BY DAVID J. ROSENBAUM, PRINCIPAL,
CITRIN COOPERMAN TECHNOLOGY CONSULTING
When selecting space or designing an office interior, proper planning for technology is critical; failure to do so can be expensive and disruptive. Including a technology consultant as part of the professional design and engineering team can help to avoid costly mistakes. Learn from these 7 real-life examples.
1. Server Room Column – The architect designed offices for a law firm and provided a centrally positioned server room with adequate dimensions to accommodate the firm’s file server rack. What the architect failed to take into account were the clearances required in front of the rack and behind the rack to service the equipment, and the fact that the column in the server room would prevent the equipment from sliding out of the rack for maintenance.
2. Building MPOE – The real estate broker and landlord assured the client that Internet and telephone services were provided to a warehouse building. What nobody disclosed was that the building’s main point of entry (MPOE) was at the opposite side of the building, and that a 2” EMT conduit would be required from the MPOE to the client’s communications room with an unexpected, unbudgeted cost of nearly $15,000.
3. Conference Table – The furniture dealer proposed a beautiful conference table for the client’s Board Room, and the architect specified appropriate core drills to bring power, voice and data service to the surface of the table through the table’s pedestals. When the furniture dealer recommended an “even more beautiful” conference table that was “on sale” he failed to coordinate the change with the architect or general contractor. The result was delivery of a truly beautiful table that didn’t align with the incoming feeds. The cables draped on the floor from the core drills to the pedestals were unsightly and compromised the entire look of the Board Room.
4. Space Heaters – The MEP consultant and the architect assured the client that the temperature in the new offices would be properly regulated and balanced, and that staff would not need space heaters in order to be warm during the winter. What the MEP and architect failed to take into account was client “organizational culture” which emphasized work comfort, interpreted as allowing space heaters. In the client’s old office, a proliferation of space heaters resulted in frequent circuit breaker trips and loss of data on the computers that were sharing the circuits; in the new office, an additional electrical panel to support individual space heaters would have added $45,000 to the project. Ultimately client management agreed to prohibit employee use of space heaters, and tasked the MEP, architect and general contractor with assuring that employees were comfortable without them.
5. “Redundant” Air Conditioning – The MEP met the client’s requirement for redundant server room air conditioning systems, but designed the two systems to both rely on the building’s cooling tower. When the cooling tower lines froze during the winter, both air conditioning systems failed and the server room began to overheat. Ultimately a 3rd air cooled system was added at significant post-construction expense to provide proper system redundancy.
6. Cable Pathways – The cabling vendor roughed-in cables from the building’s service closet to the tenant’s communications room, which were then enclosed in a soffit by the general contractor. When additional communications circuits were later required, it was discovered that nobody had thought to leave a drag line or provide pull boxes to facilitate future connections. Due to the pathway and turns in the pathway, the soffit needed to be penetrated to install additional cabling, then reclosed and repainted at additional cost and disruption to the client.
7. Internet Services – The real estate broker identified space that met the client’s requirements for location, budget and useable square footage, but didn’t review the availability of suitable Internet services for the floor the client would be occupying. After signing the lease and beginning construction, the client learned that the building’s management would not permit the current Internet provider to install any additional services through the riser closets unless they first cleaned up the cabling that had been installed haphazardly over the past 15 years. The result was that the client experienced delays in occupying the space and incurred additional costs securing Internet service from a different, more expensive provider that wasn’t similarly barred.
This demonstrates the importance of planning and anticipating future needs. While it’s not possible to anticipate everything when selecting or designing an office space, a thorough review of current technology-related requirements and possible future needs is critical to assure that the client’s needs are met. Working with professionals who’ve been through the process before can help to avoid these and other pitfalls.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Rosenbaum is a Principal at Citrin Cooperman. He has more than 35 years of experience in the information technology field and is a third-generation entrepreneur. David can be reached at 914.693.7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Citrin Cooperman Technology Consulting is focused on meeting the needs of small and midsized businesses. With experience in a variety of industries, our team is well-equipped to support your company’s growth and vision. We have four core service offerings including best practices assessments, outsourced IT, corporate relocation services, and compliance implementation.