On-The-Fly Flexibility Moves Data Center Forward
With the data center industry booming, national developer Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) saw an opportunity to design-build a 34-acre site along Data Center Alley in Ashburn, VA. Seeking expedited delivery of Ashburn Crossing for a Fortune 500 tenant, COPT agreed to pilot Loudon County’s Fast-Track Commercial Incentive Program. Striving to meet growing speed-to-market demands, the County developed the program to streamline its review and approval process for targeted industries.
Tackling stormwater management and utility installation challenges caused by heavy rock on the site, the entire project team collaborated to bring power to phase one as scheduled and developed designs that would give COPT options for future phases of the campus.
Overcoming Heavy Rock
Discovering shallow underlying rock throughout the entire site, the development team collaborated to successfully navigate various construction challenges. By maintaining sight of the big picture, Bohler helped to identify solutions that went beyond simply connecting utilities and improved efficiency.
- Stormwater Management: When environmental permitting took longer than expected, the team could no longer utilize an on-site stream for temporary stormwater management measures during construction. Collaborating with the County, contractor Whiting Turner agreed to blast the rock and install stormwater pipes and related infrastructure that served both temporary and permanent uses.
- Utility Installation: With the extra-large electric and fiber optic lines required to support a data center and the inability to blast near previously installed conduits, Bohler realigned all utilities so that Whiting Turner could lay everything within one wide trench. This solution streamlined the blasting process and kept the project on schedule.
Powering the Project Forward
Critical to project success was timely delivery of electric power from a local substation. At first, the power company indicated it could not provide the power feeds within the desired timeframe, putting the project at risk. Although it wasn’t their responsibility, COPT’s involvement at this crucial juncture helped Bohler and the contractor secure the power feed without delay, achieving the desired speed-to-market goals.
Creating an Opportunity for Long-Term Flexibility
Addressing the challenge inherent in grading for large buildings, Bohler identified an opportunity to minimize earthwork costs and reduce retaining walls. By looking at the site’s future potential to become a distribution center, the design team incorporated recessed loading docks on each building. Helping to ease the grade along the sides of the buildings, this solution saved time and minimized earthwork.
Meeting Speed-To-Market Demands
Working with Loudon County to implement its fast-track program, the Ashburn Crossing project team helped to refine the process and set the precedent for future developments. Beginning construction in just over three months, the project was designed and approved on one of the fastest timelines in County history, allowing COPT to successfully deliver on speed-to-market demands.
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