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A Comprehensive Guide To M&E Services For Your Business

Part 1: The Key To Efficient Operations


In our inter-connected and digital world, engineering is more essential than ever before. From manufacturing the latest electronic devices to the smooth flow of vast quantities of digital information, engineering is the engine that keeps modern society moving. As the global economy becomes more competitive, companies have to continually stay streamlined and efficient, leveraging on the latest innovations and designs to beat their competitors.


This is where M&E (mechanical and electrical) engineering comes into play. It includes the design and construction of facilities such as data centres in Singapore; proper engineering and security of critical IT infrastructure, as well as monitoring and managing critical systems in facilities. M&E engineers also oversee the testing, maintenance, diagnosis, and repair of building systems across the years to ensure their proper function.


data centre servers

Data centre builders and solution providers, such as Acme Associates, play an invaluable role in helping clients and partners attain the highest efficiency through achieving the lowest possible Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). A company’s TCO is an important benchmark for measuring its ROI, and some elements that contribute to the TCO are IT infrastructure requirements, the administration and management of Singapore-based facilities, as well as operational expenses such as electricity usage and maintaining security.


One example of how Acme Associates achieves a low TCO for clients is through our design process for data centres in Singapore. Our data centres strive to achieve the highest standards set for attaining the Green Mark Platinum Award, strategically incorporating energy-efficient concepts and designs into an environmentally sustainable construction.


Launched in 2005, the Green Mark certification rates a building’s environmental impact and performance, with the Platinum Award signifying the highest possible commitment to a greener future. Not only does the focus on eco-friendly and energy-efficient design and infrastructure align with your business' corporate social responsibility, it also translates into greater savings on electricity bills over the years, as well as minimal repairs and upkeep required.


Read on to learn more about the essential roles that DC builders in Singapore have in building and bolstering your company’s infrastructure for a thriving business.


Part 2: All About Data Centres


In today’s interconnected world, vast amounts of data are being stored, received, processed, and distributed every second. Data centres quietly and efficiently handle this endless influx of data, helping to ensure the smooth flow of commerce and information across the globe. Learn about data centres in Singapore and what they comprise, the invaluable role that a data centre consultancy plays in design and construction, as well as managing a data centre for optimal business success.


2.1 What Is A Data Centre?


A data centre is a facility that centralises an organisation’s shared IT operations and equipment, for the purposes of storing, processing, and disseminating data and applications. Data centres in Singapore vary widely in design, size, and function, due to each business’ varying and unique requirements.


Generally, data centres comprise 3 key elements; the facility, core components, as well as support infrastructure. Together, these elements work in tandem to store and manage business-critical data and applications, all while providing a sufficient level of both physical and virtual security.

  • The facility refers to the usable space itself that houses the IT equipment. A convenient and efficient arrangement of IT equipment facilitates performance and maintenance, as well as providing ample space to scale up additional servers if required.

  • Core components refer to both the hardware and software utilised in IT operations, as well as storing data and applications. This includes storage systems, servers, network infrastructure such as switches and routers, as well as information security elements such as firewalls.

  • The support infrastructure contributes to the performance and security of the data centre. It includes uninterruptible power sources (UPS) such as generators and redundant power sources, robust environmental controls such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and exhaust systems, as well as physical security systems such as CCTV and biometric access.


data centre facility

Because they house a business’ most critical and proprietary assets, data centres are vital to the continuity and smoothness of their daily operations. Consequently, their security and reliability is a top priority for businesses. Data centre builders in Singapore will assist in crafting an IT strategy to best serve your business needs, delivering optimal performance with minimal operational costs.


Why are data centres invaluable to a thriving business in Singapore? Data centres help to support a myriad of business applications and activities, such as:

  • Speedy and efficient data storage, database management, backup of critical files, and recovery of lost data

  • Supporting business productivity, such as email, file sharing, and video conferencing

  • Securely handling high-volume transactions, such as e-commerce and online banking

  • Facilitating big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in company processes

With help from data centres, both Singapore-based and regional businesses can benefit from them. For example, retail businesses can tap into data centre services to optimise their e-commerce platforms to suit customers’ preferences and habits, helping to increase revenue through better matching. In addition, data centres protect against cyberattacks, safeguarding against the invaluable loss of proprietary information and disruption of business operations.


2.2 Data Centre Design & Construction


With Singapore’s reputation as a thriving and interconnected business hub in Southeast Asia, it’s little wonder that international businesses are keen to hire the services of DC builders in Singapore. However, with the concern that data centres are utilising a significant portion of Singapore’s power grid, there is a greater demand for the design of data centres that are energy-efficient and utilise green energy, particularly in light of Singapore recently imposing a short-term moratorium on the construction of new data centres at the end of 2020.


green energy solar panels in Singapore

This highlights the importance of businesses in hiring a professional data centre solution provider that delivers a full suite of turnkey solutions. Acme Associate’s experienced in-house design and drafting teams bring years of experience in crafting data centre designs for clients. Our EXPERIENCE package also includes site reports and risk mitigation plans, ensuring that our designs are cost-effective, highly reliable, and operationally efficient.


When designing a data centre, data centre consultancies have some key considerations to take note of in order to maximise cost savings, increase scalability, as well as reduce environmental impact. Here are some of them:

  • Adopting a robust power and cooling strategy through utilising proper containment and active airflow management helps data centres significantly cut down on power consumption and operating costs while staying eco-friendly.

  • Automating operational functions reduces manpower demand and hours required to maintain the data centre. This can take place throughout the data centre’s workflow, from audits to cross system integration.

  • Implementing workflow and repeatable business processes within the data centre’s operation, such as templates and program components, ensures efficient resource utilisation and facilitates tracing and auditing.

  • Setting up a system for detailed analytics and reporting using data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software helps businesses keep abreast of their data centre’s current performance and future scalability.

  • Integration across various platforms improves synchronicity and productivity, across diverse domains such as building management systems, IT systems management, and virtualisation management solutions.

Data centre construction companies utilise computer-aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) in their design and construction process. This provides clearer visualisation for engineers, architects, and construction managers, while allowing clients to be on the same page from start to end. This increases efficiency and productivity through less work changes during the construction process.


CAD on a laptop

To further reduce our ecological footprint, Acme Associates utilises a secured data storage portal for uploading documents and sharing access with clients. Not only does this remove the need for physical printouts, it enhances security and ensures 24/7 access anytime and anywhere, while keeping in line with Acme Associate’s commitment to eco-friendly procedures.


CAD and CAM are ideal in the construction of prefabricated data centres, which are growing in popularity. A prefabricated data centre utilises modules that are designed and built to precise specifications, and incorporate both hardware and software that are pre-assembled, integrated, and tested in a factory environment. This greatly shortens deployment timeframes, improves performance predictability, as well as offers scalability for IT infrastructure and flexibility to adjust for future phases of deployment.


data centre

Prefabricated data centres are also energy-efficient and serve as a foundation for cloud computing in enterprise data centres as well. Businesses have the option of choosing a fully prefabricated or semi-prefabricated approach, with the latter also having traditional systems in place. Ultimately, the decision for your data centre is dependent on your business needs, deployment timeframe, space constraints, capacity, and cash flow.


Get in touch with Acme Associates today and see how a skilled data centre solution provider can collaborate with you to best meet your business needs.


2.3 Data Centre Management


Data centre consultancies in Singapore often go beyond designing and constructing data centres, also extending to the complex affair of data centre management. It helps businesses monitor and optimise data centre performance, ranging from fine-tuning environmental controls, keeping hardware and software up to date, responding swiftly to potential disruptions, and integrating new systems and applications effectively. They also help businesses efficiently scale up in tandem with business growth, while keeping operational costs low.


Data centre management hinges heavily upon the usage of DCIM (data centre infrastructure management), which refers to an array of specialised tools comprising sensors, hardware, and software. DCIM allows for the streamlining of data centre processes by making use of data, as well as giving data centre managers tools useful information for real-time monitoring. The latest DCIM tools also tap into new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and real-time analytics to further reduce manpower needs, downtime, and maintenance costs.


Software laptop viewing

DCIM software falls into two main categories: monitoring and planning. Monitoring software pertains to the automation of the IT room and facility power, environmental controls, and security. This ensures the optimal function of the data centre, while also allowing data centre managers to set configurable thresholds for alarms. In addition, it also reports information on power use, from peak power consumption to real-time averages.


Planning software focuses on helping data centre managers in Singapore facilitate data centre changes, be it integrating and deploying new equipment or tracking various assets in a growing data centre. This helps in planning for scalability and reducing overall cost, along with facilitating hybrid IT solutions that include both physical on-premise servers and cloud services.


Data centre consultancies in Singapore offer rapid response and support for a myriad of issues in data centre management. Acme Associate’s trained staff stand ready to support data centre managers across various settings, from upscaling to optimising performance and improving automation and recovery.


Part 3: Designing The Ideal Facility


The key to a successful facility is thorough pre-planning and optimal design, be it a data centre or a high-tech manufacturing facility. Read on to learn about how M&E consultants conduct site selections and feasibility studies, as well as designing interior office spaces that effectively utilise smart technologies.


3.1 Site Selection & Feasibility Studies


Businesses require substantial information before committing to a construction project. Beyond providing data centre solutions, M&E companies are well-versed in conducting site selection and feasibility studies, which provide clients with comprehensive information they need to inform their decisions and expectations.


Site selection refers to the process of analysing a desired site for its potential and risks for a construction project. A proper study considers multiple factors associated with construction, ranging from physical site conditions to its impact on the surrounding ecology, as well as identifying and eliminating various constraints and risks as best as possible. Some of these risks include:

  • Consent risks that arise from environmental protection of habitats or endangered species in the area

  • Development risks such as engineering or environmental concerns that restrict the ability to develop the site

  • Operational risks such as localised environmental conditions that reduce operational efficiency

  • Programme risks such as developmental milestones being unfeasible within planned project time frames


m&e consultants in Singapore

A feasibility study is used to determine whether a planned construct is viable across multiple domains. It ranges from assessing the investment potential of a project to whether the allocated resources are sufficient to achieve company goals. Feasibility studies also look into the legality and technical feasibility of a project, preventing potential wastage of resources if an ill-advised project were to go ahead.

M&E consultants help you conduct feasibility studies that offer in-depth insight across many domains. This ranges from organisation history, accounting statements, operations and management details, marketing policies, legal requirements, and tax obligations.

There are 5 types of feasibility studied during an analysis:

  1. Technical: Whether an organisation has the technical resources and ability to convert ideas into working systems.

  2. Economic: Whether a project is financially viable, as well as whether it brings positive economic benefits to the organisation

  3. Legal: Whether there is any conflict with legal requirements, such as zoning laws, data protection acts, or social media laws.

  4. Operational: Whether the planned project is able to best meet an organisation’s needs.

  5. Scheduling: Whether the project timeline can be achieved within an organisation’s desired time frame.

With the focus on CSR and safeguarding the environment, it is important to hire an experienced solutions provider to conduct comprehensive site selection and feasibility studies. Acme Associates delivers detailed on-site environmental and equipment analysis along with evaluations of our client’s business objectives, site requirements and forecasts. This assists in determining project viability within various constraints, allowing clients to make informed decisions as they go forward with design and construction.


3.2 Designing Office Spaces


In addition to designing and constructing large-scale projects, M&E consultancies assist in designing office spaces for optimal performance. Examples include integrating video conferencing equipment for Singapore offices with help from established tech partners, to implementing green energy climate and lighting controls for energy savings and employee comfort.


A smart office is a high-tech hybrid workplace that helps to bolster overall productivity and performance, while not compromising on the human element. Smart offices have been found to improve office relationships, improve productivity, simplify work scheduling, as well as improving employee engagement.


videoconferencing

One example of a smart office innovation is the Huawei IdeaHub, which combines HD video conferencing with intelligent writing and wireless sharing. It comes with 4 integrated functions: Interactive Whiteboard, Wireless Projection, and Video Conferencing Technology & Office Apps. Huawei IdeaHub removes the need for multiple equipment, turning a conference room into a versatile office to conference with regional offices or clients across the globe.


Acme Associates is committed to designing and incorporating energy-efficient concepts and innovative solutions, such as video conferencing equipment and voice control elements, into both building and data centre designs. By doing so, we help clients save on costs while supporting long-term environmental sustainability.


Part 4: Critical M&E Engineering & Facility Management


A facility requires all its various parts to work in tandem and efficiently for continued success, and doing so requires attention to design and constantly available troubleshooting. Learn how data centre solutions providers assist in maintaining critical systems and managing facility performance.


4.1 Critical Systems Engineering


As businesses embrace the digital age, systems are growing more complex and interconnected. This leads to a greater risk of vulnerabilities, from malicious hacking to system failure from negligence. This is where M&E consultancies play a key role in designing and implementing critical systems engineering, safeguarding business operations from a multitude of potential threats.


Critical systems refer to systems whose failure would majorly impact an organisation’s business, and which may be difficult to recover from in the event of their failure. In some cases, the failure of a critical system can lead to greater costs than that of setting up the system itself. They can be considered critical in three ways: business, safety, and mission.


  • Business critical systems are designed to prevent major loss of business or economic activity, such as a robust banking or stock trading platform.

  • Safety critical systems help to prevent unnecessary injury and loss of life, such as the control systems of manufacturing plants.

  • Mission critical systems ensure the smooth function of the overall system or desired goals, such as the software utilised in a manufacturing plant.


manufacturing plant

DC builders in Singapore, such as Acme Associates, utilise their extensive experience in delivering comprehensive critical system engineering solutions. Adopting tried and tested techniques, Acme Associates designs and implements integrated engineering solutions tailored to clients’ unique needs, while also incorporating the latest energy-efficient technologies.


A dedicated Testing & Commissioning team works together with equipment providers to conduct thorough tests on all equipment and systems, ensuring optimal critical system performance before handing it over to clients. Acme Associates also assesses the growth rate of businesses when crafting solutions, accommodating clients’ future upgrade plans for installations and IT systems while ensuring critical system performance and safety.


4.2 Facility Management


Similar to data centre management, M&E consultancies offer comprehensive facilities management services to ensure that engineering facilities operate at tip-top condition. In the event of technical lapses of critical infrastructure, Acme Associates delivers a quick recovery through 24/7 on-site troubleshooting, as well as rectification support for critical infrastructure within 2 hours of activation by phone call.


Acme Associates offers two programmes for post-handover management and maintenance in Singapore - preventive maintenance services and facilities management services.


​Preventive Maintenance Services focuses on preventive maintenance for critical infrastructure, minimising unforeseen technical lapses and prolonging equipment lifespan. Acme Associates conducts periodic and scheduled checkups for equipment, testing them based on preset procedures and providing test reports on their status along with relevant recommendations after each visit.


Facilities Management Services are ideal for Singapore clients who wish to outsource the management of critical infrastructure, freeing up their time to focus on managing their core businesses. A professionally-trained facilities engineer will be stationed onsite to oversee critical infrastructure operations, provide swift on-site analysis in the event of an emergency, and activate relevant parties to rectify problems.


Our facilities engineers proactively conduct checks on the environment and equipment, providing regular reports on site conditions and relevant recommendations to ensure smooth operations. They serve as a point of contact between clients and our maintenance teams and relevant service providers, helping to improve communication efficiency.



Facility engineer in Singapore

All sites installed by Acme Associates are automatically covered by a standard Defect Liability Period (DLP) of one year. This includes proactive upkeeping of critical infrastructure and equipment through scheduled periodic maintenance programmes formulated to individual system requirements, minimising the likelihood of unforeseen technical lapses.


Part 5: Conclusion


A well-engineered, designed, and constructed facility is key to thriving in business, especially in the competitive global economy. It is important to hire a reputable data centre builder dedicated to quality and setting benchmarks in both designing and constructing office interiors and critical business environments, helping you to keep costs low while pulling ahead of your competition.


With our dedication to providing sound advice & relevant information to all clients, Acme Associates deliver designs that meet critical requirements at fair value. Contact us today to learn more on how we can meet your business needs.



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