Construction Design and Management Regulations have changed!

On the 6th of April CDM regulations changed in line with EU legislation.  If you are planning a project with more than one contractor you need to comply.

If you work in the building industry you will be aware that Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of construction projects. More often than not projects are being delivered in demanding locations to tight timescales, whilst complex developments regularly involve multiple tradesmen working within close proximity onsite. This creates inevitable challenges for both domestic and commercial developments.

To better align with EU legislation, the Health & Safety Executive recently made some alterations to CDM. However, it is fair to say the new guidelines are a little ambiguous in places.

Beyond the primary aim to ‘maintain or improve worker protection’, the key updated objectives are to simplify the regulatory package, ‘discourage bureaucracy’ and focus on improving health and safety standards on small construction sites. In addition, CDM 2015 will implement the European Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD) ‘in a proportionate way,’ and ‘meet better regulation principles’.

In another significant change, the CDM-c is to be replaced by a new role, the ‘Principal Designer’, who will be appointed by the business (or individual) in control of the procurement and pre-construction phase (i.e. the client). It is this element of control and influence over the design that marks a fundamental shift from the previous CDM-c role.

Implications for Clients, Principal Contractors & Principal Designers

Many individuals and SMEs affected by the new CDM will not necessarily have the in-house expertise needed to meet the updated requirements. If you are planning or managing a project that involves more than one contractor, you must ensure a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor are appointed. You must also guarantee that a suitable and sufficient construction phase H&S plan is in place, regardless of the size, value and duration of the project, both domestic and commercial.

Ensuring a suitable construction phase H&S plan is developed and implemented will be key to safe delivery and compliance with new CDM regulations. As CDM Co-ordinators, Principal Designers and Principal Contractors with many years of experience in this field, we understand the challenges facing many smaller businesses and we are well positioned to guide you through this period of transition.

About Justin Busk, Head of Safety, Health and Environment

Justin is a senior Health & Safety professional and CDM Coordinator who has extensive experience working on a number of high profile, complex projects. Justin is a Chartered H&S professional who sits on a number of technical steering groups.

To find out more about CDM 2015 and how it affects you, contact Justin on +(0) 345 204 3333 or [email protected]

Design, build and beyond

Developing an effective data centre is not simply about getting the design right, but also the ongoing management to optimise the facility. Data centre facilities management (DCFM) has traditionally been about planned servicing and maintenance, but in recent years the role is now changing with greater focus on operational performance and proactive management. As a result, there is now the opportunity to achieve greater efficiency, utilisation and resilience to better meet precise business needs.

The challenge for data centre facilities management is to identify where the opportunities for improvement exist and have the tools and therefore confidence to implement changes that will boost performance. Supported by simple and effective processes and procedures they can significantly reduce human error and manage a data centre better, maximising uptime and delivering real business benefit.

Cooling measures for data centres

Energy efficient design of data centres is very important, particularly as we enter these more energy-sensitive times. Cooling is the largest power consumer within a data centre infrastructure – more so than the IT equipment itself. Therefore it’s essential to pick the right cooling solution to improve facility energy efficiency and reduce operational costs.

To explain further, server cooling  represents one of the critical challenges in data centre and other related technical spaces. Similar to a typical PC, servers require a power supply and need to expend heat roughly equal to the total electrical power input to the device. So air conditioning supply is an important design factor for technical spaces.

Mapping data centre airflow

Some companies use computational flow dynamics (CFD) software to model data centre airflow ; creating a 3D model of technical space. Not only does this software give an invaluable proof of concept, it shows key stakeholders a clear picture of how the facility will operate.

Recent data centre cooling project

Keysource’s expertise in data centre cooling involved them implementing a recent staged upgrade at Elsevier’s Kidlington data centre in Oxfordshire.  This project involved minimum disruption to working conditions for this leading science and health publisher. Half of the data centre air conditioning units   were replaced one by one. And ceiling returns and a very early smoke detection alert (VESDA) were installed to address air-flow issues.

The expertise demonstrated on this project has involved the company being re-engaged in electrical upgrade project with the publisher.

Making CRC work for you with Data Centre Efficiency

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is finally with us and will affect around 5,000 public and private sector organisations within the UK. Whilst at first glance the scheme looks like a significant financial outlay, those that work to drive down energy usage are likely to achieve savings well in excess of the cost of participation. Furthermore, it offers an added opportunity for companies to boost their reputation as energy-conscious organisations.

Anyone using 6,000 MWh of electricity, equivalent to an annual electricity bill of £500,000, will have to participate in the carbon emissions trading scheme, which is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 11.6 million tonnes per year by 2020.

Those organisations involved will need to monitor their energy consumption and purchase allowances for the government of £12 each for every tonne of carbon dioxide it emits. Bearing in mind 6,000 MWh of electricity is equal to around 3,333 tonnes of CO2, participants will have to purchase a minimum of £40,000 of allowances per annum.

The scheme is revenue-neutral overall meaning revenue raised is re-distributed back to participants, with the highest-ranking organisations from a Government-published league table receiving the greatest financial benefits. Therefore, those successful in reducing energy consumption will not only save on energy bills but will need to purchase fewer allowances and receive higher rewards from revenue recycling.

The data centre can make up as much as a third of an organisation’s power usage, so there is plenty of scope to improve performance levels to generate long-term, bottom line benefits and reduce carbon footprint.

Show me the figures

Original article written Jessica Twentyman and published on Sourcing Focus.com:http://www.sourcingfocus.com/index.php/site/featuresitem/2329/

In the race to deliver ‘green outsourcing’, are providers doing enough show customers robust evidence of their green credentials? The answer, according to the 2009 Green Outsourcing Survey from Black Book Research, is a resounding ‘No’.

“The outsourcing industry is saturated with “green speak”, of which the majority is deemed [to be] just hype by user CIOs and vendor sales people,” say the report’s authors. “Both vendors and users continue in a stage of confusion about where and when they should invest their time and money.”

One metric that is starting to play a part in discussions between providers and prospective customers is Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). First proposed by The Green Grid, an industry forum of IT vendors and end-user customers, back in 2007, PUE is today a widely accepted form of measuring data-centre efficiency. In April 2010, it was announced that government agencies in the US, Europe and Japan are all planning to adopt and use PUE.

A PUE calculation analyses the relationship between ‘Total Facility Power’ (TFP) and ‘IT Equipment Power’ (IEP). By dividing TFP (the energy consumed by power components, cooling elements and other infrastructure such as lighting) by IEP (the energy that powers servers, storage devices and networking equipment), IT teams arrive at their facility’s PUE score. A PUE score of 3, for example, indicates that data centre energy consumption is three times greater than the energy necessary to power its IT equipment. Ideally, PUE should be less than 2 to 1; the closer to 1 to 1, the better.

PUE is a useful benchmarking tool for measuring and monitoring efficiency improvements in an individual facility, says Andy Hayes, Associate Director at Keysource, a company that designs and builds new, energy-efficient data centres and improves existing ones to optimise their energy consumption. Energy assessments, based on calculating PUE, have played an increasingly important part in engagements in recent years, he says, as the cost of electricity has risen. In a recent data centre project for Yorkshire Water, for example, Keysource calculated the PUE score for the company’s facility to be 2.3. In other words, only 43 percent of the total facility power was being used to power IT equipment. After incorporating Keysource’s recommendations for better cooling and airflow management, the PUE score had improved to 1.7 – meaning that 59 percent of TFP is now consumed by IT. That improvement in PUE score also resulted in a potential annual saving of up to £70,000 per year.

But PUE is far from ideal as a means for outsourcing customers to compare one data centre facility to another, says Daniel Lowe, managing director of managed hosting company UKSolutions. “A highly available infrastructure is typically going to have a poorer PUE because of the overheads involved in building in resilience, but that supplier may offer better uptime guarantees to its customers,” he argues. That’s not to say that UKSOlutions isn’t interested in making its facilities as energy-efficient as possible – the company has already done much work on cold-aisle containment, using blanking panels to fill gaps between machines, and repositioning cables to keep them cool, he says. But he just doesn’t see PUE scores as an effective way for the company to market itself as ‘green’.

Perhaps a more blended approach is needed? Glenn Fitzgerald, lead architect and data centre expert at Fujitsu, certainly thinks so. Fitzgerald was a key figure in the development, design and building of the new Fujitsu data centre London , which opened in 2008 in Stevenage. Its PUE rating is 1.6 when fully loaded compared, but it is also the first in Europe to be independently certified to the Uptime Institute’s international data centre Tier 3 standard, which measures availability as well. “Resilience and energy efficiency are equally important dimensions of data-centre quality for our customers, which is why we ensure we can provide good measurements in both areas,” says Fitzgerald. Once London North reaches its full capacity, he says, Fujitsu is planning a new data centre that uses wind and wave power alongside National Grid power.

Even representatives of the Green Grid advise against relying on PUE as a means to compare the efficiency of one data-centre facililty against that of another. “It’s a relational metric,” explains Vic Smith, chairman of the Green Grid’s EMEA Technical Working Group. “It provides a way for companies to measure their own progress in using energy more efficiently, to map their journey between a PUE of X to a PUE of Y, but not to compare facilities. That’s not how it was ever intended to be used.”

Sourcingfocus.com’s advice to would-be outsourcing clients? Ask your IT outsourcing provider about what PUE score they achieve in their data centre facilities – it can’t hurt and it will show them that you’re in touch with Green IT issues. Ask them what measures they’ve taken to improve their score and the results they’ve seen as a result.

But also ask them for stats on reliability and availability, too. After all, few companies are so environmentally-friendly that they’re ready to sacrifice the resilience of vital business processes on the altar of meeting carbon reduction targets.

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