The CoreSite LA3 data center project in downtown Los Angeles includes core and shell construction of an approximately 180,000-sq.- ft., four-story data center facility and a full floor build-out that will distribute six megawatts of critical IT power. Planned future phases will result in a total 18 megawatts of IT capacity.
The new data center is located adjacent to the historical USPS Terminal Annex building and active rail lines from nearby Los Angeles Union Station. Originally planned to include an adjacent four-story parking structure, the project underwent a major design revision during preconstruction when coordination with the local utility revealed the need for an onsite utility substation, replacing the parking structure.
Extensive coordination with the local power company has been a key challenge in the planning and construction of this project. Early on the team was challenged to reroute the existing power feed to the existing building to allow construction to begin on the new facility and substation, which will then tie back into the new building. They also needed to incorporate a major design revision that required the substation to be constructed onsite in lieu of a planned parking structure. The team spent several months working through parking solutions and variances, delaying construction start by several months.
Planning and permitting challenges were factors when the building’s design was questioned about how it would blend in with neighboring structures. Modification to the exterior skin design was required, and the team brought on board a local architect that had been involved in other projects in the vicinity.
Finally, greater than average rain delays and the unexpected and unique impacts of managing a large scale project in downtown LA during the onset of COVID-19 have added additional layers of complexity to this job.
Success on the CoreSite project required a team that was adaptable, flexible and experienced in working through the complex challenges associated with building a major data center facility in a busy urban environment.
DPR differentiated itself during project selection by showcasing its prefabrication capabilities, hosting the owner on a factory tour of Digital Building Components. DBC ultimately prefabricated the structure’s entire exterior wall paneling system offsite, resulting in quality control and schedule advantages.
DPR self-performed approximately 10% of the subcontract value, using SPW concrete and drywall crews.
Additionally, the project team demonstrated its strength adapting to the worksite challenges of COVID-19, showing an overriding focus on safety as a top priority. When the crisis hit, they switched to double shift work to accommodate social distancing issues, instituted daily worker temperature checks and hired a third-party cleaning company to continuously clean the jobsite daily, among other measures. The project has been recognized in the LA region as a leading example of a project that takes a proactive approach to worker safety while maintaining operations during COVID-19.