarios allows architects and engineers to get a detailed view of their projects and address issues before construction begins.

Let's look further at the potential of augmented reality in data center construction.

An Overview of Data Centers

First of all, what is a data center? In simple terms, a data center is a facility or dedicated space used to store high-powered computers and their components. Companies use these facilities to store large amounts of data and information.

As the world becomes more technologically advanced and connected, businesses need more places to store client and company information. Previously, information and data were printed in phone books or stored in file folders. Now, with the shift towards digital, all of this information needs to be stored somewhere and accessible when needed.

Companies like Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon, for example, need to store large amounts of data in order to serve their customers well. With the data center construction industry booming, construction teams have a unique opportunity to meet the demands of these hyperscalers – that is, the large providers of cloud services.

Challenges in Data Center Construction

With such a high demand for data centers, construction companies also face several challenges in delivering these facilities. Some challenges include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Project delays
  • Budget overruns
  • Design deviations and clashes
  • Communication and collaboration delays/issues
  • Quality control

Data center construction projects are highly complex and involve several stakeholders and resources. Delays and budget overruns due to rework or scheduling issues can have a significant impact beyond the high financial costs (fines can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for every day a project runs over time).

Not meeting the deadline or set budget can also impact the reputation of a construction company, leading to a loss of client trust and potentially impacting future opportunities.

Delays also impact the individual trades and teams involved in the project, causing ripple effects on their operations as well.

Data center construction is highly competitive and time-sensitive, meaning teams must have the necessary tools to be successful for each project and in the industry overall.

How AR is Revolutionizing the Construction of Data Centers

With the increase in demand, data center construction has been evolving over the years. Augmented reality is now playing a crucial role in this space. Here are some ways AR technology is facilitating better construction.

Enhancing BIM for Better Design Visualization and Improved Accuracy

Let's say you want to build a data center from the ground up or make an addition to an existing facility.

BIM (building information modeling) can help you create a virtual model of your design. AR enhances this, allowing you to visualize the design to-scale before the construction process begins. This allows you to identify design flaws beforehand and fix them so they do not become worse problems later.

Editing the project and avoiding clashes beforehand makes it easier for teams to build projects right the first time around, reducing the risk of rework and keeping teams within the set budget. Timeline delays in data center construction are incredibly costly.

With better design visualization, companies can avoid mistakes beforehand for a smoother process.

AR tools like XYZ Reality's Atom™ headset let you view your designs to scale rather than managing multiple blueprints at once.

Other than timeline delays, data center construction companies can't afford deviations and inaccuracy – data centers have a margin of error as small as 5 millimeters. With the Atom's 3 to 5-millimeter accuracy, teams can spot even the smallest issues before moving to the building phase.

Changes and updates made to the BIM model from the office are instantly visible in the Atom viewer with zero lag. As a result, everyone can be on the same page (literally), resulting in better collaboration and better designs.

Streamlined Construction Process: Integration with project controls

Data centers require extra precision and attention to detail in the design measurements and in the organization and management of the data center project overall. The demand for data center construction is fast growing, making it more critical for contractors and team leads to find ways to streamline their processes.

Project controls are an essential part of successful project management, helping teams with:

  • Risk and resource management
  • Schedule management
  • Managing project cost
  • Managing critical data and information
  • Quality control

Fortunately, for teams looking to ramp up their management for data center projects, the Atom headset doesn’t just help with the design process – it also integrates high-tech project controls.

AR makes project management easier by unifying teams and designs on a singular platform solution.

The headset is the only one of its kind, providing multiple layers of information. The headset overlays a holographic version of the design over the construction site for easier clash detection. Managers can also tag each component of BIM with project schedule information, like which department is responsible for installation and when.

Through project controls, project managers can compare their project progress to the project schedule and make necessary adjustments for on-time delivery every time.

Incorporate XYZ Reality’s Solutions into Your Data Center Construction Project.

The best way to build is with confidence. XYZ Reality’s tools help give you confidence that your project will be completed on schedule and within the budget. Eliminate rework and the stresses of running overtime.

Our AR solution helps you design your building with accuracy, and our project controls solution helps your team stay on track for successful completion. With XYZ Reality, you can start strong and finish stronger.

Build your project right the first time. Book a demo of XYZ Reality's AR technology to see its potential on your job site.