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The power of early discovery

How a data center owner saved $1.55M in project costs

Mission-critical data centers: massive capabilities, enormous challenges

Data centers are increasingly crucial pillars of the world’s infrastructure. But, with their huge scale and multitude of complex interconnected components, their construction presents immense challenges for project teams.

The sheer number of logistical complexities involved makes site clashes and rework virtually inevitable, putting significant strain on budgets and timelines.

Aware of the money and time that could be saved through early discoveries, the general contractor for a Netherlands-based data center sought out XYZ’s expertise and cutting-edge solutions.

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THE PROJECT

Location
Netherlands

Project Value
$500m

Project Size (m2)
95,000

Deadline for completion
Summer 2024

Given the size and scale of this data center project, it was paramount that issues were uncovered and addressed before they materialized. Construction teams needed to collaborate effectively and quickly resolve potential problems to ensure that this mission-critical project remained on schedule.

Working with XYZ, the owner conducted hundreds of surveys and uncovered mistakes with real-time project controls. With the Atom™, XYZ’s innovative Engineering Grade augmented reality (AR) headset, they discovered issues early, before serious clashes, that saved an estimated $1.55 million in costs, eliminating further project risks.

These avoided cost estimates have been calculated using a bilateral pricing logic, comparing (A) the estimated cost of the issue if it was resolved in the immediate aftermath of being uncovered by the survey, against (B) the estimated cost if it hadn’t been resolved until a clash occurred.

To ensure smooth delivery and avoid the huge costs and delays of rework, the project team collaborated with XYZ throughout

Concrete

Entering the field

Between October 2022 and July 2023, the contactor commissioned over 900 onsite surveys by two XYZ Field Application Engineers (FAEs) to highlight any discrepancies between the 3D building model and the as-built asset. It would also be their job to identify any subsequent quality assurance issues that might arise if action wasn’t taken.

Of these surveys, 114 identified non-conformities with the BIM that required action from onsite teams to avoid project rework as well as additional time and cost implications.

Our calculations, later validated by the general contractor, estimated that if the issues had gone undetected until the time they materialized they would have faced remediation costs of over $1.6M.

Instead, by rejecting the traditional approach of “build, check and put right” in favor of proactive validation through XYZ’s Engineering Grade AR surveys, $1.55M in rework costs were avoided.

Atom Hero Close up Daylight

Cost and risk recovery

Surveys carried out
900+

Surveys identifying risk
114

Estimated cost at time of clash
$1.62M

Estimated cost at time of survey
$66,770

Potential costs saved
$1.55M

Driving quality
through proactive validation

Over the 10-month period that XYZ FAEs were deployed, surveys were conducted at a consistent monthly rate. However, over time the number of surveys identifying issues leveled off, meaning there were fewer potential issues occurring during the build.

The strong implication is that the objective, emotion-free data provided by XYZ allowed the general contractor to successfully advance a culture shift amongst the onsite teams.

The integration of tech and live dashboards enabled by regular surveys ensured the project teams could see real-time updates and instant project-wide progress capture insights, substantially increasing their decision-making

abilities and confidence in the process. Collaboration improved, fostering an environment of open communication which in turn led to enhanced teamwork and coordination.

The onsite teams were also able to prevent a domino effect of issues. In such a complex project, one error can easily lead to five more. By catching the first error at source, the onsite teams prevented multiple further delays and costs further down the line.

This meant that by the end of the review period installation errors were down, producing a net positive effect on time and costs.

Surveys with issues
 Oct-22Nov-22Dec-22Jan-23Feb-23Mar-23Apr-23May-23Jun-23Jul-23

All surveys undertaken

57363040405146673065
All surveys cumulative5793123163203254300367397462
Surveys with issues33763615114610
Issues cumulative33404682979899103109119

Over time, the number of issues identified tailed off even as the number of surveys undertaken remained consistent. An increase in issues found in January 2023 coincided with the start date of a new contractor, but once these issues were identified and fixed the number of issues found over the succeeding months decreased once again.

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QA discovered Graph
 Oct-22Nov-22Dec-22Jan-23Feb-23Mar-23Apr-23May-23Jun-23Jul-23
Monthly QA Issues Discovered33763615114610
Combined QA issues discovered33404682979899103109119
Monthly QA issues Avoided6231123732210611
Combined QA issues avoided6293105142174176177177183194

Explore some of the surveys in detail

Before the installation of a white wall, the survey discovered it would clash with structural steel already installed in line with the BIM. If this coordination error hadn’t been caught, the internal area would have been reduced.

Early discovery saved 40 days in redesign time for the reduced floor area, avoiding the labor and materials that similar coordination issues would have required.

White wall table
White wall setting out image

A setting out error in the highly serviced hot air corridor wall framework would lead to the inaccurate installation of the Hot Aisle Containment (HAC) if undiscovered. The mistake wouldn’t have been apparent until the cabling and termination of the busbar and cable trays, creating approximately 28 days of delays.

Instead, the survey caught the mistake early. On-site teams took the chance to act quickly to avoid the costs and time delays of taking down and relocating multiple similar installations.

Racking Over server stacks table
Racking over server stacks

The installation of dry-lined stud framework failed to take into account the yet-to-be implemented service openings. If the survey hadn’t identified this issue early on, cutting those openings at a later stage could have significantly affected the structural integrity of the wall.

Ahead-of-time detection saved the team from having to purchase extra metal studs and plasterboards or hire plant equipment. As well as avoiding costs, early discovery benefited the construction project’s overall sustainability by reducing wasted materials and preventing unnecessary emissions during rework.

Plaster studding table
Plaster Studding
New Dashboard 2

Seven-figure
savings

By embracing XYZ’s revolutionary approach, the contractors of this huge data center saved over $1.5M in costs for project stakeholders.

Working together with XYZ ensured the site teams could detect errors early and act to virtually eradicate the impact on project delays and costs.

With the powerful tools at their disposal, the project teams drove a major culture shift. They harnessed real-time insights combined with integrated technology to inform intelligent resource allocation and optimal risk mitigation. The confidence, collaboration and open communication this encouraged ensured the project was executed with maximum efficiency.

Cost avoidance asset 3

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The Power Of Early Discovery

Dig in to the details, the surveys and costs avoided on this Data Centre project!

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