Facebook team wins the ‘Special Assignment’ Team of the Year at the DatacenterDynamics 2014 Awards Share this article

The team for Facebook’s data centre in Luleå, Sweden comprised of Cundall, Sheehan Partners Tyrens, Emerson Network Power and Facebook themselves. This team came together to achieve amazing results in an exceptionally short period of time, in incredibly difficult site conditions, with each working from different geographical locations. Each of these factors required a strong team and together required something exceptional. Each organisation and member brought different world leading skills ranging from geotechnology through electrical and mechanical engineering to architecture, modular fabrication and logistics. The team operated internationally across time zones, language and cultures to form a single virtual project team making extensive use of internet based communications. The team was truly multinational, with members based in the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden and Croatia.

In August 2013, the growth in Facebook’s business was exceptional and they needed to build and bring on line more facilities as quickly as possible. The climatic conditions in Lulea mean civil engineering construction is not possible for five months of the year, so given an inflexible start date, it was imperative to be able to shorten the above ground build and fit-out periods. The challenge then was to formulate design, construction and manufacturing plans that would allow a flat pack style solution to be brought to a pre-prepared site for rapid erection and final fit out of cables and connections ready for installation of servers within nine months of start on site.

The ethos and trust created a single virtual team working between disciplines and organisations in a truly open and collaborative way, in real time which whilst unstructured at times permitted very rapid solutions to problems which overlapped organisational and commercial boundaries. The team worked on a single BIM Revit Model for all elements of the project.

From the get go in November 2013 to release for manufacturing and construction took only four months for a project the like of which has never been done before.

15 Dec 2014

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