For over twenty years, master planned phased construction has been the most basic method for providing load-on-demand. This method calls for designing a data center for the ultimate phased construction but installing only part of the system on the first day.
During the first phase of construction, accommodations are made for the installation of the future equipment using strategies such as installing conduit and concrete pads for future equipment and sizing rooms large enough to accept the future gear. The obvious advantage to this approach is the time saved in construction during future phases. The team simply needs to order additional pre-specified equipment and have it set in place, connected and tested. Be cautioned, however, that without careful planning, inefficiencies and stranded capacities may arise.
Clients should be aware that certain parts of the system installed day one must be sized for the future builds, even when the growth may never be required. When using this phased construction model, pipe sizes, switchgear, electrical feeders and other systems, as well as the equipment spaces all need to be oversized day one to accommodate the future growth. If the growth does not happen, money may be wasted. Additionally, if significant time elapses between phases, technology may change or equipment models evolve, resulting in preplanned and constructed accommodations that may no longer be appropriate. Furthermore, testing of the new equipment must be carefully orchestrated by your A/E firm to avoid disruption to operations.