As part of PDG’s vision as a one-stop data center partner to power Asia’s fastest-growing digital economies, we are on a journey to construct new, cutting-edge data centers across various parts of the region.

One of these places is China, where“New Infrastructure”has become the national strategy and the online new economy brought by the “Internet Plus” industry has completely changed the life pattern of over one billion people. Meeting this surging demand calls for the sustained delivery of high-quality data centers completed in record time, such as PDG’s SH1 facility.

Delivering SH1 data center in record time

SH1 is one of the largest data center campuses in Shanghai and is one of seven PDG data centers in the country. Located in Fengxian District , it is easily accessible from major airports and railway stations in Shanghai,.The facility is a 42MW campus comprising three data center buildings and an office tower.

Construction of the first phase of PDG’s SH1 project started near the end of September 2020 and was completed ahead of schedule by December 2020 in less than 3 months, half the time typically required for projects of a similar scale in China. The rapid construction was made possible with almost 1,000 personnel from PDG ,cooperating companies, and suppliers working in shifts day and night, efficient communication with customers, and a highly experienced team.

The core design team, engineering team, operations team, and delivery team are also supported by a senior management team of industry veterans from our Singapore headquarters. Indeed, all team members are leading talents and specialists who have been in the industry for between one and three decades, with rich implementation experience that includes designing and building at least 10 different hyperscale data centers under their collective belts.

The speedy construction did not come at the expense of quality: SH1 has an industry-leading design PUE no higher than 1.34. It incorporates a 2N architecture for the electrical system ,  ,  N+1 for the cold source system of the air conditioner, and N+X(X=1~N) for the terminal precision air conditioner. Moreover, the team had to meet the highly customized requirements of our customers, including occasional last-minute changes that necessitate continuous communication throughout the construction process.


Overcoming pandemic challenges

As SH1 was built in the opening months of the COVID-19 pandemic where much remained unknown about the virus and no vaccines were available, the team took pains to implement various measures to ensure that every façade of the construction process places smoothly despite the uncertainties.

For example, logistics and manpower requirements were treated as top priorities, and strict epidemic control measures were adopted to alleviate the impact of potential outbreaks on site. The labor force was well-staffed with up to 700 construction personnel with adequate food supply provided for the entire onsite workforce every day.

Safe and comfortable accommodations were offered in the vicinity of SH1 for workers, who were shuttled to and from the worksite with dedicated transportation chartered for this purpose. By taking care of the needs of workers and removing unnecessary stresses at every juncture, overall work efficiency was significantly improved.

Furthermore, constant exchanges with PDG headquarters in Singapore via remote communication tools also ensured that project oversight and direction from the senior management team remained unimpeded. The smooth communication and onsite resources meant that all issues and impediments were discussed and seamlessly addressed on the same day.

All these allowed PDG to design and construct SH1 to international Tier 3+ standards and in strict adherence to both national and local Shanghai safety regulations to meet the needs of our global customers.


A customer-oriented mindset

PDG’s overriding aim is to meet the exacting standards of our customers. Despite the newly established team for SH1, the customer-oriented mindset made it possible to achieve this objective. When a customer proposed a change of material for their drainage pipe from a PVC material to cast iron, for example, the team rallied together to make this happen despite this request falling outside the scope of the contract.

Team members from the planning department, cost department, and engineering department – among others – worked together to alter the design and construction plan. The replacement pipe was quickly fabricated, delivered, and installed to meet the customer’s needs with no delay to the overall project.

A flexible and adjustable delivery plan was developed to ensure high-quality delivery. A refined schedule management systems ensure that installation of equipment is installed according to the weather conditions, facilitated by extensive internal collaboration between departments based on a culture of inclusiveness and diverse thinking.

Crucially, daily inspections and a “PDCA” (Plan Do Check Action) cycle management ensure that problems are detected early. A special team is then tasked with immediate rectification of the identified issue. Overall, fast acceptance and a willingness to meet customized customer requirements made for an exceptional customer experience.

PDG has since delivered Phase 2 of SH1 in the first half of 2021; Phase 3 is currently well under development. Since the delivery of phase I in 2020, our M&O team has served the hyperscale customer very successfully, continuously completed significant missions and been highly praised by the customer.

Yong Hai Zhang

Author Yong Hai Zhang

Managing Director, China at PDG

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