Construction of the new Data Centre for Orange Botswana is well underway, with this fast track construction project being undertaken by Concor Buildings set to deliver the Tier III Data Centre before the end of 2019.
The Orange Botswana facility, situated in the Botswana Innovation Hub and Technology Park in Gaborone, will be a central point of connectivity for national and international networking and will provide data services to customers in the region.
Brian Carter, operations director at Concor Buildings, says that with an established track record of delivering quality projects including the recently completed Energy Centre at Bank of Botswana, the company offered the requisite expertise and access to resources including skilled local personnel.
Concor has been active in Botswana for more than 50 years and constructed many buildings in Gaborone and Francistown. This includes I-Towers 1 and 2, the De Beers Global Sightholder Sales Complex, the Bank of Botswana Cash Handling Centre and the FNB Head Office as well as infrastructure for Debswana’s Jwaneng Diamond Mine.
The data centre comprises two plant yards, built on either side of the main data hall, to provide concurrently maintainable and fully redundant electrical and mechanical systems to the data centre. The main MEP plant supplying the data hall and other auxiliary facilities are due for installation.
The data centre itself comprises data space – live and future – with electrical rooms on either side facilitating the feeding of the data centre from two sources. Services within the centre include access control, an integrated fire monitoring and alarm system with fire suppression, data trays, air conditioning units, plumbing and drainage and the complete low voltage and medium voltage electrical installation.
The plant yards which feed the electrical rooms are equipped with standby diesel generators, diesel storage tanks and air-cooled outdoor condensers.
External works include the construction of a guard house, parking with carports, bulk diesel and transformer yards, paving, landscaping and perimeter fencing.
Carter says that allowance has been made for future phased expansion in data space and electrical rooms as well in vertical extension.
“While the structure is a standard concrete frame with brick fill, the external walls are cavity walls with an internal vapour barrier. This construction will significantly reduce the building’s mechanical and electrical loads making it more energy efficient and ensuring a stable environment for the data hall,” he says.
In line with Concor Buildings’ operating strategy, Major Incident Prevention (MIP) and Visible Felt Leadership (VFL) programmes are in place on the project. Ongoing safety awareness and risk assessment is further facilitated by a full-time safety officer on the project.
Areas that have received special focus include working at height and activities which need to be conducted in and around the open exterior services excavations on site. These include data sleeves, electrical sleeves, diesel sleeves, fire and plumbing installations and manholes. In addition to this, access to finishes below the 1,2 metre access floor need to take priority.
While the use of local labour was not a prerequisite on the project, some 95% of the on-site people, including employees and subcontractors, are local. Carter says ongoing skills development forms a part of Concor’s commitment to the country and the company’s sustainability model.
The Orange Botswana Data Centre is scheduled for completion in the last quarter of 2019. The centre is expected to cover 81% of the population with 2G network capability, 62% with 3G and 45% with 4G.