Mission critical facilities are vital to the continued safe and secure operation of many business and governmental operations. However, the necessity of mission critical facilities is a fairly recent development, and so many laypeople do not understand the fundamentals of mission critical facility design as well as they might.
A lot of unique considerations go into mission critical facility design. These facilities often house delicate and sensitive equipment which needs specialized climate controls to keep it in good working order. Reliable power and security features are also necessary for mission critical facilities. To top it off, many times it is the facilities themselves that need maintenance before the equipment being stored in them does, so ease of care for the facility must be factored into the design process.
These five basic design strategies will help your mission critical facility remain reliable and secure for years to come.
Make sure to have backup systems in place in case primary systems go offline or fail. Some important systems to take into account when planning for backups are power, heating and cooling, and facility locks and physical security measures. Even the very best mission critical facility design cannot prevent the inevitable power outage or equipment wear and tear that are the reason backup systems are in place.
Regular inspections and repairs are necessary events in the life of a mission critical facility. It’s a good idea to implement steps at the mission critical facility design stage to make this maintenance as easy as possible. Whenever possible, standardize machines and equipment. It is also important to keep detailed inspection records and make sure that equipment is easy for maintenance personnel to find and access.
You will want your mission critical facility to be able to grow and change in order to meet future challenges. Though it may seem like a tricky step in the mission critical facility design process, it is very important to leave room for expansion and equipment upgrades. Keep in mind that upgrades and changes will have to be implemented in such a way that they run smoothly without interrupting or affecting ongoing critical applications.
Depending upon where your mission critical facility is located, the building may have to face a unique battery of environmental forces. When choosing construction materials and implementing design options, try to be prepared for the worst. If your facility is in an area that is prone to earthquakes, for example, use flexible earthquake-safe materials and architectural techniques. If you live in an area that frequently has strong rainstorms, then reinforce roof areas to prevent leaks from damaging the building.
Mission critical facilities should be designed with an eye towards protection from security breaches and man made threats. Your facility will likely be housing a great deal of sensitive equipment and information, which unfortunately may make it a tempting target for thieves. Make sure that security features are built into the design process and not added as an afterthought.
There are a number of skilled professional contractors who have experience designing and building mission critical facilities. If you are ever in doubt as to whether you have adequately implemented the above strategies, then don’t hesitate to consult a professional.