Less than 8 months after Green Mountain expanded its mountain hall facility at DC1-Stavanger, the company completes yet another 2.5 MW expansion. The data center expansion is a built-to-suit project for a large international cloud provider. Despite the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 situation, Green Mountain delivered this complex project 2 weeks ahead of schedule.
The data center expansion consists of a mountain hall of 2.5 MW capacity, new back-up generator sets and associated infrastructure. The total timeline was estimated at 9 months and numerous sub-contractors and vendors were involved in the project. Certainly, building inside a mountain poses some additional challenges compared to open-air site constructions. The Covid-19 pandemic also added a layer of uncertainty regarding equipment delivery. Consequently, the Green Mountain project team implemented specific measures to maintain progression from the very start.
Strict follow-up and creative logistical solutions
“We knew we had to cooperate very closely with our sub-contractors and equipment vendors to be able to pull this project off according to schedule.” says Chief Project Officer in Green Mountain, Terje Huseby. “During normal circumstances, we always expect some delays that we need to mitigate. But the pandemic caused additional uncertainty factors. The project manager followed-up our partners on a daily basis. He was always one step ahead of the challenges. Me on the other hand, took on a different role. I kept a distance to the nitty gritty details in order to see the bigger picture.”This strategy proved successful.
When problems arose, they found creative solutions to problems. Moreover, they challenged the conventional ways of doing things. For instance, sometimes they changed the traditional order of execution. Instead, they sent equipment earlier and assembled on site. Or they found ways of performing tasks in parallel to avoid delays. Project manager, Håvard Lurås, describes it like this: “If you think of the project phase as a line between A and Z, and the problem arises at M… Well, then you have to start working your way back from Z. We could not afford to waste time on waiting.”
Remote commissioning of data center expansion
With closed borders into Norway, Green Mountain had to execute the commissioning process remotely. The commissioning agent, BVPI (Bureau Veritas Primary Integration), sent camera equipment to the site. Then, independent consultants performed the test according to remote instructions. A procedure that turned out to be more successful than anticipated and more efficient for all parties involved. “Given the situation, we shortened this phase by several days.” says Huseby.
“It was a great vote of confidence that the client trusted Green Mountain to expand their capacity yet again. Therefore, we were determined not to disappoint them. I am very proud we could deliver above expectations, even in unprecedented times. I believe the main reasons are our solid experience, a small and adaptable project team and a creative approach to challenges.” Huseby sums up.