Case Study

Aligned Meets Hyperscale Build Demand Using Procore

The Challenge

The data center construction vertical is defined by aggressive speed-to-market and a related aversion to risk. With rapid, accurate delivery top of mind, Aligned sought to further streamline its build efficiency across multiple main contractors and the entire data center portfolio.

The Solution

Aligned specifies the main contractors use of Procore in the build’s RFP. Stipulating Procore requires no direct Procore purchase by Aligned, yet provides them cross-portfolio standardisation and a predictable, transparent project ecosystem from build to build.

The Results

“When it comes to building data centers for the world’s leading companies, it’s all about culture, quality and speed-to-market. I don’t know how we would get to the construction time cycles that we do today without a product like Procore.”
Andrew Schaap

Stacked trades. Complex Subsystems. Quick Turnaround. No Pressure.

Aligned builds data centers—those cubist warehouses that enable the storage and retrieval of all the digitised data the world cranks out 24/7. While a typical data center may look like any other corporate building from the outside, these are complicated construction projects.

“People tend to think of a data center as a concrete box containing an electrical and a mechanical system,” says Andrew Schaap, Aligned’s CEO. “In fact, a data center is very system- intensive.” Because data flow is a ceaselessly produced commodity, data center construction has to be fast. And flawless. Andrew elaborates. “At the speed that we build and the amount of different trades working simultaneously in the same space at the same time, coordinating and moving very quickly—we wouldn’t be able to build at this speed without a platform like Procore.”

Interior building with servers expertly organized

Dear Main Contractor—Please Use Procore

Aligned has made the decision to specify Procore as the construction management system of record for each main contractor who wins a data center project. “The value and efficiencies provided by Procore prompted us to mandate that our main contractors use it,” Andrew explains. “Procore is truly helping us stay ahead and meet the requirements of our customers. Mandating Procore allows us to provide world-class adaptive infrastructure at scale and unprecedented speed. It is a significant part of Aligned’s ability to execute in some amazingly short timelines when it comes to delivering capacity.” Aligned believes in Procore enough to have purchased it themselves to manage their precon workflows and close-out documentation. “We can run our design and RFP process through Procore leveraging the platform’s pre-construction tools,” Andrew says. “Though it’s a small portion of the overall project lifecycle, the distribution of documents—the RFIs and questions through the design process—helps eliminate any confusion, while further driving organisation, standardisation and structure.”

Large interior of a data center

Procore is Preferred

The Procore Preferred program—by definition—means the project owner contractually stipulates the main contractor use Procore to manage the build. Why? “It was an easy business decision to make,” Andrew emphasises. “When it comes down to the ROI, there’s not much debate. Everybody already has what they need to use this effectively every day, so there’s very little investment and the value is exponential.” To some main contractors, Aligned’s mandates aren’t mandates at all. “Since overseeing Aligned’s expansion, I haven’t had to explain the product to main contractors— everybody is aware of it. We have better controls over the project and the construction with Procore. It allows us to deliver a really good product and be sure about it.” Andrew thinks back a decade or so to the Age of Paper. “The productivity of a person who looks at a pile of paper on their desk, versus being able to strategically plan and coordinate data center campus builds, often ranging up to 180 MW or more, leveraging data insights and proven technology —there’s a sense of accomplishment. On the people side, they’re much happier when they’re using Procore. And there’s no question that it’s saving us money.”

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