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September 2017

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REDUCING ENERGY USAGE in the built environment


DATA CENTRES How the construction of data centres is being shaped by environmental concerns








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FOREWORD HELLO AND WELCOME to the September edition of Construction Global. Our cover feature this month looks at the data centre industry and the bid to make it a more sustainable enterprise. Data centres are huge energy drains, and innovative companies are coming up with ways to offset some of this power usage. Sticking with sustainability, our second feature explores how construction firms can reduce the energy footprint of built up areas, again drawing on innovative ideas and putting them into practice.


Consultants also have an important role to play in the development of sustainable spaces, and our top 10 charts some of the industry’s biggest consulting companies currently working on both public and private projects. We have several other exclusive company insights this month, spanning Europe, the US and Australia. Be sure to check out our interviews with the likes of data centre specialists Cologix and LuxConnect, along with real estate giant JLL, among others. Enjoy the read!







The rise of green data



Reducing energy usage in the built environment

TOP 10




10 US

construction consultants in the


September 2017

Company Profiles USA 32 Cologix, Inc. 46 Los Rios Community College District 58 M+ W Group

EUROPE 70 LuxConnect S.A. 84 NGN Group 94 JLL

AUSTRALIA 106 Viadux 118 Echo Group


32 Cologix, Inc.


Los Rios Community College District


M+ W Group

128 East Africa Data Centre




LuxConnect S.A.

106 Viadux


Echo Group


NGN Group


East Africa Data Centre


The of


Construction Global looks at how the construction of data centres is being shaped by environmental concerns… W r i t t e n b y : LY N L E Y O R A M

AN UNQUENCHABLE THIRST for data storage, online services, and cloud computing is driving an explosion in the construction of hyperscale data centres. Taking up hundreds of thousands of square feet of real estate, these server farms are also highly automated and use the latest start-of-the-art technology. Networking and IT giant Cisco predicts that the number of these behemoth-sized data centres, mainly from multinational corporations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, will double in the next two years. In turn, data centres are intensely hungry for energy. Globally, it is estimated that the industry consumes between three and 5% of the world’s power, putting it on par with the aviation industry. As a result, the spotlight has been put on these facilities by environmentalists, governmental regulators and the general public to ensure that there is a sustainability focus. Guy England, Lenovo Group’s Data Centre Director, explains: “The popularity of new technologies

such artificial intelligence and the internet of things are spawning a massive increase in computing power, with some predicting data centre energy consumption will triple in the next decade. With the Paris Climate Agreement placing energy usage at the top of the public and government agenda, those with large datacentres are coming under pressure to be more efficient.” The size of the challenge A clean, renewable energy source is the biggest challenge facing data centres. As well as powering the massive number of server racks, the cooling systems need to suck up all the heat generated by the machines, and that requires a lot of power. Energy and cooling alone account for 90% of a data centre’s electricity consumption. It isn’t just regulations or a social conscience that is encouraging the large multi-nationals building data centres to shrink their carbon footprints. Reducing energy use also lowers the operating costs, a saving that can then be passed

D ATA C E N T R E S on to customers by co-location centres, each sized over 300,000 sq ft, providers. And it is good for sales in Sweden just inside the Arctic Circle. and marketing. Many organisations Powered entirely by renewable energy, require that their third-party suppliers the facilities can make use of the low and partners are also sustainable. outside temperatures for cooling. Nearly all the big names have set Underground is another useful location fairly high targets for themselves as to ensure cool temperatures. There well. Microsoft is a six-storey data “The popularity of new is aiming to centre located in an technologies such have 60% of its abandoned Norwegian artificial intelligence and mine. Microsoft energy use in data the internet of things centres come recently created quite are spawning a massive from renewable a media splash by increase in computing sources early in testing a data centre the next decade. prototype submerged power, with some As Greenpeace in the Pacific Ocean predicting data centre and other groups energy consumption will that could draw on point out, by this triple in the next decade” wave motion for power. point energy use With each of – Guy England, Data Centre overall may have these there are Director, Lenovo Group tripled anyway, other problems to so even with a overcome. These goal of 60%, overall data centres are not suitable for applications that will still be using substantially more can’t cope with a latency of more energy from fossil fuels. In 2015 the than a few milliseconds. And there world’s data centres used 416.2 is already a lot of environmental terawatts hours of electricity. research into the negative effects that a local increase in temperature It’s all in the location has on an underwater ecosystem One way to solve this problem is to that may prevent any widespread choose the right location for a data adoption of underwater facilities. centre. Facebook has placed data Locations in the cooler climes 8

September 2017



D ATA C E N T R E S of northern Europe, together with electricity from renewable sources such as wind and hydroelectricity, and high-quality connectivity, has seen mega data centres built in Denmark, the Netherlands, and under a mountain in Switzerland. Jean-Sébastien Pelland is a director at UK-based Eland Cables, a supplier of cable solutions used to deliver renewable power projects. “Large Tier 4 data centres are now being designed to be self-sufficient using turbines on wind farms to generate the required power. Solar farms can also generate clean, green power in locations where the built environment allows for the volume of panel arrays needed for the power generation,” he says.

By the early 2020s, MICROSOFT WANTS

60% USE TO




September 2017

When you can’t count on the climate However, between 40 and 50% of all the data centres in Europe are in the UK, and locations in the UK and the US don’t always have access to such resources. Dennis O’Sullivan is the EMEA Data Centre Segment Manager at power management company Eaton. It researches and develops energy storage technology so that facilities can make more efficient use of their power supply. He comments: “Often the power supply to data centres is over-booked, but under-used which leads to huge amounts of energy going to waste. Introducing energy storage solutions into the operation of data centres means that energy can be stored for future use, when it is in high demand. If data centres can effectively manage energy to reduce wasted energy, huge cost savings can be reached without compromising sustainability.” Keeping it cool England is encouraged by the advances that have been made in cooling technologies, and what this means for data centres’ sustainability.


“Often the power supply to data centres is overbooked, but under-used which leads to huge amounts of energy going to waste” – Dennis O’Sullivan, EMEA Data Centre Segment Manager, Eaton

He points out that water has 50,000 times the capacity to absorb heat compared to air, making it the most efficient and cost-effective option. By reducing the energy spent on fans and coolants, liquid systems can drastically minimise a data centre’s carbon footprint. “Water cooling systems can also enable better use of space. As hot air rises, servers at the top of a stack can often overheat in air-cooling environments, limiting the number that can be placed on top of each

other. As the temperature can be more easily controlled in a liquid system, the height of the stack becomes less important,” England explains. Whatever else happens, it doesn’t look like this sector will stop needing new, and larger, facilities any time soon. The global green data centre market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 14% according to market research company Technavio in a study it released this year. By 2021, it calculates the market will be worth US$5bn. 11


Reducing energy usage in the built environment Construction Global speaks with SPIE’s Director of Energy and Engineering, George Adams, hearing his thoughts on sustainability in the built environment W r i t t e n b y : C AT H E R I N E S T U R M A N


ONLY 200 YEARS ago, an agriculture and farming society that was once heavily reliant on manual labour radically changed to a largely industrial economy, with growing manufacturing and building sectors. This transformation has driven a steep increase in carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. The built environment sector is driving strategies to reduce its impacts on global warming, and there are legally binding government targets in place on local, national, regional and even global scales. “The world could be two to six degrees Celsius warmer by the end of the century,” comments SPIE’s Director of Energy and Engineering, George Adams. With a significant history of delivering low energy


September 2017

solutions, such as a recent contract for new environmental and ventilation systems and controls within 23km of London’s huge communications tunnels, SPIE UK is firmly committed in the delivery of sustainable solutions. These solutions significantly reduce carbon output and vast amounts of condensation, whilst improving efficiencies and extending the overall lifecycle of


equipment. Delivering improved health and safety, it will also reduce longterm operational costs and energy consumption. Providing quality efficient solutions within maintenance, construction and design is something Adams and SPIE are incredibly passionate about. “The big issues,” he stresses, “are energy conservation, natural

resources, air quality and human wellbeing in buildings.” Growing global populations have placed a significant strain on natural resources, where demand is outstripping supply. With reports suggesting that by 2050 approximately 70% of the population will be urban, energy use is hugely increasing over the same period. “Right now, we use about 70% of the world’s energy in our cities, and we create about 70% of global emissions. We are also using around 75% of the world’s natural resources, which we exploit, but only for 50% of the global population,” explains Adams. “We are currently outstripping the earth’s capability to replenish natural resources, as we take it out 50% faster than the earth can replace it. “The challenge is: how do we get our buildings and


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y cities to be effectively a net zero carbon balance – in other words, what we use, we give back? I think that’s where cities really have to become not only more efficient but also more self-sustaining.” The impact on the natural world is consequently leading the built environment industry to look towards new behaviours, technologies and processes to reduce future damage, decrease emissions, and guarantee long-term solutions. This will affect not only new buildings, but also existing buildings that are becoming increasingly unsustainable in their current form.

“Cities really have to become not only more efficient but also more self-sustaining” – George Adams, Director of Energy and Engineering, SPIE


September 2017

New design solutions The built environment sector is undergoing technical changes, material changes, and new complete design solutions in relation to the ergonomics of the building, its design and construction, alongside its operations. “If we’re to live and move towards two-degree or more of global warming, we can’t do it by just efficiency on its own. We’re going to need to capture the carbon out of the atmosphere because we’ve already put so much into it,”


comments Adams. The utilisation of features which can support solar heat gain, such as glazing, is one of many solutions, but the most challenging action is to engineer carbon capture and removal as Adams states. With this in mind, designers and engineers will be responsible for looking at the form of the building and its function with regards to energy generation and waste reduction. New technologies will then further its efficiency and capture essential data, detailing its energy consumption and providing significant management efficiency. A holistic approach is

something which Adams believes to be the most viable option in this space, where designers and engineers could fully integrate the natural environment with the built environment. It will also enable buildings to take on a new metabolism of its own, and allow buildings to become increasingly dynamic, interactive and community based. Buildings will also become taller through these ambitions. With increased density as a result of increased numbers moving to cities, individuals will also need to look at how the building is practical in terms of 17

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y function. For example, London imports 80% of its food from around the world, something which Adams explains is simply not sustainable going forward. Promoting self-sufficiency, where individuals are able to grow food at a faster rate, whilst remaining aware of the impact on neighborhoods and microclimates, is something to which society should aspire. Furthermore, greener buildings are attractive assets for new owners and users, especially corporations that place sustainability in high regard. This therefore provides an economic balance, where if individuals are able to make their built environment a better place to be. It will consequently create longterm advantages, and also reduce the number of illnesses contracted due to all round healthier living. A shift in the dominant focus surrounding ‘the return on investment – the payback,’ to one in which


September 2017

whole-life sustainability becomes the key driver within building schemes is something which Adams highlights as the biggest challenge of all. Supportive technologies Built environment workers will also be responsible for adopting new technologies within their traditional processes in order to support the reduction in energy consumption, which has led to the degradation of the natural environment and the damage of natural capital. Consequently, the sector is fully embedding data-based technologies and also researching artificial intelligence. There is an increase of buildings being manufactured offsite and through


modularisation, alongside building information modelling (BIM) and the prefabrication of efficient buildings. Nonetheless, Adams comments: “We can invent a piece of technology that a very small amount of people would immediately get, but in the wider populous, it would take a lot of people a long time to get used to. How do you integrate new technology into society? That’s a big challenge.” Irrespective of these challenges, the built environment industry will need to invest in SMART solutions in order to counteract a predicted skills shortage. Reports highlight that in the

next few years the UK engineering profession especially is likely to lose approximately 400,000 workers. Adams adds: “It’s new people coming into the industry, but equally it is also about technology. Robotics replacing construction workers is not an immediate concern, but more of a long-term issue at this time.” Collaborations Technologies such as BIM have supported increased collaboration between different teams through sharing of essential data, but most importantly, should enable companies to share generic mistakes which have been made. “Companies don’t have to name the building, the client or any personable data, but just



“How do you integrate new technology into society? THAT’S A BIG CHALLENGE” – George Adams


September 2017


the lessons which have been learnt,” Adams states. Nonetheless, with many companies uncomfortable with admitting to past failings, he adds; “It’s about collaboration, the sharing of knowledge and information, an openness about research and disseminating this to the industry and universities which are participating in research.” With this in mind, Adams remains part of several groups such as the ‘Trees and Design Action Group’ and the CIBSE Resilient Cities Group, which support the sharing of knowledge. Both groups strive to promote green infrastructure in the urban environment, and work to deliver green infrastructure within cities. Adams’ leadership of the Resilience Cities Group has also been highly beneficial. “It’s all about encouraging joined up thinking, how we can encourage

the identification of what we don’t know, rather than what we do know. The Resilience Cities Group puts on events to bring the message of efficiency, health, wellbeing, cities and the urban environment to the general public. It identifies how collective leadership can change the future.” Adams feels fortunate to have SPIE in full support of these activities. He concludes: “I think the next revolution will be about behaviour and data – how we behave together, how we work together, how we understand each other’s difficulties and how we work towards a better solution for our societies.” “Policy has to be integrated to include health, transport, energy, buildings, people, society, the neighborhood, big data – all of it. We’ve got to work towards a joined-up policy for the future.”


TOP 10



10 US

construction consultants in the

The construction industry touches every aspect of life in the United States. With an ongoing portfolio of diverse projects spanning the public and private sectors, these 10 construction consultants are some of the industry’s biggest players Edited by: ANDREW WOODS

TOP 10

10 PCL CONSTRUCTION ENTERPRISES A Canadian company that undertook its first project for the United States construction market in 1975, PCL Construction Enterprises had a revenue of $7.5bn in 2013. A private company that is owned by its 4,400 salaried employees, PCL Construction Enterprises also employs more than 10,000 tradespeople on an hourly basis. Its focus sectors include renewable energy, historical renovation, civil construction and heavy industrial. One notable project the firm undertook was the expansion and restoration of the home of the UCLA’s women’s and men’s basketball teams, the UCLA Pauley Pavilion.

09 PULTE GROUP With its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, Pulte Group focuses primarily on home building. The company reported revenues of $7.5bn in 2016. Its portfolio includes some of the most successful and diverse names in the business including Pulte Homes, Centex Homes, DiVosta Luxury Communities and Del Webb Homes, which all fall under the Pulte Group umbrella.


September 2017

08 KIEWIT CORPORATION Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Kiewit Corporation is an employee-owned contractor who has earned a solid place on the Fortune 500. With a revenue of $9bn, Kiewit Corporation operates an extensive network of subsidiaries and offices throughout the United States, providing engineering and construction services in sectors such as telecommunications, transportation, oil, mining and more.

07 TURNER CONSTRUCTION Turner Construction is one of the country’s largest construction consultant companies with a sales volume in 2014 of $10bn. Headquartered in New York City, this international company focuses on projects in the education, green buildings, aviation, pharmaceuticals industries and others. Employing more than 5,200 workers, Turner Construction is the name behind construction projects like Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium in New York, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia. 25

TOP 10

06 JACOBS A member of the Forbes Global 2000 List, Jacobs reported revenues of nearly $11bn in 2016. Working within the government, industrial and commercial sectors, Jacobs’ client list is comprised of more than 90% of repeat customers. As a global company, Jacobs provides construction, technical and professional services at more than 230 locations. Its 54,000 employees provide services within the healthcare, government, aviation, power and utilities and education markets. This includes the work the company completed for NASA on its Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02) that was subsequently installed on the International Space Station.

05 HALLIBURTON With dual headquarters in Houston, Texas and UAE, Halliburton employs more than 50,000 people and posted $15.88bn in revenue for 2016. Hundreds of subsidiaries, branches and affiliates are associated with the Halliburton brand that has operations in over 70 countries across the globe. Halliburton primarily focuses on construction projects that support the exploration and production of natural gas and petroleum.


September 2017

04 AECOM AECOM is an American multinational engineering firm based primarily in Los Angeles that provides design, consulting, construction, and management services to a wide range of clients. AECOM has approximately 87,500 employees, and is number 156 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list with 2016 revenue standing at $17.4bn. AECOM is the world’s number one Global Design Firm according to Engineering News Record.

03 FLUOR CORPORATION Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor Corporation boasts more than 61,550 employees and a revenue of more than $19bn as of 2016. The firm is the largest Fortune 500 company in the construction and engineering industries. It consists of more than 30 subsidiaries and built notable projects like the Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, missile sites in Arizona, the Tappan Zee Bridge that spans New York’s Hudson River and the 800-mile-long Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.


22-23 November

2017 Industries Hall 4 RDS, Dublin


Sample of Speakers

Shane Nolan – IDA

Mark Acton

Tommy Fitzpatrick

Dennis Jennings

Tanya Duncan

Jerry Sweeney

Gary Watson

Aoife Sexton

Emma Fryer

Paul Besley

Conal Henry

For the full list of speakers visit: www.datacentres-ireland.com/speakers/

Opening times: Wednesday 22 Nov Thursday 23 Nov.


9.30 – 17.00 9.30 – 16.00


Industries Hall 4 RDS, Dublin

Showcasing over 60 of the county’s leading and most active suppliers and service providers

Supporting Organisations

The Exhibition

Click here for more information

DataCentres Ireland combines a dedicated exhibition and multi-streamed conference to address every aspect of planning, designing and operating your Datacentre, Server/Comms room and Digital storage solution - Whether internally, outsourced or in the Cloud. DataCentres Ireland is where you can get the latest in information, best practice, products, services and solutions that can help your business become more effective and efficient, whist remaining secure and resilient. DataCentres Ireland is FREE TO ATTEND and the largest and most complete event in the country

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“StepEx is to be congratulated for its commitment to the fast-growing data centre industry in Ireland, by holding its DataCentres Ireland forum in Dublin in each of the past 5 years. In providing the comprehensive annual conference program and associated exhibition, this annual forum provides an ideal occasion for those of us involved with data centres, both directly and indirectly, to keep up to date with what is going on and to meet informally with like-minded professionals. I have been a regular attendee and participant in DataCentres Ireland and look forward to the many networking opportunities that will arise during this year’s 2-day event in November” Barry Rhodes, Chief Executive of INEX Ireland’s Internet Exchange

Features more than 50 national and international specialists and industry leaders

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TOP 10



Based in San Francisco, Bechtel Group was established in 1898. Its current employee base numbers over 50,000 with ongoing projects in industries such as government services, infrastructure, telecommunications and more established throughout the world. Just a few of the noteworthy projects the company has undertaken include the Channel Tunnel, the Hoover Dam and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. It posted $32.3bn in sales in 2015.


TOP 10



A construction group with a truly international foundation that’s also found success in the United States, Skanska was founded in Sweden by one man in 1887. With developing projects in 11 countries throughout Europe as well as the United States, Skanska posted a profit of more than $34bn in 2016 with a revenue of $145.4bn in revenue. The company is responsible for the MetLife Stadium and also focuses on the infrastructure and residential development sectors.


September 2017


The value of



Written by: Dale Benton Produced by: Tom Venturo


Cologix is significantly expanding its data centre construction capabilities, providing a data centre with interconnectivity like no other


ith 26 data centre facilities across nine markets in North America housing up to 450 network service providers and more than 250 cloud service providers, Cologix is a data centre and interconnection company that stands at the centre of a rapidly growing industry. “Cologix focuses on the part of the data centre industry that is sensitive to, and finds value in, interconnection and connectivity,” says Grant van Rooyen, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “Within most of our markets, we operate either a primary or secondary meet-me-room offering the broadest choice of network and cloud service providers within those markets.” As a network neutral data centre and interconnection company, Cologix prides itself on its “interconnection ecosystem” made up of a range of communities of interest that include: enterprises, media/content companies and financial institutions. “These businesses are attracted to our facilities because they have the option to choose from many different network providers and cloud service


September 2017


These businesses are attracted to our facilities because they have the option

to choose from many different network providers and cloud service providers – Grant van Rooyen, CEO




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providers,” says van Rooyen. “This choice provides them with cost savings and scalability and the peace of mind knowing that if their strategy changes suddenly, they can switch providers as simply as changing a cross connect.” Columbus 3

The true value in Cologix’s data centre facilities lies in the interconnection and access to that ecosystem, as it enables customers to access substantially lower switching costs and a greater choice of providers. Cologix operates in markets


September 2017

that van Rooyen considers as “alternatives” to the largest Tier I markets. Instead of New York City, Chicago and Miami, Cologix hosts facilities in New Jersey, Minneapolis, Columbus and Jacksonville. For example, Columbus is a key, rapidly expanding market for Cologix, as the company has two large existing data centres there and is currently building a third – Columbus 3. At 160,000-SQF, housing four 20,000 sq ft halls with a capability of 20MW, Columbus 3 will be the most significant facility in Cologix’s current portfolio and the largest and most advanced multi-


tenant data centre in the region. “Columbus is a fibre crossroads, where networks come together,” says van Rooyen. “Columbus 3 will not only be the most connected facility in Ohio, but will also enable the lowest latency onramp to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect.” AWS Direct Connect enables customers to connect their infrastructure via a secure and private connection to the AWS Cloud to improve performance and reduce costs compared to onramps via the public Internet. Columbus 3 is earmarked

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company’s existing customer base. “It keeps all the connectivity within the family,” says van Rooyen. “Any carriers and cloud providers in our existing facilities will be immediately available to our customers using the Columbus 3 facility.” A changing market

Columbus 3 was born from the recognition of three major trends across the data centre industry, trends that Cologix needed to take advantage of in order to grow further. Large network service companies such as Google and Netflix are placing servers and switches closer and closer to the end users in edge markets – opting to choose locations such as Columbus as opposed to the larger cities in order to provide lower latency and performance. “This allows them to distribute content more effectively and creates huge demand for us as a business,” says van Rooyen. As these large network providers are moving closer, there has been an increase in cloud service providers and enterprises outsourcing

their data centre operations. Cloud service providers are proving to be the fastest growing segment in the industry, and they turn to Cologix because their data centres allow these companies to tap into the greatest reach in their markets. “Taking space in a data centre is a significant commitment, as the minute you bolt down servers to grow and connect them to networks you are committed to that location,” adds van Rooyen. “But what if something changes in their strategy? Trying to move a data centre is a very hard, painful and expensive process.” By using Cologix’s data centres, customers are exposed to the broadest supply of network and cloud providers. Should they require a new network provider, they do not have to move data centres or rip up those servers. This, van Rooyen believes, adds true value to what Cologix can offer. Spared no expense

Columbus 3 will not only be the




most connected data centre facility in Columbus and the broader Ohio region, but it will also utilise some of the most innovative technology solutions in the data centre space. One of the biggest challenges for any data centre provider and operator revolves around the issue of energy usage and the cooling systems in place. Cooling and heat has been identified as the largest source of energy usage. For Cologix, Columbus 3 has an answer for that.

“Every location where we build a data centre has a unique cooling application,” says Mike Putnicki, Vice President of Construction. “We have chosen an extremely scalable, efficient cooling application which we can easily increase capacity. We don’t have to operate a huge cooling plant and that provides substantial savings on upfront capital cost and energy usage.” Columbus 3 will feature a cooling system that allows for free cooling several months of the year.

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Grant van Rooyen

President & Chief Executive Officer Prior to forming Cologix, van Rooyen was CEO of IX Investments which was acquired by Cologix in late 2010. He was with Level 3 Communications for 10 years from 1999 until 2009 where he held a number of leadership positions, including President of the Content Markets Group, with responsibility for over $1.5bn of customer and product revenue. In addition to his Cologix responsibilities, van Rooyen is a Partner in vR Equity - a private investment firm. He has lived and worked around the world and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance.




“It’s strictly dependent on the environment, so we pick the right solution for that environment,” says Putnicki. “For Columbus 3 we’ve used new technology that uses air cooled pumped refrigerant systems. It really is the most efficient scalable solution as it enables us to take advantage of the months of free cooling in Columbus. One of the specifications of Columbus 3 that may raise an eyebrow is its ability to withstand

an EF4 tornado. Not the first thought that springs to mind when considering a data centre facility, but it is this exact mindset that van Rooyen believes can make the difference. There is no other EF4 rated data centre in Ohio and in a market where customers place mission critical infrastructure with Cologix, this rating represents much more than simply tornado resistance. “Cologix’s philosophy is to go

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above and beyond to offer that extra degree of confidence for our customers,” says van Rooyen. “We’ve spared no expense because we understand that ultimately, our customers choose use because they trust us to keep their critical business infrastructure safe. That philosophy has transferred right through to Columbus 3.” The future of Cologix

With construction well under way, and users and network providers already lined up to populate Columbus 3, Cologix can turn to the future. With year over year of consistent growth that has seen major expansion across multiple geographies, supporting up to 1,600 customers to date, what’s next for the company? For van Rooyen, turning to

tomorrow starts with looking back. “The best indicator of the future is the past. We are a company which has grown in equal parts by acquisition and organic build, which will only continue into new markets,” he says. “I also expect a robust construction platform to continue whereby in every one of our markets we have completed major projects. Our first responsibility for our customers is ensuring they continue to have capacity to grow into, and that is a huge part of our construction capability. “Our builds are going to be larger in scale than they have in the past and that’s a reflection of the confidence and demand in our markets, and the efficiencies we can gain by building faster.”



Building for tomorrow Written by: Dale Benton Produced by: Tom Venturo


Following a significant capital investment program,

Los Rios Community College District has fully embraced the facilities construction industry of tomorrow


n California, there is an ambitious goal that will see all new residential construction across the state with zero net energy by 2020 and all commercial construction will achieve the same goal by 2030. For Los Rios Community College District, a district in Sacramento which provides administrative services and governance across four accredited colleges and several off campus educational centres, this overriding vision is very much centred in the college’s strategy for future growth. “We are the second largest community college district in the state of California [after LA Community College] and the fifth largest in the country,” says Pablo Manzo, Associate Vice Chancellor,


September 2017

Facilities Management at Los Rios Community College District. “We really are a significant community college player in the country.” Bridging the gap Manzo, as head of Facilities Management, is very much engrained within the maintenance of the facilities that fall under the Los Rios umbrella. The Facilities Management Department is composed two subdepartments, Facilities Planning and Construction and Facilities Maintenance and Operations (M&O). M&O includes a number of “journeymen” roles – mechanics, plumbers, groundskeepers, all managed and supported by Manzo and his department. Manzo believes that where Los Rios is unique when compared to other public-sector facilities and


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“I’ve seen districts

hire a third party to build these facilities, handle maintenance and then hand them over to departments that can’t maintain it” – Pablo Manzo, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities Management at Los Rios Community College District


September 2017


colleges, is in the cross coordination of the two departments. “It’s very key and crucial for them to have that connection because you have to build the facilities that your maintenance team can maintain, and overseeing both these areas allows me to do that,” he says. “We integrate our maintenance team very deeply into the design and development process of the capital projects. I’ve seen districts hire a third party to build these facilities and then hand them over to maintenance departments that can’t maintain it because they were not involved in the design process.” Manzo has been with Los Rios for over 12 years, previously working in the private sector on the construction of education construction projects and one thing that he has noted that within the sector there is often a lack of a fresh perspective. “There’s a tendency to continue doing things the way you’ve always done them,” he says. “The district made a deliberate decision when they brought me in to bring a fresh perspective and fresh eyes – they were on the cusp of a very large

capital improvement program and needed it more than ever.” This investment program has seen a number of significant construction projects, new facilities and technologies integrated into the college over the past 12 years. Ways of working While part of the investment program has been driven by the state required Zero Net Energy ambition, Manzo is keen to stress that the key to the expansion of Los Rios has been a fluid, ongoing discussion and avoiding a “set formula.” “There are a number of elements to consider, it’s not just about modifying buildings to meet the zero-net energy or how we are going to build our facilities of the future,” says Manzo. “There’s also our role in shaping our workforce to meet the requirements of the future.” One of those challenges has been trying to shift employees, contractors and agencies to a new way of working, one that is very much technology driven. “It’s about getting employees to



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“There are a number of elements to consider, it’s not just about modifying

buildings to meet the zero-net energy or how we are going to build our facilities of the future” – Pablo Manzo, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities Management at Los Rios Community College District

break free of a set way of thinking and to become part of the solution to achieve our goals,” he says. “Every person, every employee and those involved in some capacity, each and every one of them is a major part of this goal. It’s challenging, but it’s important.” Win win Winn Through the capital investment project, Manzo has overseen a number of significant construction projects. One of the most significant construction projects, was the Winn Center project, which opened in 2013. This was a major achievement for Manzo and Los Rios, but also for an educational facility, all

because of one unique feature. “The facility houses our architecture and construction management educational programs,” he says. “When designing it we thought, if we are going to be teaching the construction professionals of the future, then we needed a facility that could talk the talk and walk the walk.” And the facility does indeed walk the walk. Not only is it constructed in a way that can be utilised as part of the educational experience, but it also represents a true sustainable and technologically advanced facility. In 2014 the Winn Center earned Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), one of the only a few buildings in the state




“There are several drivers, not just the facilities people but our users and community push us to remain at the forefront of it all”

– Pablo Manzo, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities Management at Los Rios Community College District

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of California community college system to have this certification. The building in itself also became a teaching tool for Manzo and his department, as it presented an opportunity to learn more the changing technological, and sustainable, landscape in building construction. “There are systems within the building that we’d never used before, such as chilled beams, lighting controls and the way we conserve water,” says Manzo. “These are features that will become more and more prominent in the future of construction and so it helps us stay ahead of the curve and understand what’s coming. This wasn’t our intent, but it has had a dual benefit for both ourselves and our students.” Energy conservation In the bid towards achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE), Manzo believes there is an immediate turn towards new builds, solar and power generation when facilities management teams should really look at existing building inventory. “We have to be able to produce




more than we use, so how are we going to do it?” he says. “Solar panels and power generation is not necessarily the answer.” Throughout his 12 years at the college, Manzo has been very much involved in extensive sustainability measures, as engrained with Los Rios’ philosophy and mission statement is to be good stewards of the environment. This commitment has been primarily achieved through the monitoring the performance of facilities and the implementation of monitoring technologies such as Smart Grid. “Smart Grid gave us the ability to dial in every piece of equipment within a facility,” says Manzo. “We can then control them all remotely from a central location to truly conserve energy. That’s the key. We want to get as close as possible to ZNE through conservation and then we look at other options like energy generation.” The role of the student can never be underestimated in the drive for a more sustainable future for


September 2017


Los Rios. Manzo goes as far as saying that in some instances, many of the conversations made at senior level surrounding sustainability have come from staff and students alike. “It’s not just us doing it by ourselves. Those people using our facilities are keenly interested in ensuring that those very facilities are environmentally sound and built in the right way,” he says. It is this open dialogue that has allowed Los Rios to remain at the forefront of sustainable construction as it has kept Manzo

and his team on their toes. “As soon as we think we are all caught up, there’s always the next step,” he says. “There are several drivers, not just the facilities people but our users and community push us to remain on the forefront of it all. It’s part of our overall strategic plan for the future.”




M+W Group is a leading, global data centre facility provider, different from the rest because the team designs, commissions and constructs all under one roof

Written by: Leila Hawkins Produced by: Tom Venturo



Group is a leading, global data centre provider, different from the rest because the team designs, constructs, and commissions all under one roof. M+W Group focuses on serving the needs of cloud, colocation, enterprise, high performance compute, and edge clients. M+W is dedicated to delivering facilities that meet current and future requirements through a collaborative turn-key approach. This approach reduces M+W clients’ costs and schedule risk, increases reliability, and improves resiliency. The bottom line is a fully optimised facility and increased savings throughout the facility life cycle. Since starting operations in 1912 M+W currently has offices in more than 30 countries around the world. The group is one of the largest EPC solar contractors, and it is still expanding. Ron Vokoun, Director of Data Center Construction Management, explains: “Given our global relationships with a variety of clients, the market growth and viability in general, we decided approximately nine months ago to develop our centre of excellence for the


September 2017


“The brand value of

sustainability is something you can’t

overlook” – Ron Vokoun, Director of Data Centre Construction

world here in the US. We’re one of the largest, most innovative, and trusted design builders of data centres across the globe.” Sustainable growth Using research done by the Uptime Institute and Green Grid among

others, sustainability is a very big part of the company’s culture. Rob Sty, Director of Data Centre Design, explains: “Data centres are huge energy hogs. We know that from a professional responsibility standpoint we need to design facilities that are energy and water-efficient. “Every time we go in with a client we sit down and discuss what their goals are,” Sty says. “If they don’t mention energy efficiency we bring it up and show them the benefits. Not only for operational expenses, but also that it’s a good thing to do. Rarely have clients pushed back, they usually understand.” The sites use water and outside air for cooling directly into the cabinets, so the compressor can be turned off, saving huge amounts of energy as well as in cost. During the construction process as much waste as possible is recycled, and materials are sourced locally to further enhance the sustainability aspect. It is an issue customers are increasingly considering too. “The brand value of sustainability is something you can’t overlook,”




Vokoun says. “In the last several years Greenpeace has been doing name and shame campaigns in the data centre market. The biggest names in the industry now use 100% renewable energy. They’re setting the stage for the whole industry, sourcing energy, energy efficiency, and everything that really matters from that standpoint.” One of M+W’s most important partners is Infrastructure Masons, a trade organisation founded in 2016 that focuses on helping and developing individuals in the data centre market. Sty explains how important this aim has become: “Partly because of the recession we had a few years ago, there are fewer and fewer architects and engineers coming out of school and going into the industry. As the baby boomer generation starts to retire we’re losing an extremely valuable knowledge base. “What Infrastructure Masons provides is mentorship and discussion on leading edge best practices, where teams and competitors come in with a group of clients and discuss

“Data centres are huge energy hogs... we need to design facilities that are energy and water-efficient” – Rob Sty, Director of Data Centre Design the ways to enhance our trades and skills, and benefit the industry.” Award-winning M+W has won several awards for its operations around the world, including the British Construction Industry Award for high international standards




“The cloud is really the nervous system of the planet” – Jim McCarthy, Director of Preconstruction

of engineering and construction, the Workplace Safety and Health Award in Singapore, and the US Occupational Safety and Health Recognition for National Safety Stand Down. Health and safety recognitions are paramount to the business, and are embedded into the company’s culture, to the point where staff meetings begin with briefings about best health and safety practices as frequent reminders to all employees. The future A major differentiator between M+W


September 2017

and its competitors is having design, construction and commissioning all under one roof. Another key factor is how preconstruction is addressed. Jim McCarthy, Director of Preconstruction, explains: “We believe the success of any project is directly related to the amount of effort you put into preconstruction. We’re especially passionate about that.” Sty adds that construction as a whole has not taken advantage of big data, until now. The Internet of Things (IoT) is something the data centre industry should adopt, because of


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the amount of information it makes it possible to collect. It will enable the company’s different departments to communicate seamlessly with each other, collecting data from the various offices, operations, vendors, and subcontractors. Sty explains: “From the design process to the creation of models, to predicting energy usage and efficiency, once the buildings start operating towards moving into occupancy, data is collected to put into the models, and enables us to see whether the predictions were

accurate, particularly in terms of the mission critical 24-7 facilities. “Then we can start noticing trends that would lead to the predictability of failure. It becomes a circle of design, construction and operations, which then influences the next design project.” Essentially the idea behind it is that every action creates data. Sty continues: “In the construction environment it’s about how we’re bringing the project to life, executing its delivery and how it lives and breathes. We will become increasingly



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“The cloud is really the nervous system of the planet,” McCarthy adds. “Helping developing nations develop even faster, that’s a lot of fun. When you describe the nature of the internet, the cloud, in general, you’re talking about infrastructure that’s being developed along with the lines of the electric grid for example. When it’s fully

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developed it will be the biggest connected entity ever built. To be a part of that is really cool.” M+W’s thought leaders inspire the industry to look at things differently instead of enabling the status quo. The data centre industry has historically taken an “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, resulting in an underimagined solution. M+W aspires to a higher level of thinking to inspire the next generation of data centres.



Putting Luxembourg on the internet map Written by: Nell Walker Produced by: Lewis Vaughan


Roger Lampach, CEO of LuxConnect, describes the company’s enormous contribution to Luxembourg’s data security and ever-strengthening connectivity

N LuxConnect’s reception area


September 2017

estled within the tiny nation of Luxembourg lies a powerhouse of innovation in the form of LuxConnect. Fully owned by Luxembourg’s government, LuxConnect was established in 2006 with a view to improve the country’s connectivity. Now, the company runs four multi-tier data centre facilities – boasting 14,700sqm of server space – and has introduced at least 1,300km of optical fibre to the nation. “Dark fibre as a product was not really available when we started deploying fibre in 2007,” says Roger Lampach, Chief Executive Officer of LuxConnect. “Therefore it was a very important product for new players coming into Luxembourg, such as telecommunications operators. International operators started employing their own dark fibre networks over Luxembourg, but in the end they all stopped their projects because it was such a small market and the effort to bring dark fibre in was very high. “We saw that this was a product that was really


LuxConnect’s fourth DC in Bissen




Low voltage distribution by Köhl

needed in the market, and started deploying it. As of two years ago, we are doubling the infrastructure on the data highways where the demand is the highest. With LuxConnect we’ve succeeded in bringing this product into the market, and we now have close to 30 carriers in our buildings using our infrastructure.”

Having attended the University of Munich, Lampach began in engineering, specialising in high frequency and telecommunication. He continued along various veins of the industry – including maintenance, systems engineering, broadcasting, and industrial automation – before bringing his technological expertise



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to LuxConnect as Chief Technology Officer in 2007. Eight years later he was appointed CEO, and having been part of the team almost since its inception, Lampach was better placed than anybody to lead the business in the right direction. “At the beginning our mission was to bring Luxembourg onto the internet map,” he explains. “While there is an exchange point in Luxembourg, to have a growing exchange point you need bigger centres and connectivity, and connectivity is mostly based on fibre.”

THE APPEAL OF LUXEMBOURG LuxConnect’s sterling work in making the country connected has ensured that Luxembourg is an even more attractive prospect for data centre space than the nation already was. It is in fact the safest country for data privacy and storage in the European Union, with an average risk score of just 2.6%. Location makes LuxConnect an even stronger competitor in

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“With LuxConnect we’ve succeeded in bringing dark fibre into the market, and we now have close to 30 carriers in our buildings using our infrastructure” – Roger Lampach, CEO




the market, and carriers can rest assured that their data is secure. “We are based in the centre of Europe and the latency is quite low,” says Lampach. “That’s important because it means that any business choosing Luxembourg for a major installation would be able to cover everything around the country, even down to Italy. For online gaming for example, from most parts of Europe, Luxembourg is well-placed to keep the game functioning.” LuxConnect’s data centres with high levels of security are further enhanced by the presence of Faraday cages, which protect the facilities from electromagnetic interferences. The business is a specialist in this domain, as it is unusual for data centres to be protected in this way, and so Lampach relies on his talented staff – as well as partners – to keep LuxConnect at the forefront of technology. “You have to be very accurate and have full control in this industry,” Lampach explains. “So much of that is down to the operational side and we have really professional people here in the data centre domain; it’s better


September 2017

Number of employees at LuxConnect S.A


to have a small but highly-motivated team which is also open to listen to the customer and ask how they’d like things handled. We try to keep our staff happy and when potential customers visit, they say they have felt welcome and that we are open and transparent. Transparency with customers is key for us.”

KEEPING GREEN Sustainability is a vital component of the data centre world for the company and customers alike. LuxConnect considers itself one of the greenest in Europe, and that dedication starts from the infrastructure itself. “I think you have to push to a customer that you are taking care


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LuxConnect’s server room


about energy, because wasted energy results in cost for the customer,” Lampach says. “So from day one we tried to have very good efficiency of the building. Our first building’s efficiency was 1.6 and nowadays the latest building is 1.3.” Alongside buying hydroelectricity from Scandinavia, LuxConnect makes use of the KioWatt project, a cogeneration plant where waste wood is used to produce electricity via waste heat. LuxConnect utilises this heat transformed into cold that would otherwise be lost

MULTI-TIERED LuxConnects boasts the ability to offer a variety of tiers in its facilities but, unusually, it started with the most complex tier and worked backwards in response to customer demand. “When LuxConnect started it was Tier IV only, but over time we learnt that customers don’t always require the highest standard for all their applications,” Lampach says. “This opened up more opportunities. We can separate our Tier IV concept into two Tier II’s; in the Tier IV case

there are two separate installations feeding into the server room, but for Tier II there is just one, so that was quite easy to establish. From the operational side this is easy to do too, because we know exactly how to do it. The same goes for Tier III.” In fact, LuxConnect is the only data centre business in the world to offer this range of tiers, and has its partners to thank for much of its technical capability. For the physical infrastructure, LuxConnect enlisted GHMT, a business which Lampach describes as “real professionals in their domain” and that supported LuxConnect during every step of construction. GHMT developed the concept for the Faraday cages, ensuring that all of the necessary wire mesh had bonded correctly with the concrete and supervising alongside LuxConnect. Köhl, a long-term partner of LuxConnect, provided and installed many of the materials involved in the company’s facilities. Lampach says: “They are professionals, and the advantage is that they are a known manufacturer. They




create the cabinets we need in line with European regulations and installed the lighting system. Using an installer which is active outside Luxembourg in the industrial domain made us see data centres as an industry – you can’t operate these buildings like a normal office.” Bobinindus Power Systems is also a valued partner for LuxConnect, delivering and maintaining all of its generator sets (gensets). “They use very good brands out of Germany, so they have real experience,” Lampach says. As for Sperber, this business was in charge of heating, ventilation and air conditioning – a vital aspect of a green business – for all offices and server rooms.

LUXCONNECT’S FUTURE For LuxConnect’s future, Lampach plans to expand its services to ensure the business remains trusted and relevant.


September 2017

“Up until now our business model has been one where we offered the infrastructure or the dark fibre network,” says Lampach. “We are convinced that for the future we have to enlarge our offer. “We hope to not only be present in Luxembourg, but to set up with other data centre providers – we have chosen two already, one in London and one in Frankfurt – and set up a match network between operators, which brings forward the whole industry. Currently in Europe, there is an initiative from the European Commission to focus on high performance computing, so in the end we will have to have an HPC network in place that brings connectivity and data centres together. “More and more out partners and customers are requesting higher services targeted to the IT domain, and we are looking to prepare LuxConnect for the future.”


Roger Lampach CEO



Star of Bosphorus

At the forefront of sustainability and security Written by: Laura Mullan Produced by: Lewis Vaughan 85

NGN Group’s VP, Technology Ufuk Yasibeyli and Marketing Director Secil Kocoglu describe how the Star of Bosphorus is raising standards in the data centre industry, by offering an energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly, and seismically protected option for global giants


ustainability and security are just some issues that are driving today’s data centres towards change and innovation. NGN Group is meeting these challenges face on; setting new standards for the industry with the Star of Bosphorus - one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in Turkey. “Our team has built many data centres but none of them has been so ambitious,” says Ufuk Yasibeyli, VP, Technology - and it’s clear to see why. The facility aims to be NGN group’s


September 2017

most pioneering project yet, offering clients access to a Tier III certified, energy-efficient, environmentallyfriendly, and seismically protected data centre near Istanbul, just in sight of the Bosphorus narrows in Turkey. “This data centre is our dream on the shore of Bosphorus,” says Yasibeyli. “We conceived it as the world’s best data centre of unparalleled reliability, ease of operation, and beauty. “Therefore, it is deeply symbolic that it is called The Star of Bosphorus, with two blocks, Vega and Sirius. It is a pioneer in engineering solutions, including seismic protection, and, as we believe, a future leading commercial data center in Turkey.


Ufuk Yasibeyli VP, Technology

Ufuk Yasibeyli has been working in the IT and Telecommunications industries in areas of practice including IT Management, Software Development, Database Design, Network Design/Management and Datacenter/Cloud services with a total experience of 28 years. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Bogazici University ’90. Since his graduation, he has worked for many companies in various areas, including Finansbank, Cisco Systems, Sabanci Telekom, Borusan Telekom, Turkcell Superonline and Ericsson. Currently, Yasibeyli is working as VP, Technology at NGN, responsible for project management, project delivery and aftersales support&maintenance functions in NGN for Infrastructure, Datacenter/ Cloud and Software lines of business.


In addition to being a pioneer in engineering solutions, it will also be a pioneer in cloud and managed services. As a leading system integrator in Turkey and Middle East, NGN’s expertise in managed services will be the most important value add for cloud and data center customers.” With a size of about 24,000sqm and a total power of 16MW, Star of Bosphorus operates over 2,000 standard racks and is secured with two external power feeds and 24/7 maintenance. However, perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of the facility is that it is seismically protected, meaning that each building nearly floats over the possible earthquake thanks to a single monolithic slab serving as a foundation resting on seismic isolators known as friction pendula from EarthQuake Protection

Secil Kocoglu

Marketing and Communications Director

Secil Kocoglu is an expert in marketing and communications with extensive experience in marketing communications, strategy and brand management. Prior to NGN, Kocoglu has held range of senior marketing and strategy roles in esteemed companies such as Dogus Holding, Benetton and JCDecaux Group. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Marmara University and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Communications from Galatasaray University. Kocoglu is responsible for all NGN’s marketing activities and operations including advertising, digital marketing, partnerships, public relations and events.


‘With a size of about 24,000sqm and a total power of 16MW, Star of Bosphorus operates over 2,000 standard racks and is secured with two external power feeds and 24/7 maintenance’

Systems (USA). Yasibeyli says: “We consulted local specialists and professors of seismology, and ARUP (USA) was involved into peer review of structural design and seismic isolator design. Today, we are sure that Star of Bosphorus is one of the best seismically-protected data centers in the world.” “Our constant challenge is to ensure we comply with the highest quality, safety, and reliability standards at all construction phases - from design to equipment selection and installation,” adds Yasibeyli. “Yes, it takes time and resources, but when standards are high, there is no place for trade-offs.” Professor and NGN’s consultant as seismic expert, Dr Barış Erkuş, was also highly excited by the facility’s structural and seismic design.


September 2017

“What makes Star of Bosphorus Data Centre genuinely unique is the seismic design of the facility,” says Erkuş. “We implemented the best seismic protection system which ensures keeping the data center operational during earthquakes with a probability of one-in-every 2,000 years, which also established a new standard for future projects in the region.” The facility was awarded a LEED Gold certification, the most popular green building certification, thanks to its innovative equipment and systems which ensure environmental safety. By using free cooling technology when available, the data centre has achieved a Power Usage Effectiveness rating






of 1.3, making it the most energy efficient facility in the region. The Star of Bosphorus is also leading the way as the first ‘carrier neutral’ commercial data centre in Turkey, with Tier III design and facility certificates. NGN’s Marketing and Communications Director Secil Kocoglu emphasizes: “Turkey’s data centre market is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide, and our group is poised to be a leading pioneer in the industry. Situated in Istanbul, Star of Bosphorus data centre is able to tie together markets from across Asia, the Middle East and Europe which should attract a lot of global businesses to the facility.” NGN Group has big ambitions for the Star of Bosphorus, but in an industry that is constantly evolving

how does NGN stay ahead of the curve? “The answer is simple,” notes Kocoglu. “We are learning. “We are experts in system integration business, which means dealing with new technologies and solutions is our daily life. We are learning on each and every project, be it constructing data centres for customers, deploying clouds, or creating engineering infrastructures for various facilities.” Named after the stars, the Star of Bosphorus Data Centre is an ambitious endeavour for NGN Group. However, the pioneering efforts of the company have not gone unnoticed. By creating an environmentallyfriendly, seismically protected, and carrier neutral facility, it seems that the future is bright for the company.



THE INDUSTRY EXPERT Written by: Nell Walker Produced by: Lewis Vaughan




s one of the biggest names in real estate, JLL’s footprint can be found all over the world, and its striking ability to retain – and develop – its status as an industry leader is illustrated by an incredibly strong global team. Alex Tilley is a Director in JLL’s EMEA Data Centres team, which he jointly leads. Educated in Land Management at the University of Reading, Tilley started his career as a Graduate at Lambert Smith Hampton before qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor and moving to CBRE in 2011, where he entered the data centre sector completely by chance. After four years he started his own business – Alpha Real Technology – a private equitybacked organisation which advised private and institutional investors looking to enter the data centre sector, either by real estate or corporate investment. It is at Alpha Real Technology where Tilley structured a joint venture with JLL. The latter outsourced its data centre work to Alpha Real Technology, and his expertise led to Tilley being asked to join JLL. Dissolving Alpha Real Technology, he co-founded JLL’s European Data Centre Advisory Team,


September 2017




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and has been building a small, highly-skilled team which is taking on large scale data centre development and investment projects in London, Frankfurt, and beyond, since January 2016. “I wanted us to be able to compete against other established real estate firms and corporate advisory teams alike,” says Tilley. “There was no real credible alternative to the likes of CBRE across Europe, and we wanted to offer that. JLL, as one of the largest global real estate organisations, gave us that platform, not only for the UK but across the continent for both real estate and corporate advisory. We concentrated on creating a small, highly skilled team, completely focussed on the data centre sector.”





There are challenges involved in operating as a small team, but positive ones as far as Tilley is concerned. His team has demonstrated that it can act on behalf of institutional investors through to hyperscale end-users, and high-profile businesses approach the group for expert advice, thanks to its extensive knowledge which is well-bolstered by the nature of being part of a high-profile company. “As a team of four we are a little constrained in terms of our capacity,” Tilley admits. “Some of the projects can take up to two years, but that’s


September 2017

down to the level of due diligence we undertake. While time constraints may sometimes seem problematic, it’s a nice problem to have, but we always ensure our service is delivered to the highest of quality.” A level of mutual respect between JLL and the end-user makes all the difference when working under potentially strained circumstances, too: “We see ourselves as part of our clients’ internal team rather than an external outsourced advisor. We don’t just advise on what we’re asked to do, we really get involved with all the internal stakeholder decisions to be made from real


estate through to business risk, IT risk, procurement, the implications of outsourcing technology, and so on.” This is what differentiates JLL from competitors. While other businesses may provide similar services, JLL boasts Tilley’s small, niche team that focusses on bridging the gap between real estate investment and corporate investment, together with occupational advice. “None of our competitors seem to have the ability to stitch those elements together,” Tilley says. “That, coupled with our ability to understand what’s going on in the occupational market like no other, really gives us our competitive edge. We’re not just

real estate professionals; we’re finance professionals and chartered surveyors, meaning we can advise from a corporate standpoint as well as a real estate investment standpoint – which is crucial given the way the market currently operates. “We’re an alternative investment team as opposed to a traditional real estate team, and our clients are increasingly interested in all of the services we provide. Nobody else offers such a range of service within a dedicated data centre advisory team.”

BREAKING GROUND This dedication is displayed by two of JLL’s current development projects in London and Frankfurt. The Point in Greenwich was a tired development in the heart of the docklands data centre market, standing as the former London Stock Exchange and London Fire Brigade data centre sites, and comprised three low-rise buildings. Tilley acquired the site in 2015 for TH Real Estate under Alpha Real Technology, and has since acquired planning permission for a new 140,000 sq ft data centre. “We worked very hard on





September 2017


this project, and we broke ground on the site mid-2016,” Tilley explains. “We are due for completion at the end of August 2017, and that will deliver a brand new powered shell data centre scheme to the London docklands market, which has never been seen as a product set. “What does that mean for us? It shows JLL’s capabilities to take a prime development site and ensure that the client takes the right advice to purchase sites at the right time in the market, and that the correct planning management measures are in place.” This has ensured that the product has been timed to market in such a way that it reduces leasing risk for the Fund and maximises returns. As Tilley’s team is pan European, they have been working thoroughly to bring forward an East metro Frankfurt site, working jointly with a private equity group to, again, identify a lack of data centres land/buildings and bring product to market in a timely manner. Tilley and his team ran with this unique opportunity, launching a large development scheme within the heart of the metro area with access to all major metro routes in Frankfurt and ensuring the availability of a diverse power supply – this was crucial for this area of Frankfurt, which is significantly power constrained. Tilley dealt with Mainova to ensure that a diverse 35MVA power supply was secured. JLL is currently undertaking the planning permission process to create a 380,000 sq ft data centre, and engaging with end-users to pre-let the site, such is the level of trust and loyalty that JLL inspires.




“NOBODY ELSE OFFERS SUCH A RANGE OF SERVICE WITHIN A DEDICATED DATA CENTRE ADVISORY TEAM” – Alex Tilley, Director in JLL’s EMEA Data Centres Alex Tilley 30 Warwick Street | London W1B 5NH T: +44 (0)203 147 1544 M: +44 (0)7756 560867 Alex.Tilley@eu.jll.com | www.jll.co.uk

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PREPARATION Projects such as these require a great deal of primary research and planning on the part of Tilley’s small team: “We spend a significant amount of time each month looking at supply, demand, absorption, forecasting, and pricing, and as such we keep ourselves ahead of the curve,” he states. “We report these figures on a monthly basis, focussing on tier 1 carrier-neutral colocation markets, as well as secondary European markets. Looking at this ensures we’re not going to mistime the market and that our clients are kept in the loop appropriately.” JLL also keeps its finger on the pulse of industry trends which are less specific to the company, such as the evolving infrastructure of cooling solutions and increasing power densities. The business is also seeing a greater emphasis on connectivity, and across Europe, more collaboration with private equity banks looking for industry-strong capital to buy them out for their platform and become more competitive. This is where JLL’s expertise in corporate

advisory as well as real estate advisory becomes particularly useful. “We’re really trying to position our team to help those businesses which are private equity-backed look at alternative finding options and, as such, help more mature institutional capital enter the market, therefore aiding liquidity and a continued growth of the data centre sector,” says Tilley. He concludes: “We’re also forecasting that we’re going to see more end-user development in the market; we’ve seen a lot of hyperscale cloud end-users acquire large chunks of colocation infrastructures from third party operators, and I think the next wave of development will be ground-up development with close proximity to established colocation footprints. We’ve seen proof of this already and are excited to be a part of it.”



Safeguarding Australia’s most valuable resource Humans can survive three weeks without food, but can only last up to five days without water. Viadux CEO Michael Negri reveals how the company is sustainably quenching Australia’s thirst

Written by: Niki Waldegrave Produced by: Jeff Debicki



iadux is a progressive and responsive distributor of water network solutions for the civil, industrial and irrigation sectors of the Australian economy. As Australia’s largest distributor of water and civil pipe systems, it boasts major pipelines around the country for potable – i.e. drinkable – water. From the dam where the water is collected, to the water running to your tap, the chances are, it has passed through Viadux products at some point in time. Earlier this year, the government dedicated $2 billion to the Water Infrastructure Loan Facility and in 2016, set aside $500mn to build and augment existing water infrastructure via the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund. The government also unveiled plans for the 270km Broken Hill Water Security Project, set to be complete by the end of 2018. Viadux CEO, Michael Negri, says it’s great news for Australia – it’s a dry country and we need security of our precious water and there has been a huge decline of government spending in key water infrastructure over the last few years.


September 2017


“The thing is, water’s not sexy, you know?” he says. “It’s not something that people ‘feel’, and it certainly doesn’t win votes at the election. Whereas people ‘feel’ a new road, or can see what happens from a major spend on a new freeway, or how roads with potholes are fixed. “But nobody ‘feels’ good or bad about water until it disappears – and then it’s too late. The amount of water we lose through poor infrastructure is phenomenal, so it’s critical for Australia to continue to spend money on water infrastructure, and protect this important resource “And we’re just starting to see that money coming through now and over the next five years, where the government is starting to spend on infrastructure and major pipelines again.”

Michael Negri CEO



In the pipeline Viadux has some exciting new contracts with major water utilities and large contractors, including the 60km water pipeline from Orange to Carcoar with Leed Engineering which it is due



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Chris Clarke General Manager Sales and Customers to finish supplying in September. Viadux has a strong alliance with Saint-Gobain PAM, the world’s leading Ductile Iron pipe manufacturer to sell their ductile iron pipes in Australia Viadux is now pushing innovative products from their suppliers such as the recently launched Zinalium, a groundbreaking new product, into market. “It’s a real change for the industry,” adds Negri, “and we’re the only people in the country doing it. It’s a factory-applied, active corrosion


September 2017

Debbie Debono General Manager People & Culture protection system for ductile iron pipe and removes the need for sleeving, which is a high additional cost of laying Ductile Iron pipes. “It basically extends the service life of your pipeline and reduces on-site handling, saving time and money by eliminating the requirement for polyethylene sleeving.” Challenging the norm With 15+ years profit and loss accountability in Fletcher Building (Stramit), Boral and the Negri Group


Luke Dutton General Manager Products & Markets – responsible for annual turnover from $20m to $500m – Negri has an entrepreneurial spirit. “My approach to business comes from running a number of family businesses,” he says, “What’s really important to me is engaging, building and inspiring our people while challenging the status quo.” He claims one of the key challenges for the industry is to continue innovating whilst minimising energy

Mark Dalwood Chief Financial Officer

usage, and doing things that improve the overall well-being of the planet. “We’ve spent the last couple of years restructuring the business to be lower cost,” he adds, “making it more customer-centric and focusing on our people; having an engaged workforce who want to come to work and deliver for our customers. “We call ourselves ‘water people’, because we focus on one product: water. We care about how it gets




around the country but we’re pipe agnostic – we don’t really mind whether it’s plastic pipe, metal pipe or whatever sort of pipe. Negri, who coaches AFL in his spare

“What we want is the best solution for our customers” – Michael Negri, CEO at Viadux

time and is also a director for a centre for people with intellectual disabilities, says some key changes have been investing in Viadux’s people, who are now far more engaged, and have bought into the executive team’s vision of the organisation. There has also been a major focus building strong relationships with suppliers and clients such as Sydney Water, Water Corp, SA Water,

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John Holland, Comdain Infrastructure and Leed Engineering. Diversified The next 18 months will see a big push into irrigation and industrial products, places where water is moved to benefit the community. “A big push in 2017 has been into irrigation,” he adds. “We see ourselves as a growing competitor

in that space, and we hope to bring the same customer centric approach to service in to that sector. We hope the government continues to look to invest in the changing of open channels to piped systems, to save on evaporation losses. “Then, later in the year and through 2018, we’ll have a stronger presence in the industrial plastics market for





treatment plants, and areas which need high specification plastics. These are areas such as water treatment plants, viticulture and aquaculture.” Negri says his proudest achievement to-date is taking Viadux, which was a loss-making business when he joined two years ago, to a profit, without significant loss of people.


September 2017


“When I took over in 2015, the organisation was not in a great financial position, like a lot of the water businesses,” he reveals. “We’ve worked very hard over the last two years to make it a profitable business with a bright future, one that we can all be proud of. “It’s really impacting the culture of the organisation to what we hope people feel is a much more customercentric organisation that’s focused on doing the right things by its customers and its people. And that flows into the profitability of the business.”



to the Written by: Niki Waldegrave Produced by: Josef Smith

E C H O G R O U P / C H E R RY E N E R G Y S O L U T I O N S

There’s an energy revolution going on and Echo Group CEO Erik Zimmerman and COO Ben Wright tell Niki Waldegrave how its businesses are at the forefront of it


hen Erik Zimmerman watched A Crude Awakening, a documentary on the planet’s dwindling oil resources in 2006, his life would never be the same.

By day, he was the head of learning at ANZ Bank. By night, he was an entrepreneurial energy crusader, meeting up with the Alternative Technology Association and solar engineers asking how he could put solar on every roof in the country. That question occupied his mind 24/7 until he got the lightbulb moment – bulk buy solar neighbourhoods. So, in 2007 Zimmerman extended his mortgage by $365k, left ANZ and launched his company, Rezeko (Eko Energy). “My parents thought I was nuts,” he laughs, “But I think businesses that answer a question are always a great place to start.” The gamble paid off, and by the time he sold Rezeko’s business

assets to AGL in 2011, it was the third biggest solar company in Australia, with 8000 installations and a turnover of more than $30 million. Now he’s the CEO and joint director of Echo Group – along with Ben Wright, founder of upmarket fruit and vegetable business, The Market Runners – focusing on Australia’s booming energy movement, from solar panels to energy efficient lighting, with exclusive manufacturing relationships across Asia Pacific and SE Asia. “When we invested in Littil, it was a small LED lighting business but had the look and feel of the solar market 10 years earlier,” says Zimmerman, “where the prices were due to come down,

“The of what we have is in the we have in the business” – Erik Zimmerman, Chief Executive Officer


September 2017


paybacks were very strong and the technology was evolving fast.” Echo Group houses Cherry Energy Solutions, Littil LED, Unilumin Australia, Jim’s Energy, SiteTech Solutions, SiteMedia Solutions, Jim’s Site Solutions and the new trade sales division SiteSales. Cherry was launched in 2013 due to constant requests to both supply and install, and is Australia’s only specialist provider of five integrated energy efficiency solutions – LED lighting, Solar PV Systems, Energy Storage, Energy Monitoring and, residential Energy Broking. With Australians paying the

highest electricity prices in the world – they’ve increased 214 per cent faster than inflation – there has never been a better time to invest in energy efficiency, especially solar. “The reality is, energy prices have increased at a compound rate of 8.4% over the last decade with most people paying 25 cents a kilowatt hour,” he explains, “but you can make energy with solar for 10 cents a kilowatt hour, inclusive of funding and financing costs.” “There really is no logical reason why you wouldn’t go solar.” Zimmerman says the three main ways to save money on energy

$100 million Echo Group annual revenue




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a strong history of unrivalled support and quality products for Australians. As of the end of 2016, Q CELLS powers over 10% of the Australian solar market, making it among the one of the top two solar module suppliers in Australia.


Erik Zimmerman Chief Executive Officer Erik Zimmerman has worked for leading global companies such as Sara Lee, Unilever, ANZ and AGL and he has been working in the energy efficiency and solar markets since 2007. In 2011, he sold his solar business, Rezeko (EKO Energy) to energy retailer AGL to further develop the Echo brands. bills are to use less energy (which typically means upgrading to LED lights), making your own energy (with solar), and paying less for energy (by broking a better deal with retailers). Cherry boasts one of the best customer bases in Australia, with installations in every genre, including retail groups like Spotlight, Woolworths and Specsavers, service stations, schools, food manufacturers and head offices, such as BMW in Melbourne. “The thing we have in common with all our customers is high energy bills,” adds Zimmerman, “and a desire to be a part of this new energy transition. I’m proud we’ve



E C H O G R O U P / C H E R RY E N E R G Y S O L U T I O N S

built a good reputation amongst some of Australia’s leading brands, and that they have the confidence to have us as a sustainability partner.” Chief Operating Officer Wright says he’s proud not only of the holistic model of reducing clients and partners’ operating and energy costs – on average, Cherry’s customers save 55% on energy bills – but also the sustainability aspect. “No matter how focused you are on the bottom line,” he says, “it’s nice to be able to do something

that protects the environment and benefits future generations.” Echo also boasts a formidable supplier network, not least in when it comes to solar cell technology. “Echo Group carefully selects suppliers with only high quality, Tier 1 energy efficiency products, including solar module from Hanwha Q CELLS [Nasdaq: HQCL],” Zimmerman adds. “German engineered, Hanwha Q CELLS is the world’s largest and most recognised solar cell and module manufacturer and provides a 12-year product warranty with a 25 year linear performance warranty.” Echo’s head office is a 1,440sqm facility at Geddes Street in Mulgrave, Victoria and, under the highlytrusted Jim’s brand, it recently won the Strathbogie Solar Bulk Buy Program in collaboration with the Yarra Energy Foundation. There is also a lot of interest from other rural residential areas in Victoria.

“There really is no logical reason why you wouldn’t go solar” – Erik Zimmerman, Chief Executive Officer 124

September 2017


Ben Wright Chief Operating Officer Ben Wright worked for leading Australian health care provider Ansell and founded the upmarket fruit and vegetable business ‘The Market Runners’. He has also held senior positions in Australia and New Zealand and has been a driving force within the Echo Group since its conception. Zimmerman says Jim’s is an incredibly well regarded, trusted brand and is the largest franchise organisation in Australia. It’s a brand that people trust because it’s backed up by a million-dollar warranty fund. “I’m back doing these regional bulk buys again and it’s taking me down memory lane,” states Zimmerman. “There’s an energy revolution going on and we aim to be at the forefront of that.” “Our immediate priorities are to ensure that we become a truly national business. The second priority is what we call ‘Total Solar’ – to move to large and



E C H O G R O U P / C H E R RY E N E R G Y S O L U T I O N S

industrial scale solar with Cherry and leverage the Jim’s brand in the residential solar sector. “The third is around systems. As we grow, we need to be more sophisticated in supporting systems so we’re investing in ISO 9001, ERP (Economic and Regulatory Programme) and others to help the business function better.” In a market of such explosive growth, Cherry Energy Solutions often finds itself competing against low cost or low quality competitors, Energy Smart Schools at Northcote High School


September 2017

who won’t necessarily be around in five to 10 years, so it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve. “It’s a highly disruptive environment and with disruption, you’re either the disruptee or the disruptor,” says Wright. “Our intent is to be the disruptor, and to do that you need to stay ahead of the product and funding trends. If you stop moving, you fall behind.” With fascinating technology in some of the peripheral energy efficiency categories, both directors


insist we’re moving into an era of “hyper-efficiency” in LED as it continues to make great strides in terms of cost and effectiveness. Battery storage is also expected to be a major future market, with prices coming down by about 29%. “We’re seeing tremendous growth in that area,” adds Zimmerman. “About 700 systems a month are being installed in Australia residentially. And pairing batteries with solar, you can make and store energy day and night and release it when it’s most needed. You become your own mini power plant.” Is his wish still to have solar on every roof in Australia? “Absolutely,” he says. “We fundamentally support this transition to new energy and our corporate mission is to bring these technologies within reach of every home, every business, and every

school in every community. “We want to be with our customers every step of the way, simplifying the message, bringing them within reach from a pricing point of view, and bringing new technologies to market.” They insist the businesses’ success, ultimately, comes down to the workforce, which currently stands at 90 people but is set to double in the next five to 10 years. “A business is an idea but for that idea to become a reality you need a committed group of people,” adds Zimmerman. “The results we’ve achieved would not have been possible without our team, who have worked tirelessly, and our aim is to grow the leaders of tomorrow from within.” “The power of what we have is in the people we have in the business.”



East Africa Data Centre: critical connectivity Written by: Dale Benton Produced by: Richard Deane





September 2017


EAST AFRICA DATA CENTRE is the most connected data centre space in East Africa. Its challenge is to continue to innovate and meet changing market demand



s the first commercial and carrier neutral facility built in Eastern Africa, at 2,000sqm, East Africa Data Centre (EADC) remains the largest data centre in the region. The data centre market in Africa is growing as IT becomes an enabler for businesses to improve efficiency and introduce automation across their operations. This has seen major cloud and content players turn their attentions towards data centre providers in Africa. These include the likes of Microsoft, which has recently added data centre space in South Africa to host Microsoft Cloud as a direct response to market demand. Watching over this trend is the General Manager of EADC, Dan Kwach, who believes EADC is strongly positioned to meet the growing demand for data centre space in Africa. “Currently, larger data service and cloud providers



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reach out to DC operators, like us, so This allows EADC to have the that they can meet more of their client widest possible reach. needs in Africa,” he says. “That’s why “You cannot build a data centre we must align what we do with the without networks,” Kwach says. “The expectations of these large players.” more network service providers you EADC is located at Sameer have, the better it is for customers.” Industrial Park, Nairobi. This is described as the “perfect hosting The mystery of a data centre location” due to its access to Kwach comes from a carrier networks across background in network Kenya, including engineering and Mombasa, Uganda, core network Tanzania and Rwanda. configuration. This location This brought him presented EADC into contact with with the opportunity various vendors and Size of East Africa to become the most OEMs and he gained Data Centre connected data centre hands-on experience site in Eastern Africa, and of critical network failures was recognised for being so and problem solving. with a GTB Innovation Award in 2014. Confronted with the challenge “Connectivity and security are to design and build a data centre, critical components to hosting the first task for Kwach was to services. The EADC is carrier-neutral “identify and demystify” the very and having that open access model concept of a carrier grade or is also critical,” Kwach says. industry standard data centre. EADC hosts all of the local “What are the features of a carrier providers and ISPs in Nairobi as grade data centre facility? Which well as 20 international networks. are the ideal industry standards and





Inside the East Africa Data Centre

what is meant by Tier I, II or even III? We had to really educate ourselves on what we were getting into,” he says. Part of this process saw Kwach travel the world and explore data centres in the UK, South Africa and Dubai. “My other challenge was to understand what the value in a commercial data centre was, not just from a technical aspect but to ensure


September 2017

alignment to a customer need.” As product manager, Kwach was tasked with developing a business plan and commercial strategy for EADC. The first task? Settling on a colocation site, which could host multiple network service providers and offer primary or secondary hosting to enterprise customers. EADC was the first carrier neutral


“Currently, larger data service and cloud providers reach out to DC operators, like us, so that they can meet more of their client needs in Africa” DAN KWACH GM of EADC

facility built in the region, and it just hit another milestone having joined an elite list of independently certified data centre facilities by Uptime Institute – the leading data centre certification and accreditation body. “This is a stamp of approval for EADC having met Tier III requirements as a concurrently maintainable facility,” says Kwach The facility is currently in the process

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centre space, EADC must ensure connected facility in the region but it has a strategy to maintain its it also has a wealth of experience position as a regional market leader. in the data centre space, which “We are thinking more gives it an advantage in supporting and more about our product customers and continuously development,” says Kwach. upgrading its products and services. To ensure it has a long term strategy, “It provides us with comfort EADC is finding ways to add value now and in the near future with added services, build and offer regards to our position in the enterprise grade IT services market,” says Kwach. and meet the demands of leading content A hot topic and cloud services. As the data centre The company industry continues is also thinking of to grow so does The location of expanding into new the need for greater the East Africa geographies and energy efficiency. Data Centre markets to remain at More than 90% of the cutting edge of hosting the energy output in a services regionally and globally. data centre is through heat Increasingly companies are starting and power generation. EADC sources to recognise the hosting opportunities its power from Kenya Power; a supplier in Kenya and the rest of East Africa. and operator of electricity distribution “We have the first mover systems throughout Kenya. advantage, which has presented us A large proportion of electricity with a number of opportunities and in Kenya is generated through helped us capture of a large chunk hydroelectric power generation. of the market share,” he says. “The most critical element of Not only is EADC the most our commercial success evolves





around cost management,” Kwach states. “The cost of that power is very high, so we are often thinking about alternative sources of energy. It’s a really interesting space right now.” EADC is already looking at introducing solar panels and how it can improve its energy efficiency and carbon emissions. But it won’t stop there. EADC is also advising customers to use IT equipment that has been manufactured with biodegradable materials as part of a green initiative. So where next for the EADC? Kwach aims to keep it simple. “We go where there is opportunity and where there is demand,” he says. “Our connectivity and value-added services provide a one-stop shop to meet the already significant and growing demand that we see. Our challenge is to innovate and broaden our geographical reach so that we support all our customers, employees and governmental and non-governmental organisations in their digital journey. In doing this we are delivering our vision of “Building Africa’s digital future.”



September 2017

EADC is the largest in the region


“Our challenge is to innovate and broaden our geographical reach so that we support all our customers, employees and governmental and non-governmental organisations in their digital journey� DAN KWACH GM of EADC



Developing Future African Cities 25 – 26 October 2017

Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

BENEFITS OF ATTENDING • Forge new business partnerships on the African continent. • Understand city masterplans and transit orientated development projects and align your company’s strategy. • Gain a competitive advantage in the market by understanding the challenges and opportunities of rapid urbanisation. • Connect with investment promotional agencies to discuss real estate opportunities in their country.


Register before 31 August and save R2,750 on your delegate pass Please contact Stephan Herman on T: +27 21 700 3598 or E: stephan.herman@spintelligent.com

Profile for Construction Global

Construction Global - September 2017  

Construction Global - September 2017