Monthly Archives: December 2009

Tender Process – December update (Richard Stern)

The Vendor process started with 35 Companies informed of the initial project, of those only 17 registered on our in-house tender process system.


17 registered to the Pre-requisite that was issued to them about the project and from this 10 companies expressed an interest in the project.


From those 10, they attended the on-site Briefing and tour of the facility.


The next stage was to issue the I.T.T. (Invitation to Tender) document to those 10 companies.

8 of the 10 companies responded to the full ITT. But by the deadline only 4 submitted correct documents and costing’s to reach the next stage.


Those 4 are now being reviewed and they will be judged and fairly scored for some of the following criteria in their design submissions;



Main Data Centre space;

Room design and use of space. Does it meet EU Code of Conduct for Data Centre recommendations?

Thorough site survey carried out.

Air-lock area and work desk external from the main lights-out data centre space.

Fixtures and fittings.

Materials used, is the building materials “Green” and sustainably sourced?

Colours of walls and floor coverings.

Construction of new external Generator compound – must be “green and sustainable” in it’s construction.

Best practices and Industry standards adopted?

Fire Protection (detection, alarm and suppression)

Type of protection and system (double-knock).

Extraction of gas – should the need arise to release the system and how is this achieved.

What monitoring of the room is in place? Is the air sampled and temperature monitored in the room?

Create a sealed Fire-Cell for the new data centre room and associated equipment.

How will it integrate with existing security systems at the University?

Cost of re-fills in the suppression system. 

Water / flood detection;

Is this provided. If not why not?

Above and below floor protection.


Security / Access Control and CCTV;

What type of security and does it work in a “lights-out” facility.

How will the environment be monitored. Temperature and humidity?

Security access is not to be over-engineered needlessly.

How will it integrate with existing security systems at the University?


Power Provision and distribution;

Are the Power requirements correct and not over or under estimated?

Does it conform to industry standards?

What type of equipment will be used?

What type of UPS will be used and ratings?

What type of Back-up power supply (usually Diesel Generator) and will it be as “Green” as possibly?

What power cut-over times/standby/sequential start-up of back-up systems?

Monitoring and Metering – very important, without this we cannot justify energy saves. Also must allow for trending over periods of time.

Bypass switches for maintenance included?

What type of power strips and metering in the cabinets is used?

What’s the lifespan of all the equipment?



What type is recommended – Contained Hot Aisle with under floor plenum/Contained Cold Aisle/Chilled Racks in-line/Overhead plenum with Hot Aisle? Out of the final chosen design – Why and how was this final solution reached.

Is this wining solution n+1?

Does it meet ASHRAE standards?

Will the capacity cater for our Day-1 and 50% expansion requested?

Are variable speed fans and valves fitted where possible?

Where will Chillers be located?

Waste Heat – can the waste heat be utilised and how will this be achieved?

Bypass switches for maintenance included?


Infrastructure (Cabinets and cable distribution management);

Cabinets must be light in colour.

Ideally sourced within the UK and not transported half-way around the world.

Cable management (power and I.T.) and blanking plates where necessary. Under floor or overhead routes and reason for this decision.

Lighting must be efficient and passive in operation.

PDU’s in cabinets and ensure they are monitored.


Other Issues to be considered;

“Green” credentials and a successful track record delivering innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions.

Site Forman appointed.

Project Management process.

CDM and Health and Safety requirements all met.

Waste materials – ensuring recycling where possible and re-use.

Are they within budget.

Diagrams provided showing all routes for building services and cabling.

Can they meet the tight deadlines? (any long-lead times of equipment we need to be aware of?)

Load testing of all equipment (can be a hidden cost).

Good Standards and practice adopted.

Annual maintenance charges for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years.

Previous HE and FE experience.