Data Center Retrofit? The First 13 Questions To Ask

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The continued revolution in distance working / telecommuting is fundamentally altering commercial real estate’s traditional office space measures of economic health.  Once, vacancy rates and square footage outlays per employee were widely assumed key indicators of performance.  Today, the economic power of the office worker is being spread out around the globe.  This is contributing to stubborn vacancy rates, but it is also driving explosive demand for data centers.

Found in your client’s portfolios is probably vacant space aplenty.  Can any of that space be retrofitted into a data center?  Complicated topic, as the questions could be endless.  But you have to start somewhere — here are the first thirteen questions to ask:

  • Is the area isolated from contaminants and liquid leaks?
  • What is the general layout of the area?
  • Is there enough room for required equipment?
  • Is there adequate access for moving in and rotating large equipment?
  • What is the proximity of the area to chillers and condenser units?
  • Where will HVAC units be placed? Inside the area? Outside?
  • What are the access control possibilities?
  • Is there any room for future expansion?
  • Can walls be removed without creating structural instability?
  • Can walls be added?
  • Can a raised floor be added?
  • Is the floor-to-ceiling height adequate for a raised floor, ceiling plenum, and equipment height?
  • Will the existing subfloor be able to handle the weight load?

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