The Race to Deliver 8MW Continues

Lap 2: The Approach


*This is post #2 in a 3-part series. View post #1 here.

As Prime Data Centers entered the second lap of this fast-paced Build-To-Suit (BTS) data center project at our Sacramento facility, one thing was certain: the only road to the finish line was contingent upon partnerships.

In our approach, we needed to solidify the most skilled contractor. We started by eliminating the typical RFP process and narrowed it down to three leading contractors. This unconventional strategy not only accelerated the project but also helped us put only the top candidates on the roadmap.

Throughout this rigorous process of selecting a partner, we sought guidance from the industry and coupled that with Prime’s Partnership as a Service model to make our selections as precise as possible. Among the requirements for this rapid and unique project? For starters, a laser-focus dedication to project management and the ability to accelerate the terms and conditions of the engagement as typical negotiations and approval tactics would simply burn through the timeline.

A New Set of Roadmap Rules

Along the course, we developed a new set of rules to encompass insight from volumes written on some of the world’s most ambitious projects completed in record time. We also knew that with the proper level of autonomy, partnerships, and communication, overcoming the challenges and completing the project for this global leader in technology was not only possible but could be duplicated in the future. In other words, we understood that the methodology and tactics we were developing could be repurposed for any customer when timelines are tight.

While some of the new guidelines developed from this BTS project are nothing new, combined, they set a strong foundation in today’s new reality. Following these five rules will enable better design, project management, and overall cost-effectiveness as more accelerated projects come into play. They include:

  1. Empowerment
  2. A team-focused mindset
  3. Cooperative and Communicative vendor management
  4. Setting realistic equipment parameters
  5. Cost control

To dive deeper into each guideline and what we discovered along the way, download the case study here.

Fast-Track Partnership, Unmatched Detail

It was evident after reviewing the top contenders for this Sacramento data center project that Holder Construction had the experience, willingness, and resources to get the job done — and get it done right. From Holder Construction’s expert team’s readiness to mobilize to Sacramento upon a verbal award to their flexibility to commit significant resources as early as possible, is what ultimately won them the business. Additionally, it’s important to note that Holder Construction also had to agree to the five key rules listed above.

As part of the approach, Holder Construction agreed to place their most experienced management on site, and Prime agreed that those individuals would have the authority to make major decisions. This process meant that even if decisions caused cost increases, they could articulate how the decision(s) would meet or improve the timelines.

Beyond the Construction: Relationships Still Matter

Relationships still matter, which drives us back to automobile racing and how the industry has built a loyal relationship engine with its fans, sponsors, and supporters. While the data center industry doesn’t necessarily aspire to have a fan base, per se, building solid relationships with clients, partners, and government organizations is critical and came into play for this specific project.

Over the course of the project, Holder Construction and Prime met with county officials to discuss the permitting process, expediting wherever possible. They partnered with code officials to help navigate the county’s “Delegated Design Process.”

Leveraging our resources at the county level, combined with the benefits of building in McClellan Park, an economic development zone, contributed to meeting the project’s aggressive timeline. Working with the Greater Sacramento Economic Council along with the senior management at the county resulted in accelerated reviews and very few design changes or code violations. Over-communication and cultivating long-standing relationships paid massive dividends here.

The Final Countdown

The heat is on, and the race to the finish line is in sight. With the final lap approaching, stay tuned for the third and final part of this blog series, where we break down some of the critical supply chain and pandemic-driven challenges and provide the results, or you can download the complete case study now.

Download our case study to find out!