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Nordic climate challenges data centre contractors

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A report from Aggreko has identified low temperatures and high humidity as key challenges facing contractors building new data centres in the Nordics.

The report, Prepare For The Chill, says that while the region offers ample opportunity for data centre development, UK and Irish contractors are not prepared for the tricky climate. With environmental conditions making it difficult storing and maintaining IT equipment while data centres are being built, the study suggests that contractors need to develop more proactive equipment strategies.

Prepare For The Chill outlines three key challenges and offers potential solutions. These are: effective heating, both outdoors to limit the effects of exposure and indoors to protect important assets; humidity, which can cause things like condensation build up on heat pumps; and risk management, involving proactive contingency plans to avoid disruptions during the build phase.

“The data centre boom in the Nordics is here to stay, so UK and Ireland-based contractors need to be prepared to be continually called upon for their expertise in this highly in-demand region,” said Greger Ruud, Sector Development Manager – Nordics Datacenters.

“The region’s harsh climate underlines the need for contractors to maintain a controlled environment in the construction phase, and the challenge of maintaining these conditions throughout. Doing so will allow data centre owners and operators to avoid issues during the build and keep to schedule – a vital priority in a sector where ready infrastructure is needed to meet growing market demand.”

Ruud continued: “Data centre projects rest on the contractors’ ability to carry out work safely, to budget, and preserving key IT equipment they may be responsible for during the build phase. The Nordics’ logistical and climate considerations, as identified in this report, make it abundantly clear that a reactive strategy around equipment and expertise is ill-suited to this unique region.

“As such, we would advise stakeholders working on these facilities to take steps to ensure concerns around power, moisture and temperature control are addressed well in advance of breaking ground on new facilities. By doing so, contractors can reap the benefits of increased demand while knowing small on-site issues encountered during projects will not snowball into full-blown concerns.”

The full report is available here.

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