Consistently low temperatures and high humidity remain key challenges for UK and Irish contractors building data centres in the booming Nordics market, according to a new guide from Aggreko.
With the region regarded a leading location for facility construction, UK and Irish contractors continue to be called upon to support the build of the new data centres. However, according to Aggreko’s new report – Prepare For The Chill – many contractors are unprepared for issues arising from the region’s colder and humid climate, and many do not adopt an equipment strategy fitting the conditions.
According to Aggreko, there are three key challenges regularly facing contractors working in the Nordics – insufficient heating both inside and outside, humidity levels and effective risk management. All three are detailed in the guide, as well as advice on how contractors can ensure they are prepared for the foreign climate.
Greger Ruud, Sector Development Manager, Nordics Datacenters, said, “The data centre boom in the Nordics is here to stay, so UK and Ireland-based contractors need to be prepared to be continually called upon for their expertise in this highly in-demand region. The region’s harsh climate underlines the need for contractors to maintain a controlled environment in the construction phase, and the challenge of maintaining these conditions throughout. Doing so will allow data centre owners and operators to avoid issues during the build and keep to schedule – a vital priority in a sector where ready infrastructure is needed to meet growing market demand.”
In addition to exploring common on-site concerns raised by the Nordics’ colder climate, the guide also sets out logistical considerations, including the need for contingency planning, loadbank testing and sustainable practices. Commentary is also provided from the Chairman of the Swedish Datacenter Industry Association (SDIA), Pär Åberg.
Ruud concludes, “Data centre projects rest on the contractors’ ability to carry out work safely, to budget, and preserve key IT equipment they may be responsible for during the build phase. The Nordics’ logistical and climate considerations, as identified in this report, make it abundantly clear that a reactive strategy around equipment and expertise is ill-suited to this unique region.
“As such, we would advise stakeholders working on these facilities to take steps to ensure concerns around power, moisture and temperature control are addressed well in advance of breaking ground on new facilities. By doing so, contractors can reap the benefits of increased demand while knowing small on-site issues encountered during projects will not snowball into full-blown concerns.”