Codes and Standards Give FM, IT Plenty to Talk About
When it comes to future projects and initiatives, facility management and IT need to stay in close contact due to constantly changing codes, standards and regulations. Important issues to consider are:
- Computer Room Thermal Standards: ASHRAE TC9.9 has drastically changed the operating range for what is considered an acceptable operating environment. The new standard allows for IT inlet temperatures as high as 80.6 degrees F. This allows huge savings in operating costs for the facilities operators. But is the IT staff willing to work in a data center with a "cold aisle" at 80 degrees F and hot aisle at 110 degrees F? Not exactly a worker-friendly environment.
- U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification: There is now a LEED standard tailored specifically for data centers. Achieving it requires rigorous coordination between facility management and IT to meet the energy and operational requirements.
- Many local and federal air resource boards limit run time on generators. It's critical to know how the generators are specified and labeled. Generators can be labeled as "standby, prime or continuous" duty. If a generator is labeled as standby, it can only be run during a power outage and for routine testing. Using a standby generator for preemptive storm avoidance is strictly prohibited. Prime and continuous duty ratings are available for other uses, but fall under much tighter emissions requirements that can double the cost of the power plant. Close coordination between facility management and IT as to the specific needs for the power plant has significant cost implications.
- For health care providers and health care insurance companies, HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, increases the security and protection requirements that need to be factored into the network and infrastructure design and operation.
— R. Stephen Spinazzola and David DiQuinzio