LA Department of Building and Safety

Los Angeles, CA

DSI Maximizes Space Limitations with New Data Center Build for Major Department of Second Largest U.S. Municipality

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) advises, guides, and assists customers to achieve compliance with the building, zoning, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, disabled access, energy, and green codes and local and state law to build safe, well, and fast.

THE CHALLENGE: Overcoming Physical Space Limitations

In order to meet the critical building and safety responsibilities of the LADBS, data center reliability is absolutely vital. Unfortunately, the data center experienced frequent unplanned outages and was not supported by a backup generator. In addition, the existing facility lacked the physical space for the installation of new hardware and services for future applications. In order to upgrade its systems, LADBS looked at alternative locations to build a new data center or possibly move to a co-location facility.

 The agency decided to stay in its existing high rise building in downtown Los Angeles, where IT personnel were already located, and develop a new data center. However, the physical location of the air cooled chillers would have to be on the roof and the new data center itself would require significant structural reinforcement, adding to the overall challenge of the project.

THE SOLUTION: Designing a Data Center to Meet Fire & Life Safety Requirements

LADBS turned to Data Specialties Inc. (DSI) and Hewlett-Packard to design and build a new data center that would meet IT requirements for 10 years and support the building’s existing fire and life safety requirements. In order for the IT load to be supported by the fire and life safety emergency generator, DSI and HP installed load shedding controls, ensuring fire and life safety would be a priority in the event of a utility failure.

The data center design consisted of the following:

  • Redundant 250kW UPS systems, each with redundant battery strings
  • Redundant power distribution to the IT load
  • Redundant electrical feeders from the building riser bus ducts
  • Generator backup
  • Redundant air cool chillers
  • Redundant in-row air conditioners
  • Hot Aisle Containment System
  • Fire and Life Safety system, which included Pre-Action sprinklers, NOVEC-1230 Gas and VESDA air sampling systems
  • Infrastructure Monitoring System

DSI and HP worked closely with LADBS’s fire and life safety technicians to fully test UPS, PDU, and Automatic Transfer Switch systems prior to activation of the data center. Load banks were used to replicate future IT loads and infrared scanning was used to verify proper electrical and battery connections. After the data center was completed, LADBS contracted with DSI to provide a comprehensive, multi-year preventative maintenance contract.

 

The Impact: A Reliable Data Center Ready to Meet Future Needs

With several critically important projects for new LADBS applications on the drawing board to support the city’s planning and permitting processes, bringing the new data center online quickly was imperative. The DSI and HP team was able to move extremely quickly to meet the agency’s tight timeline. Data center engineering drawings were submitted to the City’s planning department within the very short window designated by the agency. Once DSI and HP received permits, construction commenced immediately, and the entire project was completed within three months. LADBS now has a state-of-the-art data center that meets its technology needs today and will allow them to grow over the next decade.

Data Specialties Inc.