For Bridge Data Centres (BDC), the construction and operation of a data centre have now become an art.
Image Credits: Bridge Data Centres
Bridge Data Centres (BDC) is an APAC focused data centre colocation provider building next generation hyperscale data centres. BDC is also a wholly owned subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Chindata Group. Headquartered in Singapore and with data centres in India, Malaysia, and Thailand, BDC delivers high-quality and scalable data centre infrastructures across industry sectors ranging from financial services to cloud platforms with clientele from traditional enterprises to technology companies.
As part of BDC’s expansion plan in Asia, MY06, in Johor, Malaysia was conceptualised (and executed) with a completely new approach for data centres. To kick off the project, industry stalwarts Li Mingjiang, VP of Operation and Maintenance, Chindata Group was tasked to lead the China team in the supply chain, service coordination, quality control and operation readiness management.
Along with him, Tho Lye Yit, VP of Design and Constructions, BDC spearheaded the design and construction of MY06, in Sedanak, Johor, Malaysia. Lye Yit leads the MY06 onsite project management and design coordination which also includes design to local codes compliance, permitting, civil, structural, architectural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, physical security, active fire protection, and power utility services.
While these may sound run-of-the-mill, having the right people to execute as planned is crucial in light of the competition these days. First, let us look at the business case.
Given the sheer volume of internet traffic exchanged within Indochina, the whole northern border hub (Johor Bahru and Singapore) will be developed as a strategic area to become the new commercial hub as well as a data centre hub. With the Malaysian government’s aspiration to attract multi-national cloud and data centre operators into the country, the MY06 project received tremendous support and approval from various levels of government agencies and ministries in moving the project ahead. The success of BDC’s MY06 project serves as an impetus to the growth of Malaysia’s Digital Economy and the advancement of Malaysia as a regional IT hub.
MY06 is unique as it is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia to adopt a BTS (build-to-suit) approach for a hyperscale size of 110 MW IT power. The design and build of MY06 phase 1 (20MW) were one of the pioneers in Prefabricated, Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) construction methodology.
PPVC uses free-standing 3-dimensional containerised modules that are completed with internal finishes, fixtures, fittings, and white spaces and IT-fit-out in an off-site fabrication facility in China before it is shipped and delivered to Malaysia for onsite installation and integration. On top of that, this was the first Chindata Group (i.e. BDC and Chindata) – overseas collaboration in planning, design, and execution as a team across Singapore, Malaysia and China. Lye Yit was the driving force behind the project and has been taking an active lead in guiding and driving the diverse teams across 3 countries to complete the project on schedule.
BDC was also amongst the first batch of international data centre investors that was being awarded the ‘Malaysia Digital’ status by the Malaysian Government for its contribution to the local digital economy.
Improved Timelines & Technology Advancements
MY06 was delivered in 12 months, right from site due diligence, land acquisition, design, procurement, prefabrication, shipment, delivery, onsite construction, integration, testing, commissioning, and data halls handover. Lye Yit’s leadership and project management was critical in turning over MY06 timely.
In many ways, MY06 has set the benchmark by enhancing safety, increasing productivity, and shortening time to market for the data centre industry in South-east Asia through the use of the latest proof of concept for PPVC and industrialized building system for mission critical industry.
Using PPVC techniques, enables the project to deliver ahead of time, is more cost effective and lowers environmental impact. It also helps to mitigate the skilled labour shortage in the construction eco-system post-COVID-19 pandemic and the impact is still felt today. It also promotes safety, whilst producing high quality-controlled data centres by reducing onsite workmanship defects and thus improving construction efficiencies.
As energy-efficient cooling is critical to building a more sustainable data centre operation, Lye Yit has collaborated with our customer to design and implement directly to chip liquid cooling system in MY06 (Phase 1). This cooling technology provides highly reliable and efficient cooling and it is key to building a greener data centre at scale. MY06 direct-to-chip liquid cooling system is designed to achieve up to an annualized PUE of 1.1 which significantly reduces energy consumption.
For MY06 phase 2, Lye Yit have also worked with our customer to further reduce energy consumption through designing and deploying an immersion cooling system in a hyperscale capacity. Besides reducing power consumption on servers, it also lowers the operating temperatures of all core chips and components which led to reduced preventive maintenance time and operating cost on both cooling system and IT equipment. The ultimate aim is to increase the rack density and optimize white space and reduce hardware failure rate which in turn provide better operational efficiency for our client’s assets and turnover.
The investment of this large-scale project (110 MW) has earned a vote of confidence from the government of Malaysia. Recently, the Malaysian Government has awarded “Malaysia Digital” status to Bridge Data Centres for “accelerating the growth of the nation’s digital economy, driven by three key principles— flexibility, agility and relevance”.
Additionally, with the development of MY06, comes the creation of an international and local supply chain, career advancement and upskilling for the local workforce in the high-tech industry and imparting knowledge to the data centre industry, benefitting the entire eco-system and community.
Ts. Mahadhir Aziz, CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) sums it up best.
“The establishment of this hyperscale campus is not only a testament to Malaysia’s strength as the digital hub of ASEAN, but also to the country’s perpetual efforts in driving a progressive and inclusive digital economy. The new campus will benefit the people through the creation of new jobs and towards accelerating emerging technology adoption, while showcasing Malaysia’s capabilities and capacities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). We would like to thank Bridge Data Centres for their continued confidence and support of Malaysia’s digital economy.”
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