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M a r c h 2018

Future proofing the data centre industry



HKA’s Toby Hunt on globalisation, technology and construction contracts

FOREWORD HELLO AND WELCOME to the March edition of Construction Global magazine. This issue, we start the conversation with Toby Hunt, Head of HKA’s European Operations, who highlights the significance of collaboration in the construction industry. A veteran of almost two decades in the sector, Hunt reflects on leaps in technology and how globalisation is acting as a force for good in construction. In recent years, enterprise resource planning (ERP) has played a pivotal role in the technology strategies of construction businesses. We talk to some leading players in the construction space to explore the potential of ERP to power construction productivity. Sustainability continues to be a huge talking point in the data centre landscape and so we talked to the Green Grid’s President, Roger Tipley, to highlight the non-profit organisation’s work uniting the data centre industry with a common goal: to enhance the energy efficiency and improve the green credentials of data centre infrastructure. We also speak to Dave Tyson, Managing Director at Design2e. With experience spanning over 30 years, Tyson reveals his top 10 ‘smart’ buildings from across the globe. On top of this, we’ll be rounding up the top industry events across the globe for this calendar year. As always, please tweet your feedback to @ConstructionGL Enjoy the issue!







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Future proofing the data centre industry



TOP 10




E V E N T S A N D A S S O C I AT I O N S 5



T5 Data Centers Facilities Management USA



University of the District of Columbia USA

March 2018

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Fanshawe College CANADA

SRA Solutions ANZ







After a management buyout in 2017, HKA has grand ambitions for 2018 and beyond. Construction Global speaks with the company’s Head of Europe and Partner, Toby Hunt Written by J A M ES H E N D E R S O N


IN AN INDUSTRY with so many moving parts, not to mention tight margins, the need for closer collaboration between stakeholders has never been greater. With a lineage in the construction sector dating back almost half a century, HKA has a rich history doing just that. Fresh from its sale and de-merger from Hill International, HKA is now a privately-owned organisation with management equity specialising in advisory, consulting and expert services for the construction,


March 2018

manufacturing, process and technology industries. While HKA itself is a new entity, a small firm it is not: with over 960 professionals operating from more than 40 offices in 21 countries worldwide, the company boasts a footprint in every continent. As a Partner of the business and the Head of Europe, Toby Hunt is an integral member of the company’s leadership team and with construction sector experience going back to the 1990s, he has witnessed the industry change markedly. Having seen it

‘As infrastructure programmes ramp up around the world, the need for consulting advice, technological expertise and dispute resolution is only going to grow’ progress leaps and bounds when it comes to technology adoption over the last two decades, Hunt still acknowledges that the sector can be “a bit of a laggard” when it comes to implementation. “One of the key trends I’ve seen over the last 15 years or so is the improvement in the use of technology in the construction industry,” he says. “Yes, the industry has been a bit of a laggard, but that is a result of such low margins, which dictate that spending on R&D and technology research

isn’t as high as it is in other sectors. “When I look back to 2000, the analysis software that was designed to define why and where projects went wrong was very limited, clunky and only used by a certain number of professionals or firms. But the investment in programming and planning tools and software means what is being used onsite has come on leaps and bounds. The ability to manage time on a project has improved significantly – that is driving the control of projects now, as opposed to 15 years ago when money was the main lever of projects.” Perhaps surprisingly, Hunt says another trend shaping the construction industry today is globalisation, with a number of countries from the Far East making a play for significant projects in Europe and further afield. “The push from Chinese and Korean contractors on a global scale is something that we’re seeing in abundance; the Koreans getting involved in some major UK projects, and the Chinese looking to do the same. If you look at where the activity globally is going to be by 2030, I think about two thirds will be


C O N S T R U C T I O N S T R AT E G I E S carried out in Asia Pacific and those emerging markets. We’ve also seen major growth from Latin America where we’ve got businesses in Brazil, Panama, Chile and in Mexico.” It is a trend that is allowing companies greater opportunities, but new entrants to new markets have raised alarm bells in the construction industry in the past. Hunt says that trend, combined with the myriad of ‘mega projects’ coming online have quite probably raised the risk in the sector, citing one very recent example. “Clients are looking for contractors to enter into contracts on more of a lump sum basis and looking to transfer that risk to the contractors. And we’ve only got to see from the demise of Carillion that these contracts are very risky. Because the margins are low and, in some instances, I think, contractors are bidding on margins that are close to zero and are hoping to get their money back in claims if you like. That’s a real challenge for our industry generally across the world.” The debate over the distribution of risk is one that has shaped the construction conversation for many


March 2018

years. Addressing the issue, Hunt says that he has long advised clients to use the contract they sign as a tool to avoid disputes. “A contract is an agreement that is entered into between the two parties as we know, but is very rarely used as a proactive tool to manage and avoid disputes on a project and to manage risk,” he reveals. “The contract is a mechanism allowing people to value changes in time and changes in money. And yet very rarely do the major contractors and even the subcontractors apply the contract, because most of them assume if they follow the contract that they’re going to fall out with the employer. “I keep saying to people that the contract is a tool at their disposal that should be used like a budget to set up a project that suits all parties. It amazes me that we still have in the industry where contractors and employers don’t really utilise contracts. It’s simply a case that it’s quite often drafted and it costs a lot of money to draft it with lawyers on both sides, so it’s put to one side when really it should be a vital component.” In some markets it is accepted


C O N S T R U C T I O N S T R AT E G I E S wisdom that even minor problems or hold ups can lead to a company making a loss on a project, but it is an attitude that Hunt and HKA are attempting to change. “It is something I have always questioned,” says Hunt. “If you kept the records and you’ve identified where the problems are – if the problems are yours then you should be able to mitigate and overcome them yourself. If the problems are not yours then you should have a contractual mechanism to get more time and/or money. I think that’s where the industry really had to wise up a little bit. Maybe this Carillion collapse will be the start of that.” The UK market is one understandably close to Hunt’s heart, and one of the jewels in the crown of HKA’s European portfolio. But any discussion about its prospects must incorporate the divisive subject of Brexit. How does Hunt think it will affect the UK’s construction industry? “I think that overall the future for the sector is quite rosy, although I foresee a struggle for both skilled and unskilled labour as our industry is heavily reliant on that foreign labour market. If that labour is stopped in some way it will


March 2018

‘That utilisation of UK construction skills and expertise is already being sought by companies round the world’ have quite a large impact, I think in particular for the supply chain. Some projects could stall, as a number of big contractors don’t actually carry out a huge percentage of the work themselves, they subcontract a large amount of work. If they can’t do that then there will be a slowdown.” However, Hunt says this could also lead to opportunities. “When you import it, there’s less impetus to actually grow your local skills economy. I think we’ll find that there’ll be quite a lot of investment

potentially in growing construction skills domestically, which I think will have a positive impact on our industry going forward. “The exchange rate will also be important; as the UK to Euro exchange rate has fluctuated a number of European clients have sought us out in the UK as our service provision has become cheaper in their mind. They’ll want to utilise the knowledge base of UK companies now because that exchange rate is more accessible for them.”

That utilisation of UK construction skills and expertise is already being sought by companies around the world. HKA is currently working with a Chinese organisation involved with the country’s road and infrastructure programme, while in Scandinavia it is advising a company working on a mass transit project that wants to benefit from HKA’s knowledge of procurement and risk management from the work it carried out on the UK’s Crossrail and HS2 initiatives. As infrastructure programmes ramp


C O N S T R U C T I O N S T R AT E G I E S up around the world, the need for consulting advice, technological expertise and dispute resolution is only going to grow, and the UK and HKA in particular is in a prime position to take advantage. “2017 was a year of buyout and rebranding for HKA, so for 2018 the real impetus we have is to start to press the accelerator in our futurelooking growth,” Hunt says. “This year is going to be about enhancing the relationships we have with our key clients, particularly global clients who we can follow or even sometimes lead into new territories where we already exist or where we want to be. “I think the other thing we’ve worked on quite a lot over the last 12-18 months is analysis around points of failure on a global basis, which our clients will be able to access. We’ll be able to advise them on the typical points of failure in specific markets, regions, supply chains, types of contracts. They can use our analysis to help mitigate their risks in advance of starting projects or going into new locations. In terms of what we’re trying to be, I hope this will push our brand to the cutting edge of thought leadership.” 18

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“Investment in programming and planning tools and software means what is being used onsite has come on leaps and bounds” – Toby Hunt, Head of Europe and Partner, HKA


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ERP and the potential to power construction productivity Written by MARK SPENCE


We talk to some industry leading lights about the impact of enterprise resource planning (ERP) in construction…

CONSTRUCTION 4.0 THE EVOLUTION OF enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, particularly cloud ERP, has played a pivotal role in the technology strategy of construction businesses in recent years. ERP allows everything from inventory to HR, accounting and more, to be integrated and streamlined. Combining these essential functions on one easily accessed and shared database enables different aspects of each business to elevate performance, save time and make projects easier to manage. The implementation of this software has already produced some intriguing results. ERP in action Shane Tate, Director of Tate Consulting, believes that construction software has changed how the industry works as a whole. Tate Consulting is currently working on a multi-million-pound development in Royal Wharf Docks, which aims to build a new town within London and includes 3,385 residential units. “Coordinating architects, structural engineers and building services engineers is a challenge and without regular coordination, there 24

March 2018

are inevitable delays in detecting any issues which can result in considerable costs and labour further down the line,” Tate tells us. “(Using) Revit software has allowed us to overcome many problems, especially in the case of the Royal Wharf project that includes a fullsized swimming pool and gym, which created several issues with ducts that needed to be built in to the original design. This would inevitably have caused major problems on the ground if these hadn’t been resolved within this phase.” What can ERP do for you? To gather a deeper understanding of the benefits ERP can deliver, we spoke to James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO of Washington Frank International, global leaders in ERP recruitment. Here’s his top pointers on why construction firms need to invest in the ground-breaking software… Regulatory compliance The construction business is awash with rules and regulations, which must be followed. Implementing a compatible and robust ERP software provides your business with visibility,

“Coordinating architects, structural engineers and building services engineers is a challenge and without regular coordination, there are inevitable delays in detecting any issues which can result in considerable costs and labour further down the line� SHANE TATE Director of Tate Consulting 25

CONSTRUCTION 4.0 transparency and data security, allowing you to meet the regulatory compliance standards with ease.

deviate too much from what was offered, avoiding any unwanted and unanticipated expenditure.

Planning and analysis In construction, it’s crucial that you know which raw materials are required and exactly how much manpower is needed. Using a good ERP solution will make it significantly easier to utilise your resources in the most efficient way. Construction ERP software allows you to simply figure out how much of your budget you will need for collateral expenditure, and helps you stay clear of any contractual complications for the duration of your project.

Increased productivity With all the data in the same location, productivity levels can soar thanks to ERP. Improved analytics can help you create automatic order forms to manage stock control as well as reports to analyse your results and efficiency. The analytical side of the service provides you with the ability to create automatic order forms which will aid you in stock control. With the correct ERP software in operation, your construction business can become more efficient in communication which, in turn, could reduce data duplication. It would also equip contractors with the most powerful tools for their job, offering a host of features that are specifically designed for construction management, such as bid management, accounting, profitability tracking and payroll tools.

Cost control Any construction project, no matter what size, will require a host of costs to be considered, with large projects becoming very complex. Every time a construction company bids on a project, they need to provide cost estimations, which can often be wide of the mark. Having the correct ERP software helps to provide an accurate estimation to a client, safe in the knowledge the actual cost won’t 26

March 2018

Effective communication Projects can span several years and a breakdown in communication can be extremely

costly, meaning communication is key. An ERP solution with in-built chat and video forums provides those involved with the perfect platform to communicate internally and make sure projects stay on track. Project management If you have a strong ERP in place, it’s easier to keep all your projects and data under one umbrella. ERP software products were developed to aid the manufacturing world in order to help track and coordinate projects wherever you are. A modern ERP software system offers a flexible and robust system which can be tailored to each business’s own needs.

“Clearly, there are tools that the manufacturing sector has successfully deployed that have yet to penetrate the construction sector” SCOTT HALL Enterprise Sales Manager, Sage


CONSTRUCTION 4.0 “Implementing a compatible and robust ERP software provides your business with visibility, transparency and data security allowing you to meet the regulatory compliance standards with ease� JAMES LLOYD-TOWNSHEND CEO, Washington Frank International


March 2018

Time effective Having a platform where all information is in one place could be the greatest time-saving decision you make for your business. It’s thought that a business will waste approximately one man month each year searching for data and documents that have gone astray. ERP will remove the risk of human error and misplaced files, helping keep core data organised. Remote access It’s not always possible for those in the construction industry to be office-based every day. However, many ERP solutions now operate from the cloud, meaning you are able to have a real time view of all your business processes wherever you may be. This allows you to keep an eye on your essential business needs even when you’re on the go. The future of ERP With a recent survey of over 300 global organisations by Sana Commerce highlighting that construction companies will be more likely (84%) to sell 100% of their inventory online in the future,

more than in any other sector (72% average), how else could ERP further influence the industry in the future? The final word goes to Stuart Hall, Enterprise Sales Manager at Sage. “Since the mid-90s productivity per hour for manufacturing labour has almost doubled. In the same timeframe, construction labour productivity has remained flat or declined depending upon the sector. Clearly, there are tools that the manufacturing sector has successfully deployed that have yet to penetrate the construction sector,” he says. “This productivity gap must be addressed by new generation construction software. The tools need to migrate from being effort tracking and reporting applications to decision support systems enabling process optimisation in response to real world situations and customer demand. This will give greater insight to help make better and more timely decisions. “We also expect to see tools that will allow deeper cross-project and program analysis and forecasting. It’s this insight from business software that will allow executives to model the impact of projects on their bottom line based upon historical data and proven models.” 29

Future proofing the data centre industry

Construction Global speaks to COO Jonathan Leppard and Product Manager David King from Future Facilities about innovations the software house is delivering to help the data centre industry with design, operation and maintenance



BASED IN LONDON, Future Facilities was born into the emerging data centre (DC) industry in 2003. It creates software suites specifically tailored to the DC market for the design, ongoing operation and maintenance of these facilities. This can cover anything from ground up to ground-breaking, design work, new tech employment or troubleshooting and retro-fitting existing centres, while also planning new phases of IT

equipment within an existing facility. “We cover the cradle to grave of a data centre,” maintains Future Facilities COO Jonathan Leppard. “On the software side, we’re utilising simulation to predict what will happen so you don’t have to wait to react to problems. We also have an electronics software product which examines the thermal dynamics of hardware so we can simulate laptops and computers down to chip level. We

The VF delivers richly textured models that are suitable for presentation to customers and the specialist media. In these images, you can see 6SigmaDCX’s containment modeling capabilities


March 2018

MISSION CRITICAL also provide consultancy services to either ‘out-house’ an entire project as the third party or train people with the technology so they can bring it in-house themselves.”

“We cover the cradle to grave of a data centre” JONATHAN LEPPARD COO, Future Facilities

Future Facilities was shortlisted for the Mission Critical Innovation Award at the 2017 DCD Awards, recognising its quest for excellence using DC simulation in virtual reality. The engineering simulations it provides allow DC owners and operators to understand how to refurbish efficiently and how new construction can be better managed in terms of capacity, energy consumption and cooling. “People will have grand plans but


MISSION CRITICAL the reality has to hit at some point,” warns Leppard. “The beauty of simulation, replicated in many other industries, gives the ability to look at things in the round before they have to be set in stone. We build these DCs for capacity, efficiency or resilience – some will need 24/7 resilience while others may only need a portion of that. We can then start providing solutions tuned to the needs of a business rather than solutions for the performance of a facility.” Fifteen years of the company’s expertise is built into its tools and solutions such as the 6Sigma range. “When our users are simulating DCs, it’s important that what we’ve learned is built into the defaults to quickly give them the answers they need to understand where the efficiency losses or gains might be in their design,” asserts Future Facilities Product Manager David King. “In the past decade the rules of thumb people apply have improved, but it’s the small details which our tools can provide for construction models which can help owners and operators achieve better insight into how their DC is going to perform in the future.” The innovation of Future’s offering 34

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lies in having a software package that delivers fundamentals in line with the industry for informed decisionmaking. “We bring together usability and functionality with industry collaboration to provide the end user with a future-focused qualitative result,” maintains Leppard. “One of the biggest drivers is that no one can do this by themselves – this is a community effort. We’re confident we can bring together disparate silos such as IT and facilities with a tool that gets communication flowing to support better, quicker, long term decisions.” With DCs getting bigger and calculations becoming increasingly complex, Future Facilities partners with cloud providers to give users access to multiple cores on a price per hour basis so they don’t need to buy expensive hardware in house. “Virtual reality is something we’ve been embracing so we’re able to put our users inside the model using Oculus Rift,” adds King. “Looking to the future, we’re aiming to add some of our simulation results into augmented reality to help visualise the invisible aspects of cooling systems in DCs such as the air flow. We’re also investigating ways of automating

6SigmaDCX11 & 6SigmaAccess demos with Mark Fenton live at Data Centre World

“Understanding the ROI is key with something you can’t necessarily see or monitor in a physical sense. You wouldn’t necessarily know it’s working for you unless you had a major failure” JONATHAN LEPPARD COO, Future Facilities

report generation and diagnostics so our users can fully understand their simulations results and get the full benefit.” Future is also planning to apply its tech to consider the effects of where DCs are located, using external modelling to look at efficiencies using air instead of air conditioning to make DC services much greener. A pioneer in the space, Future is excited about the potential for simulation to sit at the heart of the design process for mission critical construction, and up for the challenge of promoting its integration with operational planning and process 35

MISSION CRITICAL management. “We think we can provide this for the DC life cycle,” assures Leppard. “It does mean changing processes to accommodate another cycle of thought, so speed of adoption in the industry will be a challenge for us. Our software is evolving to meet the changing needs of management and monitoring. Understanding the ROI is key with something you can’t necessarily see or monitor in a physical sense. You wouldn’t necessarily know it’s working for you unless you had a major failure.” Future’s partnership with its cloud provider ReScale (a dedicated

simulation hardware provider which uses most of the major cloud providers as infrastructure) allows it to run on large compute up to 256 cores on Amazon, Microsoft and Google. “We also integrate with a providers of DCM tools such as SNT Group, Schneider, Trellis from Vertiv, Intel and Panduit,” says King. “Our model needs data that might already exist in other systems and we don’t want to duplicate that. What we do is complementary to, rather than in competition with, these major software providers.” Impressive levels of industry

The powerful tools of the Virtual Facility allow you to model IT equipment by leveraging existing CAD files and utilizing a large number of intelligent parts


March 2018

The design power and scalability of the VF means that you can use it to design electronics whose thermal properties require the strictest of control

adoption highlight the appetite for simulation tools, like Future’s 6SigmaDX, in the construction of colocation DCs. For example, when Compass (a colocator responsible for advanced disasterresistant, future-proofed DCs) needed to be able to capacity plan with confidence, it chose Virtual Facility to design and commission DCs that maximise revenue and ensure service level agreements (SLAs) remain un-breached. “We also work with hardware vendors like Airedale,” adds King, “which uses our software to design their air handling units as they are looking at how it internally sets up and

configures its cooling units to get maximum benefit from outside air conditions.” Elsewhere, City Bank in the US is utilising these simulation tools for energy efficiency savings. The team at Future is well placed to react to current trends in the construction of DCs. “We’re seeing a move from chilled water and DX units with a cooling plant outside serving air handlers inside, towards direct fresh air cooling or indirect evaporative coolers on the external wall of the DC,” notes King. “To combat many designs which would have fallen over on a hot day, the cooling is done directly through air to air exchange without the 37

MISSION CRITICAL transport medium of water or glycol. It changes the dynamics of the outside of buildings because you have the same problem – to deliver enough air inside the data centre to all the IT boxes to deliver processing power, whilst on the outside you have containment issues to squeeze all the large air movement devices into a small space with changing ambient conditions and wind profiles. Therefore, it becomes just as important to simulate

outside conditions, which could be potentially catastrophic when they are delivering 30% of your cooling.” Weighing up predictions for the future of the industry, King notes an increase in the complexity of control systems for cooling, moving away from individual air handlers to systembased buildings. “We’re not sure complexity means better, but we’re certainly seeing examples where the complexity doesn’t seem to be

The performance of air cooling technologies can be established quickly and with great cost efficiency in the VF. It allows you to experiment in a virtual sandbox that will keep your costs to market to an absolute minimum. Here, the impact of varying return air temperatures on the heat exchanger performance is investigated


March 2018

“It is important to simulate outside conditions, which could be potentially catastrophic when they are delivering 30% of your cooling” DAVID KING Product Manager, Future Facilities

offering obvious benefits,” he warns. “People will try and get as close to the edge of the efficiency envelope as they can by adding layers of complexity with fans that ramp up and down for a trio for conditions. We’re not convinced the efficiency gains people hope for will be delivered.” This reckoning with reality could be overcome with AI and machine learning for control systems. Future believes the challenge will be creating the ability to learn in heterogeneous DC environments that change quickly. “Simulation has a place in that as we move into automation,” says Leppard, “but we’ll give the machine learning something to reference, prior to a DC’s launch, to bulk up the start point and then allow fine tuning with the reality that ensues.” The ultimate goal in 2018? “We’re focused on making simulation a part of everyday processes and we’re starting to see this with corporates. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work with research companies like ES2 and The Green Grid on performance indicators to provide tools to help the industry and give better insight to decision makers.”





HOW GREEN IS YOUR DATA CENTRE? Construction Global speaks to The Green Grid’s President Roger Tipley about the non-profit organisation’s work uniting the data centre industry with a common goal: to enhance the energy efficiency and improve the green credentials of data centre infrastructure Writ ten by DAN BRIGHTMORE

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y THE GREEN GRID came into being 11 years ago with a shared goal for the data centre industry: to build a lasting industry alliance of companies donating time to attack the problems around enhancing the energy efficiency of data centre (DC) infrastructure, while combating waste and inefficiency in the non-IT focused areas of the business. “Our stated mission is to drive effective and accountable resource efficiency across the entire information and communications technology ecosystem,” says Roger Tipley, Green Grid President and VP of Industry & Government Alliances at Schneider Electric. “We’re here to enable sustainable IT solutions with help from our volunteer army. We have work groups in the US, Europe, Japan and China. We’re not a lobbying organisation trying to tell governments what to do; we try to advise based on the different global issues and political climates our members hail from. We want to be stakeholders in the process and be the experts called in to look at outcomes for both industry and end users when new regulations and standards are mooted.” Part of the Green Grid’s mission is to address ways the construction industry 44

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can incorporate principles from the ‘circular economy’ to reduce the environmental impact of DCs. It boasts over 200 members including giants like Intel, Cisco, Google and IBM alongside industry innovators such as Future Facilities which pioneers engineering simulation tools to contribute to the design of sustainable DCs. “We’ve had a long-term interest in thinking about the end of life point of view,” says Tipley. “The old term for the circular economy would have been the cradle to grave principle. You’re trying to create DCs with larger ecosystems around them so you use clean materials that are easily recyclable and upgradeable. Currently, the European Commission are working on defining what the circular economy is and how you measure that. They are asking what it means to be durable, upgradeable, recyclable or repairable.” Following the definitional phase, Tipley expects to see regulations which have an impact on people’s products. “We would like to be an industry voice to help make these goals pragmatic and realistic, while still trying to meet the overall sustainability requirements. The whole concept of sustainability is a three-legged stool: social responsibility, environmental

“Sustainability in an uncertain world is difficult, and unexpected events can influence our choice” ROGER TIPLEY Green Grid President and VP of Industry & Government Alliances at Schneider Electric responsibility and economic responsibility. When you overlook any of this trio, a new construction proposal quickly becomes unsustainable.” The DC industry is embracing new ways to repurpose sites as witnessed by Google’s conversion of a former coal plant in Alabama, and plans to construct DCs in which heat produced by servers can be delivered to nearby

houses to provide heating and hot water. “We’d like to support these developments,” affirms Tipley. “What’s the vision, the quest for perfection? If we can answer that as an industry then we can approach DC construction in such a way that, at end of life, brownfield is actually greenfield and not some toxic wasteland which is hard to repurpose. We’re trying to develop 45


“We can approach DC construction in such a way that, at end of life, brownfield is actually greenfield and not some toxic wasteland which is hard to repurpose” ROGER TIPLEY Green Grid President and VP of Industry & Government Alliances at Schneider Electric

ideas around the concept of net zero operations to promote the brownfield/ greenfield circularity.” The Green Grid is helping organisations aim to be net zero on energy use, carbon footprint and water footprint to promote an impact point of view while investing in renewable energy. “It’s really about what DCs can do to add to the green energy in their region,” notes Tipley. With those green initiatives in mind, The Green Grid is committed to helping its members, and the industry in general, improve operations and 46

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mitigate risk. The organisation has devised OSDA (the Open Standard for Data Centre Availability) as a methodology to give DC designers and operators a way to more flexibly run and redesign their DCs so they’re not held to some of the past models that were required. “We’re often brought in to help and want to make sure we have the right tools to do so,” confirms Tipley. “If you want to add in fuel cells, green energy, sustainable energy and energy storage, these weren’t comprehended in some of the old models. This new

Video:The Green Grid Overview

model of evaluating your availability (a key metric) is vital to comprehend how many hours a DC is available per annum and how many millions of euros it will cost when the centre is down during that time. DCs need to ensure they can reach the service levels agreed (SLAs) with their customers. OSDA was initially proposed by one of our colocation owner/operator members, Interaction, and we’ve been working on white papers and tools for the last two years. We’re about to publish our second generation tool

and now we can look at more creative ways of providing assurances that DCs will be up when they need to be, while using less capital with a cheaper infrastructure requirement and operational cost reduction.” Tipley is proud that The Green Grid partners with the likes of the US Department of Energy or the European Commission’s joint research centre, which places DC conduct in the EU at the forefront with initiatives like the Energy Start programme, for which The Green Grid provides valuable feedback. 47

“The Green Grid partners with the European Commission’s joint research centre, which places DC conduct in the EU at the forefront with initiatives like the Energy Start programme” ROGER TIPLEY Green Grid President and VP of Industry & Government Alliances at Schneider Electric “They might need to make specific changes to ensure a project is realistic and they’re not putting something out there that’s ‘unobtainium’.” The Green Grid also partners with ASHRAE, a diverse organisation representing building system design and industrial processes professionals around the 48

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world. Tipley’s work groups engage with technical organisations and government institutions across the global information and communications technology ecosystem to collaborate on the creation and adoption of a common set of metrics for capacity utilisation and measurements for

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y data centre resource efficiency. These include IUE (Infrastructure Utility Effectiveness) which is intended to help determine how much design infrastructure capacity an operational DC is able to use. Identifying trends on the infrastructure side of DC construction, Tipley sees a focus on liquid cooling, particularly with high performance computing and data analytics. “The micro-processors and architectures around high-end servers are pushing really high heat densities. At certain densities, air is no longer an option. Whether it’s liquid cooling from a point source, or immersive, we have work streams at The Green Grid with several liquid cooling experts involved to try to make that a viable and less esoteric tech, so 10 years from now it might be more pervasive among the internet giants as they aim to eke out competitive advantage.” Tipley believes that efforts to reduce the energy consumption of non-IT gear are bearing fruit by focusing on cooling and power infrastructure. What remains is the challenge for each individual DC to “boutique tweak” options to make sure its operations achieve optimum efficiency. “What’s left is the

most difficult but will yield the biggest impact, looking at the IT itself – servers, software and storage,” says Tipley, pondering “how do we make it more effective? How can a DC generate more transactions for the amount of energy it might use? Is there a way we could promote at a higher level, or even at a micro level, more energy efficient software that has secondary impact on water, carbon footprint etc?” He concludes: “Sustainability in an uncertain world is difficult, and unexpected events can influence our choices. If you’re designing things and expecting no consequences that lead to outages, it’s not sustainable. We have to think about a build from that perspective looking at both the environmental and business impact. Did you design in such a way that you could shift your loads to a place that’s not being impacted? That is an interesting conversation to have. It creates new methodologies that play to the strengths of internet giants and cloud providers but there are other ways for smaller enterprises to become involved. We need to promote the circular economy so we don’t just pack our landfills with lithium-ion batteries.”


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RESPONDING TO THE DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE ENERGY CHALLENGE The Energy Smart Summit is part of a global series which brings together leaders from the world of energy networks and from the digital infrastructure ecosystem in one of the world’s most energy aware cities for a very big discussion on the future. Lead sponsor:

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Key topics including: > Using data center heat recycling to reduce energy cost and CO2 emissions > How can data centers plan for a renewable dominated future? > The role of the data center in the future of power supply > Hyperscalers and their energy strategy for the Nordic market > The latest developments and innovations in energy storage solutions > Software Defined Power: The promise, the reality

Speakers at DCD>Energy Smart include:

Adam Tamburini e-shelter

Alberto Ravagni SOLIDpower

Alfonso Aranda Arias IBM

Ali Heydari Baidu

For more information about DCD>Energy Smart please follow this link:

TOP 10


Dave Tyson is Managing Director at leading structural and civil engineering practice Design2e. With experience spanning over 30 years, he has been responsible for the delivery of many structures and civil engineering projects with build values in excess of $140mn. Here, Tyson reveals his top 10 ‘smart’ buildings from across the globe. ‘Smart’ can be interpreted in many ways, but Tyson has focused on seminal works rather than simply paying homage to clever electronics

TOP 10


Market Hall, Rotterdam Designed by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries

This $216mn market hall is made up of 228 apartments, 100 fresh market produce stalls, food related retail units, preparation and cooling space, a supermarket and 1,200 parking spaces. The horseshoe-shaped building has a glass façade on both sides and these are full height glass screens. Only by visiting can you appreciate just how thin the end glass wall construction is and how smart the building is. The shape of the building provides a structure that can resist the tensioned rods strung across


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the glass screens that resist the horizontal wind forces.

09 ‑ Designed by Santiago Calatrava

Calatrava’s contribution to Wohlen High School is a collection of four roofs: an outside entrance canopy, an inside entrance hall, the assembly hall and the library. While all four roofs are quite different, they are all signature Calatrava. This design is worthy of inclusion on my list, not only for its control of light, but also for its elegance in form and clever structure. The petal-like circular roof represents a very intelligent engineering form. 55

TOP 10

08 Kuwait Pavilion, Sevilla, Spain Designed by Tadao Ando

This is an ingenious way to control sunlight. Kuwait had become a focus for international events, but the culture remained little known. Calatrava came up with the design of this pavilion to represent Kuwait, but also as a symbol of internationalism. Seventeen scimitar-shaped ribs, each 25m in length, are computer-controlled to open and close in 15 pre-programmed positions to let in the desired amount of sunlight. It’s just a shame that the pavilion has not been kept in pristine condition for all to


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see and now rots in obscurity after the Expo in 1992.

07 Church of the Light, Osaka, Japan Designed by Tadao Ando

This is a real example of form which follows function. Tadao Ando has merged architecture and nature to create a cruciform of light which is pure magic. Using the medium of concrete which is simply glued-together earth, the course nature of the concrete is managed in such a mannered way that makes this otherwise plain space exquisite. Completed in 1989, the Church of the Light was a renovation to an existing Christian compound in Ibaraki. 57

TOP 10

06 Gallery Of The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas Designed by Renzo Piano

Influenced by Luis Khan’s Yale Centre for British Art, this building brings attention to detail together with control of light. Piano wanted the whole gallery to be illuminated by natural light. The solution was a roof of ‘leaves’ of thin ferro-cement. The outside walls are cypress wood timbered in reference to the surrounding houses in the neighbourhood. Renzo Piano’s IBM pavilion is another great example of where attention to detail has driven the design and modular construction.


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05 The Pompidou Centre, Paris, France Designed by Renzo Piano

The Pompidou Centre is a real example of how to build with future adaptability. It has its own style – which I’ll admit takes some getting used to – but the building has certainly performed and delivered on flexibility. Each 7,500 sqm floor extends through the building entirely uninterrupted by load-bearing structures, meaning it can be divided up and reorganised at will for exhibitions or a myriad of other activities. 59

TOP 10

04 The Steve Jobs Theater, Cupertino, California Designed by Norman Foster

The Steve Jobs Theater is a real example of how you can be inside and outside at the same time. The use of glass with the distinctive 155-foot metallic carbon fibre ‘flying saucer lid’ is a symbol to the world that Apple is still reaching for the stars. The building is sending a clear message about who is using it, which I admire. One of the most stunning aspects of the Steve Jobs Theater is the large, completely open top floor. There’s no visible frame, pipes, wires, or speakers – they are hidden in 20 of the thin


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joints separating each glass panel. Beautiful in its simplicity.



Riverside Museum, Glasgow, Scotland Designed by Zara Hadid

The Riverside Museum is a more modest example of a building with flowing style that still plays with your senses. It is a clear blend of the vernacular historic form, turned in a dynamic space, that draws you through it. It too has the capacity to be adaptable, given its simple expanse of open space. With its distinctive zinc zig-zag roof, the building – open at opposite ends – has a tunnellike configuration between the city and the Clyde. 61

TOP 10

02 Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain Designed by Frank Gehry

This list would not be complete without something from the body of work of Frank Gehry. The Guggenheim Museum shows how architecture can drive regeneration, as well as how deconstructional architecture manages the internal environment, and especially light, very well. The building provides vistas and spaces you cannot get bored with. The sculpture-like structure perfectly integrates with the surrounding area.


March 2018


01 Beijing National Stadium, China Designed by Ai Weiwei, Pierre de Meuron, Jacques Herzog, Li Xinggang

Alongside the theme of chaos being used in architecture, the Beijing National Stadium has something of a playfulness about it. It is its nickname, the “Bird’s Nest”, that gives away its attempt to emulate nature. It is still man-made and a little heavy, therefore the Beijing National Aquatics Centre is probably the cleverer of the two from a structural perspective. However, the Bird’s Nest – the world’s largest enclosed space and also the world’s largest steel structure – simply oozes presence. 63

E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Events The biggest and best events and conferences from around the world‌ Writ ten by AN D R E W WO O DS

E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Ecobuild 2018 ExCeL, London 6-8 March 2018

The number one event for forward thinkers in the built environment. There will be more than 25,000 visitors and 450-plus exhibitors – including Siga, Rhico and Proctor – representing the many distinct communities that make up the built environment. The 2018 Ecobuild conference will examine the challenges, identify emerging best practice and the necessary quality and performance standards to ‘propose an action plan for a resilient and responsible future’. 66

March 2018

Future Cities Show 2018

Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE 9-11 April The second edition of the Future Cities Show is based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which were set by the United Nations and adopted by 193 countries in September 2015. The Future Cities Show is a platform for local and international institutions from various industries to showcase their latest technologies that are going to redefine the way we live. The show will focus on three pillars: sustainability, innovation and happiness. There will be over 19,000 visitors and 100-plus exhibitors across 141 countries.

The UK Infrastructure Show 2018 Birmingham NEC, UK 17 April

Officially supported by CompeteFor and many major ongoing and future infrastructure projects, the UK Infrastructure Show 2018 provides participants with a unique opportunity to engage, connect and collaborate with a vast array of key projects, decision makers and influencers representing all areas throughout the supply chain.


E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

National Construction Summit 2018

Citywest, Dublin, Ireland 2 May

The third annual National Construction Summit welcomes over 2,000 construction companies, developers, policy makers, project owners and government bodies to ‘stimulate debate, enrich knowledge and connect stakeholders’. Topics of debate will include planning, facility management and energy efficiency, plus many, many more.

The World Green Building Council Congress 2018 Toronto, Canada 3-7 June

Titled “Building Lasting Change with WorldGBC Congress Canada”, the event will see Green Building Councils, international speakers and delegates from five regions of the world (Europe, Africa, MENA, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific) combine with CaGBC members, enabling Canadian delegates to showcase local expertise to international attendees to encourage collaboration, innovation and business exchange.


March 2018

Webit.Festival Europe 2018 Sofia, Bulgaria 26-27 June

Part of EU Digital & Innovation Week, Webit.Festival Europe 2018 is gathering EU policy makers, global business leaders raging from Fortune 500 top executives to worlds most impactful and promising founders and entrepreneurs and academia to re:Invent Europe’s Future. There will be over 7,000 attendees from 100-plus countries, including 1,500 top policy makers from all over the globe as well as entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and digital economy shapers and representatives from Europe’s most promising startups.


E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

London Build 2018 Olympia National, London 23-24 October

London Build is the leading construction show to cover London and the south of England. London Build unites an incredible range of high-level attendees involved in construction, architecture, infrastructure and design in London to discuss a wide-ranging source of issues relating to every aspect of the industry.


March 2018


Mission critical Data centers you can count on Achieving an array of awards from the Uptime Institute, T5 Facilities Management has proven itself time and time again to be the top critical facility management company for data center owners who demand 100% uptime Written by Laura Mullan Produced by Tom Venturo



s a population, our consumption of data shows no signs of slowing down. Over the next decade, as the Internet of Things expands ever further and connected devices and data become as important as electricity, data center uptime is set to become a top priority across the globe. In fact, even today, ensuring the uptime of mission-critical operations is more important than ever with data center downtime costing around $8,000 per minute, according to an in-depth study by the Emerson Network Power and the Ponemon Institute. Recognising this, T5 Data Centers has distinguished itself from its competitors and made a name for itself for being ‘forever on’, as its slogan promises. With a record of 100% uptime, the data center company’s impressive standing can be traced back to the company’s Facilities Management and Operations division, T5 Facilities Management (T5FM), which offers on-site data center facilities management,


March 2018


T5Dallas Completed Project

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MIKE CASEY President As President of T5FM, Mike is responsible for Facilities Management and Operations for T5 Data Center’s colocation facilities. Mike creates, communicates, and implements T5FM’s vision, mission, and product. Mike is also responsible for the growth of T5FM’s third-party Facilities Management and Operations business. Mike establishes T5FM’s goals and provides the leadership and motivation to achieve these goals. Mike has over 20 years of experience in project management, development, operations, sales, and leasing of data center real estate, representing both wholesale data center providers and corporate end users. Mike was a member of The Staubach Company’s National Contact and Data Center Practice and later a leader in Jones Lang LaSalle’s Project and Development Services group.


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remote and smart hands, and staff augmentation services to data center owners across North America. T5FM not only operates T5 Data Center’s state-of-the-art portfolio of wholesale and colocation data centers, it also operates data centers for a spectrum of Fortune 500 companies in sectors spanning from finance and technology to aerospace and energy. Four pillars of success “In the data center space, having no outages is key and uptime and safety are paramount,” says Mike Casey, President at T5FM. “I think our four core values are just one element that distinguishes us from our competitors as a successful data center facility management company.” Built on the so-called ‘Four Pillars of T5FM,’ the company’s unique operating methodology has been one of the key accelerators of T5FM’s success. These core values - safety,

training, process and procedure, and customer communication offer an operational foundation that mitigates risk, maximizes uptime and meets financial targets. It is also an ethos which Casey has strived to uphold throughout his leadership. Ensuring the safety of the personnel, facilities, and equipment is perhaps one of the biggest hurdles facing data center operators today. Therefore, T5FM has strived to create a proprietary electrical safety program and policy which is based on NFPA 70E guidelines. “Safety is, of course, one of the most important values at the company and it really starts with making it a part of the culture,” Casey explains. “Whether we have a board meeting or an onsite customer meeting, the first item on the agenda is always safety. We’ve created a culture that empowers all the team members to identify any safety risks and influence or change our safety policy across the portfolio.” Casey and his team also provide a customized, site-specific training program that includes portfolio

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WayPoint Systems unique blend of products, integration, people and vision is the foundation of WayPoint’s success.


INDUSTRY LEADERS IN BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES WayPoint Systems, Inc supplies and services turn-key building temperature controls systems (BMS), electrical and power monitoring systems (EPMS), life safety systems, other special systems for facilities. All Al the while, providing cutting edge integration technology. WayPoint is your single source for building technology and systems integration.

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“In the data center space, having no outages is key” – Mike Casey, President at T5FM

training classes and ongoing online testing. The program also includes a deep and comprehensive study of mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems. This in-depth and rigorous training ensures that T5FM uphold only the best operational practices in the data center space. “There’s a sense of pride and a sense of ownership for those who complete the training program,” says Casey. “However, it doesn’t stop there. The company also has a continuous improvement training program which causes the team to continually learn about new pieces of equipment or new issues and agendas.” The US-based company also strives to drive efficiencies across its far-reaching processes and procedures. To this end, Casey and his team uphold consistent, robust and vetted portfolio policies which set the baseline for developing site-specific procedures and documentation. This strategy begins with the company’s meticulous, in-depth playbook that collates years of experience and hands-on data center practices for the company’s employees.

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“Safety is, of course, one of the most important values at the company” – Mike Casey, President at T5FM White glove approach to customer service The company’s final operational pillar highlights T5FM’s commitment to customer service. This is an integral element of day-to-day operations which has helped the company cut through the noise to


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become a leading provider of data center facility management. “I think some of the things that really separate us from our competition is our approach to customer service,” observes Casey. “We have a white glove approach to customer service. That means there’s a higher level of


communication and more customized reporting. It also means that the people we hire, our onsite team, are not only technically proficient, but they have the necessary communication skills to connect with our customers.” Mission critical focus T5FM has, by all accounts, forged a unique position in the data center landscape. As one of the few remaining companies specializing in mission critical, T5FM prides itself on being 100% data center focused. It doesn’t operate non-mission critical facilities and in doing so, it has allowed the company to hire people who have a mission critical mindset and who are passionate and driven about the data center landscape. Furthermore, thanks to its real-world experience operating T5 Data Centers’ national data center portfolio, Casey and his team also champion a unique owner perspective which allows the company to truly understand the needs and wants of its clients. It is because of this highlyfocused and concerted approach that T5FM has been able to grow

retain a talented workforce with a broad range of expertise. “Over 86% of our site leads have been promotions from within,” notes Casey. “This is because our team members have a mission critical mindset and are passionate about the data center space. They see a growing company. They see room for career advancement and are encouraged by our entrepreneurial culture, a culture where anybody at any level within the organization can make an impact on the overall portfolio. We are the employer of choice in the data center space and this means means have very high retention rates, a highly motivated workforce, and the best team in the industry. At the end of the day, it’s our customers who benefit from of this.” Uptime Institute award winner Championing a positive work culture is an admirable feat, but T5FM has also provided the results to back it up. By receiving countless awards from the prestigious Uptime Institute, T5FM has consistently proven its position as a market leader.

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Mike Casey, President of T5FM, Receives Operations Pacesetter Leadership Award

“Given our proven success I think the sky is the limit” – Mike Casey, President at T5FM


March 2018

Over the past several years, T5FM has consistently achieved the Continuous Availability Award from the Uptime Institute and, in December 2017, Casey also received the Operations Pacesetter Leadership award for his team’s work in the data center space. “Although it’s an individual award, in reality it’s a testament to the entire team,” says Casey. “The main reason that we received this award is because we achieved Management and Operations (M&O) stamp of approval from the Uptime Institute across the T5 portfolio last year. We were able to achieve this in a compressed three-month timeframe. We passed with some of the highest scores that Uptime has ever issued. This is a big differentiator for us. It shows our customers and our prospects our commitment to operational excellence that has been validated by a third-party expert.” Expansion With an array of accolades under its belt and a reputation for operational excellence, T5FM has made a name


Mike Casey, President of T5FM, Operations Pacesetter

for itself in the data center space and the road ahead continues to look bright. The company aims to grow where it already has a strong market presence, in regions such as Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, LA and Charlotte, and it is also looking further afield for international opportunities, recently announcing a new campus in Ireland. As consumption of data gathers momentum, data center facility management is set to grow on an

exponential scale and it seems that, thanks to its proven model for success, T5FM is well prepared to tap into this growing demand. “Overall, I think we have great brand recognition and we have a great reputation in the market,” Casey says. “We’ve got an amazing team behind us and fantastic, loyal customers who have experienced first-hand, the T5 difference. Given our proven success I think the sky is the limit for T5 in the years to come.”

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With over $175mn of construction projects completed since 2010, UDC’s state-ofthe-art facilities are striving to provide a university experience like no other Written by Laura Mullan Produced by Tom Venturo




his is the rallying tagline that is taking the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) to new heights. Situated at the heart of the US capital, UDC is in the midst of several state-of-theart construction projects, which are not only transforming its properties, but its culture and academic life. With a wealth of experience in the university field, Erik Thompson, Vice President of Capital Assets and Real Estate Services at UDC, is passionate about developing educational spaces. It is a combination of any institution’s stellar facilities and academic quality which he says helps to deliver a true university learning experience. “We are both historic and modern all at the same time,” notes Thompson. “We’re modern in the sense that not too long ago we were a commuter school, one of the newer ways to learn.


March 2018

We also have an online education program which is a symbol of our modern educational paradigms. “I think what distinguishes us is that we are one of the only urban land-grant universities in the country. We offer an affordable education in comparison to our peer schools and I think we give a comparable and, in some ways, better educational experience for a much more affordable price.” Responsible for the maintenance and operations of all real property assets, Thompson and his team operate all the real estate transactions at the university. This includes the university’s capital improvement plan (CIP), whereby every year the team identify a six-year window of funding and select several projects which they will work on. Whilst academics are seen to be at the epicentre of


university life, Thompson stresses that the effective running of the university’s real estate is vital for a positive learning experience. “It’s an integral part of the process,” he explains. “You can’t really judge how well a student can learn if it’s 105 or five degrees in the classroom. The same applies if it’s too small, if it’s too big, or if the acoustics don’t work. My department does substantial work to ensure that the educational process happens the way it was intended.” Since 2010, around $175mn worth of projects have been executed through UDC’s capital improvement plan. However, one accomplishment stands out in this impressive portfolio – the

institution’s newly built student centre. As one of only three student centres in the country that has achieved LEED Platinum certification, the building is an impressive feat that underlines the university’s commitment to sustainable and green practices. “The student centre distinguishes us by showcasing what the university, our students, and our faculty feel about sustainability,” observes Thompson. “It’s not the easiest building to construct or maintain, but it is the soundest decision for our environment.” Further evidence of the institution’s green mentality is the fact that it has one of the largest green roofs

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Erik Thompson VP for Capital Assets and Real Estate

Mr. Thompson has amassed a comprehensive background in the field of capital asset and facility management. Placing an emphasis on the integration of his architectural education with his project feasibility and development experience, he has spent nearly twenty years helping public schools, charter schools, community colleges, Universities and municipalities address their facility needs


March 2018

in the city. It also has photovoltaic panels on campus and, through a sustainable water collection system, it collects and repurposes about 15,000 gallons of water during storms. Sustainability is, by all accounts, a thread that is consistent throughout every construction project at UDC and, when a large percentage of landfill and debris comes from new construction builds, it is an impressive philosophy to uphold. Safety is another characteristic that encompasses UDC’s constructions builds. Every week, Thompson says he meets with his project management team and safety initiatives are at the top of the agenda. Whether they are


Faces of UDC

talking about treacherous weather conditions or fall protection, the team keeps a vigilant eye on issues which could be a potential risk and which could potentially infringe on the safety of the campus and the site. “In my career, I have had no significant lost time due to injury on any of my projects,” explains Thompson. “I think the reason that I’ve been able to achieve that is because of how much I focus on safety. It’s not just about meeting the code and legislative standards, but it’s also upholding the high standards we set for ourselves. It almost doesn’t matter if I’ve finished a project on time and on budget if

one of my workers is hurt. Therefore, safety is of the utmost importance.” When taking on such massive projects, the university is all too aware of the importance of collaboration both within the team and with third-party suppliers. Whether its designers, project management staff or general contractors, these individuals have been integral to the university’s strong roster of successful construction projects. Plus, it’s not just large multinational companies it is working with. UDC is also making a concerted effort to develop relationships with minority-owned and female-owned local businesses. “I feel very strongly that while I can

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sometimes use the word I, it’s always a team effort,” says Thompson. “Our team have an intrinsic passion for making sure the work is always moving us to the next level. We also work closely with third-party companies where it’s not just a contract partnership but a true relationship. “Consys Construction, Cannon Design, McKissick and McKissick Project Management are just some, to name a few, that are helping us better the environment at the university. They are helping to make UDC one of the premier institutions in the country,” he adds. With such an extensive portfolio of new projects, UDC has completely transformed its campus. However, to do so, Thompson and his team

have taken meticulous care to ensure that the academic year is not disturbed. But how does it tackle the difficult balancing act of executing construction projects on time whilst not disrupting the academic year or surrounding community? “I think we achieve this by staying in constant communication with the academic side of the house,” reflects Thompson. “On any project, the number one focus should be how does it benefit the students. Therefore, if I’m thinking about how to complete the construction process, I always ask not only how will it benefit the student when it’s completed, but how does it benefit the student by minimizing interruption during the academic year?”


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To achieve this, the institution completes a lot of construction during the holidays, nights, and weekends where possible. It also spends a lot of resources developing a so-called ‘swing space’ - a temporary site for class locations to be rearranged. Looking at the road ahead,


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Thompson is all too aware of hurdles facing the education landscape at large. He predicts that the biggest challenge facing the sector over the coming years will be infrastructure replacement, particularly mechanical, electrical and plumbing. “These replacements are becoming


more common in the sector because of the educational space and construction boom of the late sixties and early 1970’s,” he explains. “During that time, there was a huge increase in the amount of educational spaces that were being constructed. Now, 50 years later, even if you took the best care of those buildings, they’re twice their life expectancy. So, while many of them are still being renovated and maintained, the majority of them will need to be replaced.” On top of this, Thompson also predicts the rise of multi-purpose classrooms - educational spaces which could go from a science lab to a business management class in a matter of minutes. This

will also redefine libraries which will become more purposeful, digital and space-conscious. All in all, it seems that the education sector is in a period of flux. But with innovative construction projects in the pipeline and the aim of on-campus housing on the horizon, it seems UDC is well prepared for any changes that come its way. “We’ve coined a phrase about the changes that are happening here,” says Thompson. “It’s that we’re in transition from being UDC to becoming the University of the District of Columbia. I think that says a lot about the physical and cultural shift we’re going through right now.”

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A 1967 Ford Falcon Rebuilt for Fanshawe’s 50th Anniversary

ENGAGING A COMMUNITY THROUGH EDUCATION The college of the future needs to be run as much on vision as fixed processes. Innovation through IT is helping to shape this future at Fanshawe College, explains its strategically-minded CIO Written by John O’Hanlon Produced by Glen White



anshawe College, or to give it its full title, Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology, has just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Established at London, Ontario in 1967 as the successor to the Ontario Vocational Centre, it has since grown to become one of Canada’s largest further education institutions, with additional campuses at Simcoe, St. Thomas and Woodstock. It enrols close to 45,000 full-time, part-time and online students each year, not only from Canada and south-western Ontario, but from some 80 other countries around the world, and offers more than 200 degree, diploma, certificate, graduate certificate and apprenticeship programmes. Subjects available include applied arts, business, healthcare, human services, hospitality and technology, and Fanshawe also provides re-skilling and skill upgrading opportunities for mature learners sponsored by business and industry or by government. Since 2013, Peter Gilbert been Chief Information Officer (CIO) of this hugely important regional college,


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adding a second key role to his portfolio in February 2017 – that of Chief Infrastructure Officer. So, he’s a double CIO: “Over the last couple of years the opportunity arose to expand the purely IT work more into the actual running and building of our facilities, and it became clear that many of the challenges facing an IT department are shared by a facilities department.” Smart facilities, he explains, depend so heavily on IT these days that the old demarcations are disappearing. As an example, he cites parking. Anyone visiting a large campus anywhere in the world will know what a pain it is to drive around looking for a space – and the cost in wasted time and missed appointments can be significant. Fanshawe has more than 3,000 parking spaces for students and staff, all on the flat, and of course there are never enough of them at peak times. “We’re now starting to look at smart parking solutions that would direct people to available parking, rather than having to drive round and round,” says Gilbert. Part of the solution would be for many more people to use public transport, but


Peter Gilbert CIO

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At JLL, we know that real estate is more than just a physical space. It’s where ambitions are achieved.

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“We’re taking the best project management practice from both facilities and IT” – Peter Gilbert, CIO

for those who need to use a car, not having to use up time and fuel looking for a parking place would help achieve the college’s carbon reduction goals. Gilbert is considering introducing a card-based entry system, which would also facilitate payment. Another example is that of physical security. Issuing and tracking keys is a poor way to ensure that buildings are secured: a centrally controlled smart card system is much more robust, and would allow the campus or a section of it to be locked down fast in an emergency. “We’re taking the best project management practice from both facilities and IT. Project management was born in the construction industry, and they’re very good at it, but over the years

IT has adapted that and become good at that as well. But construction projects often end when a building is handed over whereas IT extends right into operation and maintenance.” Tracking and reporting on its physical assets while at the same time being able to respond in a timely manner to service requests from facilities managers in all parts of the campus has been made a lot easier by IT initiatives at Fanshawe. In particular, partnering with real estate services provider JLL Technology Solutions, it implemented ARCHIBUS facilities management software to support all its facilities operations. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution was deployed within the JLL Cloud environment within just three months.

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Gilbert is enthusiastic about the opportunities for IT and innovation to make a difference to the student experience too. With an increasing number of students on campus, it’s important to automate as many of the paper-based enrolment processes as possible, he says. And once the students are admitted, they quickly learn that Fanshawe will help unlock their potential in ways they had not expected. “Innovation is at our core, and we’re always looking for ways to


March 2018

push the envelope. We introduced iPads into learning several years ago, which really unlocked the potential of students that come to us with fewer academic qualifications, or who had additional challenges such as autism.” iPads have been around a while now, but young people are increasingly buying drones, which are readily available. In anticipation of new laws surrounding usage, Fanshawe introduced a drone course and encouraged students to


Fanshawe at the 2018 Food and Wine Show

become certified operators. It was a far-sighted decision: “We’re seeing regulation coming in, and I think we’re well positioned to help train people in the proper use of that technology.” Drones are an engaging, and far from being just fun technology. Gilbert believes one of the benefits of the college system lies in its use of employer groups to help advise curriculum development. “Technology is creeping into every aspect of the world, and getting employers to help

us design the next generation of courses leads to a two-way learning process. Sometimes our students will enlighten the employer, other times the employer will enlighten the student that they employ. I think a lot of our future innovation will come from the innovation that’s happening in the many businesses we serve with our graduates.” This virtuous circle is epitomised in the close relationship Fanshawe has with the construction industry. The

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Students and staff taking part in a United Way fundraising event featuring remote controlled cars

London Home Builders’ Association (LHBA) is a case in point, providing a lot of feedback to college building programs. “They also create research opportunities for our students as well,” he adds. “One of our goals is that every student who goes through Fanshawe should have at least one applied research experience as part of their time here. Construction firms always have projects under development that need tweaking before they become the new mainstream product, and our students are more than happy to assist in

some of that applied research.” The Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI) is Fanshawe College’s Research Office and Industry Innovation Centre (IIC). CRI links industry, business and community partners with Fanshawe student and faculty researchers to develop research and innovation projects and programmes, and serves as the College’s liaison to external funders. Gilbert is excited about the concept of an ‘Innovation Village’ that would be much more than a fancy name for a community hub. “It’s built on the

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“One of our goals is that every student who goes through Fanshawe should have at least one applied research experience as part of their time here” – Peter Gilbert, CIO


March 2018


View of Fanshawe new downtown building

African proverb that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. It’s the antithesis of the old teaching model where a student comes in, takes a course and leaves. What we’re trying to work towards is a ‘village’, part physical and part virtual, where the student can encounter professors and also people from different professions, some of them retired perhaps, who want to mentor and indeed learn from new students.” He sketches a campfire scene round which young people learn from the people who have done the job or lived the experience in the

past; sharing experiences, but also reaching out to others from different disciplines. “You might introduce somebody into the village that has financial background to a group that’s talking about architecture questions or a marketing person to come in and help take ideas out into the community, or socialise them. It takes more than just a few professors to make a difference for a person. It’s the whole experience, involving a variety of people and materials that they could experiment with,” says Gilbert.

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DATA GUARDIANS The storage and analysis of data is at the basis of all government, commercial and even private activity these days. With the data storage growing rapidly in Australia, SRA Solutions is poised for an exciting phase of expansion Written by John O’Hanlon Produced by Jeff Debicki



he city of Queanbeyan, in the south of New South Wales and strategically situated between Sydney and Melbourne, is home to SRA Solutions, formerly known as Server Racks Australia, a specialist in precision steel manufacture and systems integration for the data centre market. It has been honing its expertise in this field for the last 30 years, and prides itself on sourcing its raw materials locally, from a supplier in Wollongong. As well as server racks it manufactures cabinets, termination boxes, and power rails for both government and commercial sectors at its sites, operating up to 21 hours per day, seven days a week, and employing 55 staff. The factory, with administrative and design facilities and 1,500 sqm in size, is located in the industrial area of East Queanbeyan on a 4,000 square metre block. The company runs its own transport regularly between Queanbeyan and Sydney, and has excellent contract freight services for interstate clients. SRA Solutions is an acknowledged leader in racks, rows and rooms. It aims to give its customers innovative answers in their search for more efficient and affordable IT infrastructure. The company combines state-of-the-art computer controlled equipment with a multi-skilled workforce and innovative manufacturing processes to produce commercial and SCEC endorsed racks and accessories. To guarantee the timely delivery, cost and quality expected by industry today, each rack


March 2018



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is manufactured individually, which allows total flexibility in configuration to meet customer’s needs, including custom colours, ventilation and cooling systems and accessories. Its specialisation in close tolerance laser cut, turret punched and CNC folded components, makes it a preferred supplier of 19-inch racks to IT manufacturers and systems integrators throughout Australia. The data centre industry in Australia has seen substantial expansion over the last seven years, and this has encouraged investment by global providers of colocation, cloud and other services. Data centres are critical to every aspect of modern society – without them the world would grind to a halt.


March 2018

The stock exchanges, all air traffic, communications, social media and the internet would all disappear. We are constantly reporting how more and more large enterprises are moving their critical IT infrastructure from data centres to the cloud, but the ‘cloud’ itself only exists in a network of data centres, linked globally by undersea cables. Organisations have the benefit of downloading infrastructure development, automatic failover engineering, and multiple coordinated power supplies, physical security, backup, OS maintenance, and thirdparty data centres. That’s why “going to the cloud” ultimately makes sense. According to Frost & Sullivan, the Australian data centre services market will grow by 12.4% each year


up to 2022, an expansion driven by business, telecoms and government, as well as regular internet users. All the data generated by social media and the things we do on our mobiles and tablets is stored in a data centre somewhere, and Australia requires the internet service providers (ISPs) to store all internet activity, or metadata, for two years. Since they are so vital, data centres are shielded as thoroughly as the mint, as anyone who has visited one will testify. Their construction has to be extraordinarily robust to guard them against storm or seismic damage, and the systems inside them have to be utterly reliable. As servers generate a lot of heat, they have to be constantly cooled by air that is devoid

of dust and contamination, and fire protection systems have to be sound. It is also essential that the power supply is available at all times. Among the solutions SRA provides in partnership with major technology partners are the power distribution units (PDUs) that feed the racks, and the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) products from firms like ABB that ensure that backup kicks in without delay in the event of any power failure. To satisfy government contracts, all this equipment is required to meet the demands of the internationally recognised Security Construction and Equipment Committee (SCEC) standard. SRA is a recognised innovator and leader in the development of server rack

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The Critical Component Enlogic Systems designs and manufactures power distribution and management systems for use in the data center industry.


Suite 13 , Level 4 150 Albert Road South Melbourne Australia P: +61 3 9999 7303 E: shane.rowan@ GET CONNECT:



designs, having developed a SCEC endorsed server rack which reduces energy consumption by 30%. This is a key contribution in a market where the pressure is on to reduce the huge amounts of energy needed to run a data centre and its support services. That product is known as SRA’s iPAMM (intelligent plenum air management module). It features a patented air management system, engineered and manufactured entirely in Australia, to give outstanding energy efficiency, reliability and security and price. SRA has also developed high density server rack solutions (up to 30kW) known as the iPAMM Cell, a stand-alone,

self-contained group of racks which can be fitted with its own dedicated fire detection and suppression system. It’s available in both SCEC and commercial configurations. Against the background of data centre expansion, SRA Solutions is in the best possible situation for expansion. Let’s take one of its most buoyant markets, the defence industry. In the current fiscal year, Australia’s defence spending is expected to reach A$34.7bn, as much as possible of this benefiting local manufacturers. But defence security goes beyond SCEC compliant products. SRA’s defence ready racks, SCEC cabinets and enclosures

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A U S T R A L I A N I N G E N U I T Y & E N G I N E E R I N G


March 2018


and its experience in delivering complex projects make it the first choice when it comes to complex turnkey defence grade projects. SRA’s customers are defence industry technology specialists who provide the Australian government with its future technologies across a wide range of sectors, including, air, land, sea, cybersecurity, intelligence, electronics, telecommunications, services, space, aerospace and ground transportation. As stated in a recently released Defence Department statement: “The 2017-18 budget maintains the government’s commitment to provide Defence with a stable and sustainable funding growth path; extra funding will be provided for increased spending on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, space, electronic warfare, and cyber capabilities.” To make sure it’s ready to meet future demand, it is expanding its site at Endurance Avenue, Queanbeyan, adding new buildings that provide more multi-purpose space for office facilities, production, and warehousing. According to Managing


Number of Employees at SRA Solutions Director Gordon Campbell: “SRA Solutions is ideally placed, as a longterm defence contractor, to take advantage of this increased defence spend. The technology industry moves so quickly that we need to constantly innovate to keep pace with the change and being a small company, we believe we’re able to move faster than others.” The new space will directly connect with SRA Solution’s existing infrastructure, growing its total production footprint to more than 4,000 sqm and is planned for completion in the third quarter of 2018. “This expansion is designed to help us grow, as well as facilitate a new approach to the manufacture and delivery of high quality data centre and defence solutions across Australia,” said Campbell.

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INSIDE MEXICO’S KEY CATERPILLAR DISTRIBUTOR Caterpillar is the largest distributor in Mexico, making a name for itself in the energy sector with its equipment and aftersales service

Written by Mateo Rafael Tablado Produced by Jassen Pintado Interviewee Dr. Martín Jorge Dieck Assad, CEO for MADISA

M Á Q U I N A S D I E S E L , S . A . D E C . V.


eing heralded as Caterpillar’s largest distributor in Mexico is just the tip of the iceberg for MADISA (Máquinas Diesel, S.A. de C.V.), which also ranks among CAT’s top five partners in Latin America. MADISA is renowned for offering accessories, software and other attachments and add-ons suitable for its available Caterpillar vehicle and machinery portfolio, enabling these equipment to perform at full potential. This is bolstered by hardto-match aftersale service and financing options for clients in many sectors, including marine catering for Mexico’s Secretariat of the Navy. Besides notable CAT offhighway vehicles, MADISA supplies platforms, lifts, cranes, power generators, compressors, concrete pumps, farming machinery, drills, crushers and other equipment. The company’s presence increased to 70 locations, covering two thirds of Mexico’s territory after acquiring MAQSA in 2016, whose commercial department’s 500 team members are ready to offer the best support for new or used machinery acquisitions


March 2018

or rentals, finding replacement parts, provide maintenance and monitoring services, as well as training for proper equipment use. On a global context, last June MADISA moved up four places to #78 on the International Rental News magazine top 100 best machinery rental companies worldwide, after achieving #82 in the 2016 list. MADISA is the highest-ranking company from Latin America (out of two) in IRN’s top 100. Further, Caterpillar awarded MADISA five stars each on the rentals and used equipment categories. The company is led by Dr. Martín Jorge Dieck, CEO, whose 17-year tenure in MADISA matches his stint at Grupo Vitro. Dieck is an industrial engineer who also earned a PhD in Operations Research and Finance from the University of Texas at Austin (USA). Previously, Dieck was a professor at Tec de Monterrey (ITESM - Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education). His busy agenda has deprived him from teaching, but he’s still an important member of several higher education institutions in the area, including the


“We’ve developed working solutions for each industry according to its needs; we have a dedicated sales force for each business sector” – Dr. Martín Jorge Dieck, CEO, MADISA

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M Á Q U I N A S D I E S E L , S . A . D E C . V.

Apodaca Polytechnic University. “I enjoy being involved in forums and other education-related subjects. I feel education is the way for Mexico to face any challenge successfully,” Dieck comments. Support for every industry MADISA is one of two CAT distributors in Latin America able to offer products for every business


March 2018

sector serviced from Caterpillar’s portfolio. The staff at each of the company’s locations is comprised of specialised professionals who are experts in the specific requirements and eventualities each in their sector, including farming, construction, property remodelling, oil and gas, energy, steel and foundry, marine, mining, commercial, transportation and others.


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“We’ve developed working solutions for each industry according to its needs; we have a dedicated sales force for each business sector”, Dieck adds. Virtual access, real support In 2017 the platform was launched with features that are currently considered as standardsetting, such as responsiveness to

every kind of device. The website offers the entire CAT portfolio for replacement part availability 24/7. The CAT IP (integrated procurement) programme goes further, interconnecting its e-commerce interface with any client’s ERP. In addition to these new systems, MADISA is also engaging customers through channels like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, email and

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its website. Indeed, MADISA has reported online sales of more than $30mn during the last two years. Multiple financing options MADISA financing plans allow for all organisations, from bigname companies to individual contractors and anyone in between, to purchase either new or used equipment. It’s plans are as follows: • Rebuild financing: This plan makes the most of a CAT product lifetime, which can be extended by procedures such as CCR (Caterpillar Certified Rebuild) and Certified Power Train. Since 2013, 90 rebuild operations have resulted in $20mn of business for MADISA. • CAT Financial Mexico: Caterpillar Crédito is the brand’s specialised unit for financing according to the clients’ needs by offering flexible plans. 56% of Caterpillar heavy machinery purchased from MADISA has been acquired through this plan. • MADISA Financing: Clients in a growth phase unable to commit to long-term credit schemes may opt for this solution, which starts

from $3,000 financing. More than 1,000 plans within these terms have been set over the last four years. • ROC (Rent-to-own): This leasing plan is valid both for new and used equipment. When exercising the purchase option, monthly fees add up as a “down payment” on the machinery. This scheme also applies to generators, lifts, compressors and other accessories and attachments of any brand. After-sale service on a league of its own MADISA’s attractive financing plans also include repairs, replacement parts, maintenance agreements and extended warranties. The whole idea behind these attractive schemes is to help clients make an easier decision into acquiring original replacement parts which are more expensive than the ones offered by other brands, but last twice as long. Purchasing an EPP (extended protection plan) provided by CAT allows clients to focus on their main activity, without worrying about spending on replacement parts.

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M Á Q U I N A S D I E S E L , S . A . D E C . V.

EPPs are available for new, used and refurbished machinery and run beyond standard warranty periods – these plans cover parts, labour costs, and offer protection against currency inflation for these. Protection plans are also transferable along with protected equipment within Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

headquarters in Monterrey. It takes about 24 hours for repair shops in any of the company’s locations to send oil and other fluid samples to the lab to obtain an accurate diagnosis about the equipment’s status, sending clients a necessary alert via email or text if a or part replacement is required immediately.

Top-notch laboratory and repair facilities MADISA’s network of specialised repair shops work together with the laboratory located at MADISA’s

New locations Recent business ventures and infrastructure projects have produced new industry hubs in different parts of the country. These developments prompted MADISA into opening five new locations within these areas. “Right now, we are determining which of these new locations will be offering parts replacements and which will supply machinery rentals,” Dieck explains. These hubs are located in Southern Monterrey, another one in the port of Veracruz, one more in Río Bravo (Tamaulipas), Tulum (Quintana Roo, in the Yucatán Peninsula) and in Tula (Hidalgo), where other projects are underway, namely a refinery and a multimodal cargo station.


March 2018


“The energy reform will bring important challenges that will ensure our competitive edge. We have the solutions and schemes to create sustainable projects” – Dr. Martín Jorge Dieck, CEO, MADISA

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M Á Q U I N A S D I E S E L , S . A . D E C . V.

PROJECTS CONTRIBUTING TO THE COUNTRY’S DEVELOPMENT Either through partnerships or going solo delivering turnkey projects, a constant in MADISA’s lifetime has been contributing to Mexico’s development. “The energy reform will bring important challenges that will ensure our competitive edge. We have the solutions and schemes to create sustainable projects,” Dieck says. Some of the most relevant projects in which MADISA has been involved are:


March 2018


• RYC FARMS, Tenextepec,


Puebla: Power generation from pig manure. The facility belonging to meat giant RYC is powered by a CAT G3306 generator, able to supply electricity to a large part of the farm. MADISA Puebla deployed these resources and is in charge of maintenance operations. A new CAT G3406 generator will be added soon

Tag Pipelines (part of PEMEX-Gas division and Petroquímica Básica) project’s total length is 621 miles. MADISA supplied 215 machines for the 270-mile north phase.

• NAICM (New Mexico City

• ALTOS HORNOS DE MÉXICO: AHMSA is Mexico’s largest steel producer. MADISA contributed with a turnkey project in the Monclova (Coahuila) plants, installing four gas-powered electric plants able to supply 160MW.

International Airport): One of the most ambitious projects in Mexico’s history is already underway. An enormous amount of waste and rubbish is being moved in order to begin operations by 2020. MADISA has supplied Morooka units, built for unsteady terrain, ideal for the Texcoco Lake marshlands.

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Remote monitoring, IoT, drones and apps The most up-to-date technology makes its way to MADISA’s showrooms, and the company offers solutions to make the most out of the latest developments. Take drones, and MADISA’s software array able to turn images captured by the flying device into a big data set. This provides accurate distance calculations for roads, openings between rocks (mining) and land amounts. The requirement for topographers and project supervision tours for mining and road construction is being brought to a minimum by this technology. Other software and apps offered by MADISA include Vision Link, a standard for remote monitoring of

Máquinas Diesel, S.A. de C.V. Year founded:


2,700 Number of employees at Máquinas Diesel, S.A. de C.V.

any equipment, also able to keep track of maintenance and other alerts. Minestar is a mining industry technology able to provide an autopilot when vehicles move into dangerous terrain. iCraneTrax can monitor a large number of units operating simultanously. MADISA also offers apps for precision agriculture and solutions such as Sitech, Fleet Production and Cost Analysis. Constant training MADISA operates three training centres furnished with simulators. Both MADISA’s and its clients’ machinery operators take part in training in these facilities with programmes developed by Caterpillar. Programmes developed by MADISA also consider other subjects besides technical skills, such as customer

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M Á Q U I N A S D I E S E L , S . A . D E C . V.

Our Territory

“I perceive an increasing importance in the links between the educational and industrial sectors” – Dr. Martín Jorge Dieck, CEO, MADISA


March 2018


service and interpersonal relations, among others. The company has nurtured excellent relationships with area colleges and technical schools such as CONALEP (National School of Technical Vocational Education), as the institution and

MADISA developed a Diesel Technician educational programme. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I perceive an increasing importance in the links between the educational and industrial sectors,â&#x20AC;? Dieck concludes.

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2nd Annual

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Rolf Riemenschneider Head of Sector IoT, DG CONNECT, European Commission

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Construction Global magazine - March 2018  
Construction Global magazine - March 2018