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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Include In a New Building?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the dream-shop dept.

Technology 422

First time accepted submitter weiserfireman writes "For the first time in our company's 60 year history, we are going to be building a new facility from scratch. We are a CNC Machine shop with 40 employees and 20 CNC machines, crammed into a 12,000 sq foot building. We are going to build a new 30,000 sq foot building. I am the only IT person. I support all the computer systems, as well as all the fire/security/phone systems. My Boss has asked for my input on what infrastructure to include in the new building to support current and future technology. 1st on my list is a telecommunications equipment room. Our current building doesn't have one. I have been researching this topic on the Internet, and I have a list of a lot of different things, all of them are nice, but I know I am going to have a limited budget. If you were in my shoes, what priorities what features would you design into the building?"

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Suggestions (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513821)

Secret passageways

Re:Suggestions (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513939)

They make great places to stash the bodies.

Re:Suggestions (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513969)

Secret passageways

Escape hatch.

Re:Suggestions (5, Funny)

cod3r_ (2031620) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514143)

Stripper poles. You never know, but you damn sure want to be prepared.

Re:Suggestions (2)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514151)

When I interviewed w/ one of the oldest publishers in a certain older American city, one of the things which attracted me to the job was that their conference room's door was secretly a part of a a wall of bookcases.

Re:Suggestions (3, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514209)

A heat recovery ventilation system would be a really good idea—improves air quality, saves energy. I put Cat6A shielded in the walls of my house; not sure you'd need that in this environment, but it might be helpful.

Optical fiber link to every desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513825)

Would that be possible? Should it wait? As long as you have the conduit, it should be fairly cheap, right?

Re:Optical fiber link to every desk (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513911)

Unless you are in a wildly electrically hostile environment, or forsee a need for 10GbE to the desktop, why bother?

Re:Optical fiber link to every desk (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514055)

Unless you are in a wildly electrically hostile environment

He's in a machine shop. Only thing worse is a arc welding plant. Do yourself a favor and run fiber to every machine, not every desktop. In ye olden days at the plant I had to run that new-fangled cat-5 thru roof trusses spaced many feet between power conduits just to keep interference down. We didn't even bother trying to set up a networked PC in the welding area. All that plant cat-5 was replaced with fiber as budget permitted. Assuming you terminate your own SC/ST (or whatever) connectors, the main cost is a couple hundred bucks for the ethernet to fiber converters.

Re:Optical fiber link to every desk (3, Funny)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513915)

I would suggest that a secure wireless strategy would be better

Re:Optical fiber link to every desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514011)

Haha, good one.

Re:Optical fiber link to every desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514277)

You must be out of your mind. Wireless in a machine shop. What colors are your pills?

Re:Optical fiber link to every desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513947)

Mostly useless. If you really must, use cheap plastic fiber - the kind that's good only up to 1000 feet and intended for building-internal use.

Dear Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513831)

I need to buy a car or maybe a bike, can you tell me which is the best car or bike to get?

Conduit (5, Insightful)

toygeek (473120) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513835)

Perhaps this is obvious, but its the very first thing that popped into my head. You might not need to install a lot of cabling to run what you have, relatively speaking, but you WILL need to install more later and you WILL wish you had installed bigger conduit. So, plan your current needs as being 1/3 to 1/2 capacity and leave plenty of room for more. It doesn't cost much more to install bigger/more conduit now, but it will cost TONS more to install it later. Your successors will praise you.

Re:Conduit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513847)

I agree. I'd say 80cm conduit should be minimum :)

Re:Conduit (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513985)

80cm? Are you planning to have to send a synthetic to the other side of the complex with a laptop to pilot the ship in?

Re:Conduit (2)

Minwee (522556) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514073)

You never know what you'll need. It pays to be prepared for all possible emergencies.

Re:Conduit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514223)

Thank you for making me laugh out loud at work.

Your comment immediately brought back memory of the early November 2002 blog entries [dnalounge.com] from JWZ's glory days setting up his "DNA Lounge" adventure, specifically those from Nov 5 and Nov 8:

Wind blow dish down, go boom.

Apparently we didn't tighten the bolts enough, and last night we had our first rain of the season. ``What do we need lightning arrestors for?'' we said. ``When's the last time you saw lightning in San Francisco?''

So, we waited until this afternoon to send Bishop down the pipe to re-align the dish, since he didn't want to brave the roof in 70+MPH winds last night. Sissy.

Re:Conduit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513887)

Cabling, everywhere. Conduits everywhere. Power for equipment that will use the cabling, everywhere.

Re:Conduit (5, Funny)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514185)

Cabling, everywhere. Conduits everywhere. Power for equipment that will use the cabling, everywhere.

Monster cables! Your Excel sheets will be crisper, warmer and more spherical than you ever thought possible.

Re:Conduit (5, Insightful)

zentigger (203922) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513967)

and make sure you leave an extra pull string inside each run!

Re:Conduit (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514075)

Preferably with a nice little tag (on the conduit itself, or at least on the string) that says where it goes.

While you (or your successors) can run around the building waving a cable tracer around like a dousing rod, labels make for a lot fewer weird looks.

Re:Conduit (2)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514053)

If you're really planning on doing conduit (as opposed to just cable trays or whatever they are called), then make sure there aren't any weird turns in it.

That will screw up an installer's day right there.... /hacked through a conduit once because of an S-shaped curve in the ceiling above the telecomm room.

Re:Conduit (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514217)

A slight addition on conduits; Either:

1) Install hard smooth-walled conduits which are a trivial joy to fishtape, and buy a fishtape that'll fit the longest conduit now as part of the build-out costs.
2) Install a pull WIRE (metal, not plastic string, it'll become fragile/weak in a couple years in my experience) in EACH unused conduit if you must use flexible conduit anywhere.

Flexible conduit gathers dust and meh over the years even (especially) left unused, and eventually something WILL fail and you'll need to fall back to a fishtape. Better to build the conduit towards fishtaping and just go that route when needed if at all possible.

Also, under no circumstances run ANY computer infrastructure through conduit embedded in concrete unless it's outdoor-rated gel-filled cabling. Run the pipes in the walls, where they're under nil stress compared to in-concrete strains and the habits of moisture to sneak into those pipes will cause you nothing but agony otherwise. :)

Re:Conduit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514271)


I can't stress enough that you need the place to be wired for things that you haven't even thought of. In fact for things that haven't even been invented. So not only do you need to have redundant cables in all the runs but you also need to run it to places where you currently don't have a use for it. believe me, in ten years you will be glad you did.

That said, you don't need to put the termination equipment in until you need it.

Also, have you considered using VOIP phones.

Cat 5 and patch panels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513837)

Most important thing to get right in the building stage is the cabling. You want cat5, if not cat 6, home run for all your phones and computers. I'd recommend an asterisk phone system. Either way, you want all the cabling terminated in your phone/network closet in a sane way. This means wall mounted or rack mounted patch panels for the Ethernet, and 66 blocks for phone lines. You can rearrange everything else, but cabling really needs to be done right the first time.

Better infrastructure starts with employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513843)

You're the only IT person? Start there. Get someone else. Point out to your boss that if you get hit by a bus, they're likely screwed unless you have *extremely* good documentation.

Re:Better infrastructure starts with employees (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514257)

Or hire up a decent local firm to offer on-site support as a backup,either at a contracted rate or prepaid. If you're just sick with the flu, they can come in and do MAC or general AD stuff, etc. Certainly they can make your life tolerable by backstopping the simple stuff while you deal with critical issues as best you can.

Priority #1 (1)

Ashenkase (2008188) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513845)

Foosball table

Re:Priority #1 (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513995)

Foosball table

Beer vending machine.

Re:Priority #1 (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514105)

Foosball table

Beer vending machine.

Problem solved: Beer-vending Foosball table!

Enough copper in the walls... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513851)

Running out of ethernet jacks after the fact is a damned pain, and the cost of putting in wires(unshockingly) rises once you have to punch through the wall and do a bunch of fishing to get them there.

Even if you are Embracing The Wireless Future, you'll want enough copper to support about twice as many APs as the vendor claims you'll need. If not, you'll want even more.

Re:Enough copper in the walls... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513921)

Run away from "The Wireless Future" as fast as you can. Pull cable to everything that isn't moving and has an ethernet port

Additional Staff (1)

mj1856 (589031) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513853)

Seriously, you're asking for a heart attack. I don't care how good you are, that's way too much for one guy to deal with by himself.

Cooling (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513855)

Unless you're building in an ice cap, you'll need a reliable and likely fairly powerful cooling system for your telecom/server room. You should have it spec'd into the building's system capacity with the proper ductwork installed up front. Retrofitting that sort of thing can be a pain down the road.

Re:Cooling (3, Funny)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513895)

Make the cooling of the server room able to heat up the building during the winters.

Re:Cooling (1)

cod3r_ (2031620) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514215)

Now days just using the ductless AC's for a server room seems to work pretty well and isn't very difficult to retrofit.

Not just cooling - separate ventilation stack (5, Informative)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514251)

I've been down this road a few times - install separate ductwork leading in and out of the server/telco room (with the intakes on the opposite side of the building from your other ductwork) if you can possibly afford it.

Dirt and machine oil and metal filings can move surprising distances. Separate HVAC to the server room works far better than extra filters which just get clogged.

Also, like others have said - conduit for data lines to every workstation. Potentially cheaper than fiber (if you do it right the first time) and more durable and future-proof.

Touchless plumbing fixtures in the restrooms (3, Funny)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513865)

Other than that, have at it.

Re:Touchless plumbing fixtures in the restrooms (1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514047)

Except that our touchless toilet flushes about 4 times every time I use it.

Re:Touchless plumbing fixtures in the restrooms (3, Funny)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514089)

Ah you must be one of the guys I hear bouncing up and down on the throne grunting.

Number 1: Toilets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513871)

'nuff said...

Re:Number 1: Toilets (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514019)

You should also have toilets than can handle number 2

Re:Number 1: Toilets (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514205)

'nuff said...

What?!? Next you'll be wanting toilet paper!

Server-room, and spare wiring conduits (2)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513873)

To go along with your telecom room, add a server room with good cooling. Additionally, have them put spare wiring conduits throughout the building, in which to run telecom and network cables. Make sure you have space for running more or different cables in the future.

Standard stuff... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513879)

Raised floor, oversized conduit to support expansion and/or upgrade, overestimate your power needs, etc. Build a wish list, and let /them/ tell you what they won't buy; you'll never know what they are willing to invest in until you ask.

A decent canteen and staff facilities (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513881)

There's nothing worse than being in a building where money was no object - for the machinary, but to hell with the staff. So at lunchtime you have to wander down to some dodgy joint to get some garbage for lunch because there's nothing else around and coffee comes curtesy of Mr Vend. Thanks, but I don't care how 733t the equipment is, I don't want to work somewhere like that again.

Re:A decent canteen and staff facilities (1)

loom_weaver (527816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514163)

I've visit at least one new company every week or so in the US and over the last 3 years, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of places that had exceptional eateries.

One place in particular not only had great food and selection, but external groups would routinely book meetings and events at this company's HQ because the cafeteria was that good! A nice source of extra revenue.

Re:A decent canteen and staff facilities (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514187)

What, you think a 40-employee industrial company can affford a food service contract? And anyway, they asked the guy for IT recommendations.

Some suggestions (3, Informative)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513883)

Most important items are a wiring and equipment closet and several dedicated wiring channels (at no more than 30% capacity) do you can more easily upgrade the wiring and infrastructure in the future. The easier and less costly it is to upgrade your wiring/fiber, the easier it will be to make upgrades. Make sure the equipment closet is climate controlled and has a good air filtration system, dust from your CNC operations is not nice to equipment, especially metallic dust.

As for what to put there now, I recommend Cat 6 cabling plus any specialized cabling that you currently require.

Re:Some suggestions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514059)

Depending on the length of the runs, might want to check out Cat 6E too.

Clean, environment-controlled server room (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513889)

You're on the right track, I think.

For a CNC place, you *need* a well-sealed, clean server room with a good independent air-conditioning system. Dust is the enemy.

The room should have LOTS of power outlets. 220 would be nice.

Everything else can be done later. But a decent server room is fundamental.

Cat6 (1)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513897)

Dual Cat6 sockets on each desk
wireless routers in each room [not for use for work stuff - just don't have wireless for anything work sensitive]
power more power sockets than you think you need
in the telecoms room
UPS / UPS and more ups - everything upsed - main routers, servers, switches and telephone systems [ though if you are using IP telephony up the number of sockets at each desk]

Re:Cat6 (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514253)

Dual Cat6 sockets on each desk

You forgot to mention why, the answer is one is the production network and one is the "IT" cubie network. Its OK to put a firewall between them, but it would be a career ending incident if a receptionist clicked on an exciting "comet cursor" pop up ad or installed a toolbar or whatever and suddenly all 40 machines grind to a halt, or even worse, crash (literally). At a billable rate of $100/hr per machine this could get expensive, and that's before the mfgr rep has to come on site individually decontaminate each CNC machine controller.

I've never worked at a employer who didn't have separate air gapped IT and production networks, but being a small place maybe you grew up different.

Pretty much everywhere I've worked, as you upgrade the "main IT computer" the old one gets wiped, sanitized, and reinstalled as the "new" production network box, with a nice air gap between the networks. So it doesn't really cost anything to dual machine dual network every applicable station.

Off the top of my head (4, Informative)

NinjaTekNeeks (817385) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513905)

1). Properly Secured Server Room
2). AC Unit dedicated to server room
3). Cat 6 Ethernet (2 jacks) for each desk/location
4). Fiber between floors, multiple cables
5). Secure locations to install Wireless Access Points
6). Video camera's with DVR storage for a week (cabling)
7). FOB key card access to everything (keys suck)
8). IT Storage space for boxes, spare equipment, etc.
9). Proper kitchen for coffee

Priorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513909)

You didn't list what business growth plans are, but I would anticipate the current employee-to-square-foot ratio staying the same even though there will be reprieve for a while. Plan your telecom/IT density accordingly, unless the business just doesn't plan to grow and is making bigger space as a luxury (highly unlikely).

Instead of a telecom room, think more like data center. If you're doing CNC then data is a business critical function. This means proper rack space, structured cabling, fire suppression and monitoring, physical security, environmental conditioning, etc. You probably have limited IT gear now with only 40 people, but what if that number tops 100? What about when technology dictates your data storage requirements double or triple (along with backup requirements)? Can you support, power, and cool that much gear if you had to? That doesn't mean you need to install everything for it now, but make sure you have the space and power required to do it later.

I would also consider how you get data to your people. Run at least a couple CAT6 pulls to each desk for data, as well as a phone run. I would also put in enterprise-grade WiFi (Aruba or similar), but the amount of gear you buy for that will depend heavily on building layout and construction. If everything in there is metal, you will need to bump up the access point density.

Really the features you need depend on the things the business deems critical, but data integrity/availability and worker productivity are usually top on that list, especially for a business that requires data to even make the machines go. If you have budget to do it right, then do it with that in mind.

One more Desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513917)

Prior to working on the new building, I'd put some resources into having an assistant in your IT department.

The Practice of System and Network Administration, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513919)

Pick up Thomas Limoncell's _The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition_. Phenominal book that goes over this in a very logical way. I can't speak more highly of it.

Not IT related, but ... (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513923)

... locker rooms and showers. Probably already considered in a manufacturing facility. But you'd be surprised to see how this detail is missed in a white collar setting when employees start riding bicycles to work.

Cable channels (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513937)

Lots and lots of cable channels. It will save you oodles of time and effort if you have prebuilt passageways to run cabling than it is to try and snake through ceilings. Not to mention it looks neater and is easier to trace.

Take a systematic approach to labeling and documenting where every cable goes and what it connects to. You might be the only person now, but at some point you won't be there OR, as unbelievable as it sounds, someone else may be hired to work with you.

As for a closet, in some of our buildings that is literally what we have; closets where the racks are. If you have to go that route, make sure you leave yourself enough room to do things without running into the walls or having to slide your hand through a slit not much bigger than an orange. Lighting is also helpful as is airflow.

Storage. All those cables, extra switches, parts and whatnot take up more space than people realize. Something that can be secured. Standard metal shelves with labeling for everything will do the job nicely.

Finally, if you can manage it, some dark, twisting tunnels which look all alike.

Secure server room (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513953)

With the rise of CAD and CNC your business is more dependent on reliable computing resources than ever before.

You may not need a huge room, but you do need for it to always be available. UPSs, good server backups (to the cloud maybe), good networking, good environmental conditioning (on the UPS!) etc.

The last thing you need is to be the problem blocking 40 machinists from doing their work.

UTP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513961)

Map your machines and make sure you have at least 2 high quality, shielded UTP cables and some power for each. They come in very handy when you want to remote monitor a machine by IP camera, for instance when doing a 24h production run.

Proper cooling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513963)

Figure out how many BTUs your equipment puts out (plus extra for future - ex, if you plan on implementing blade/SAN chassis in the future, they can put out a ton more heat than you currently have) and make sure an appropriate HVAC/air conditioner is installed, pref. separate from the rest of the building. This includes cooling options for any remote closet that has equipment in it. It would be unfortunate to have a nice new building but some switches overheat due to poor ventilation/cooling.

Dedicated A/C system (3, Insightful)

kevink707 (1331815) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513965)

On my required list would be a separate dedicated A/C system for your equipment room. Too often computer/telephone rooms are connected to whatever A/C system is convenient which leads to problems -- One of my horror stories was management turning off the A/C in the lunch room which had been running 24x7 to save energy, little did they know that the lunch room A/C was shared by the computer room on the other side of the wall.... :-(

Data Room Cooling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513971)

Do not scrimp on design. Get someone who knows data room cooling and can help you design an efficient system that won't drain your energy bill. Don't simply throw a ton (or tons) of cooling at the room, vent the heat outside (or into the buidling for actual heating if there's cold weather.)

An acronym translator. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513977)

Not everyone knows what CNC stands for, so I"m just going to assume you're a Crazy Negro Company, so you obviously need more black people.

Connectivity (5, Informative)

lionchild (581331) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513989)

Rule number one: Don't skimp on network drops. It's easier and cheaper to install them when you're building/finishing a facility than to try to go back later and re-run extra data lines. Ideally, plan twice as many as you think you need. Barring that, drop at least one more than you think you need in each location. The spare can be used for when you buy new equipment, add a printer, phone, etc..

Fire related equipment should be on its own separate network. Not a VLAN, it's own actual network. I've seen facilities grow, that were small in the beginning and ran fire on the same physical network as regular data. Regular data needs grew, and despite QoS settings, the fire system started getting starved for network traffic and the fire controllers were reading that they list contact with remote sensors, which triggers an alarm. Once the link is re-established a few seconds later, the alarm resets. Then a little later, you get another false alarm because it missed a check-in from a sensor.

Be generous with power drops. CNC equipment will likely need their own power, but be thoughtful about where you'll have power for various printers or workstations, anything that might need a dedicated circuit, in case a CNC were to cause a circuit breaker to trip. When you have a Server/Telecomm room, make sure it's big enough to suppor both the network rack, a telecom rack and a server rack or two. Check and double-check that you have dedicated circuits to the room for each rack you're planning to run.

Be generous with air flow in the Server/Telecomm room. It will generate more heat than you expect. Plan on it having its own, dedicated AC system.

Backup Power, plan to have it. If your phones are IP-based, you want to be able to have power for them during an outage, as well as your fire system. An onsite backup generator would be very nice. If you can't swing that, be sure to have, check, test and keep working, a good set of UPS devices to provide power during an outage.

I know you have a limited budget, but shoot for the moon, don't cut corners where you don't have to. Doing it right will serve the organization for years to come, even after you retire or move on...or have to hire more IT folks!

Conduits and Access Panels. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41513997)

It's already been mentioned, but should be emphasized.

Build sealed conduits and access panels, assuming that Cat5 might become obsolete tomorrow.

You should be able to install all non-power wiring after full construction of the building, using minimal tools, and keeping it all tidy and hidden.

required items (3, Informative)

mhatle (54607) | more than 2 years ago | (#41513999)

Security for the infrastructure room.. (I don't care if it's a closet or a multimillion dollar server room..) Solid core, fire rated doors with appropriate locks. (Amazing how many businesses don't have the minimum there!)

As someone else said, conduit and wiring ability to expand over time. If someone wants to run 1" conduit, double it to 2" or 3". In the future there will be some new technology and it's almost impossible to ever remove old wiring, but adding new will be much easier.

Climate control -- note I didn't say air conditioning. For the best results, the room should have the ability to have it's own climate control. This may mean air cleaners (if fresh air is used for heating/cooling), air conditioning unit, etc. Don't rely on the building system, because as technology changes the heating/cooling requirements of the technology will change.

A space twice the size you need.. Equipment is always changing in size.. both bigger and smaller, as are the company needs.. room to grow is a good thing!

Finally power.. the room should have it's own dedicated power feed, that can easily be managed by a generator, power backup unit, etc.. even if you don't need those things today, planning ahead for them makes it a whole lot cheaper if you do ever need them. Again relying on building wide power is fine for a while.. but it's much better to have the ability for dedicated stuff in the IT room.

Same situation here (3, Insightful)

Ravaldy (2621787) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514007)

We are looking at moving to a facility double the size of ours. My hit list is:
- 10x10 server room. All wiring for phones and network will land there
- CAT 5E or Cat 6 cabling throughout for phone and data
- Dropping the old nortel phones for VOIP (internal only) phones. Easier to configure and has tones more features
- 4 drops in every office (You never know when they'll need it and they'll try to cramp 2 people in there
- Roaming wireless AP through the plant (we will be going to 60000 sqft so I have 6 of them)

I'm not going to talk about electrical and other facilities since electricians have a good handle on what companies need today (usually 2 double outlets per room and 20amp circuit for microwaves in lunch room)...

A ZPM (2)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514013)

A ZPM for independant power supply

tubes (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514035)

Pneumatic ones.

A fail safe (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514039)

A thermonuclear device planted below the building - in case things go bad.

Re:A fail safe (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514225)

Being euphamistic also leads to ambiguity. You could be talking about storing a tokamak below the building, which is, after all a thermonuclear device, just not a bomb. In the event of an emergency, it will draw a lot of power and spit out a few neutrons. I'm not sure how this will be much use.

Prepare for change (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514043)

Technology moves all the time. Make it easy to pull new cables/fiber/whatzits as you need it.

A few years ago, I saw a new Electrical Engineering building at a uinversity. Every office and lab backed up to a 6 foot wide access hallway that was essentially a giant, walk-in cable tray. New connectivity was a simple matter of going through the wall.

Now, I'm sure you don't have that kind of budget or space. But consider how close you can come to that. A machine shop always needs to get AC power and air around, also. Mabye there is some building layout that serves both purposes.

Re:Prepare for change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514227)

Do not run data cable with electrical cable.

Well, That All Depends... (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514049)

Your needs will depend on, among other things, your layout. Is it a shop/front office setup, a series of small rooms, or just one big open area? Depending on what the physical setup of the building (and computers/phones), a single distribution frame may not be appropriate. Considering the size of the building, I would assume that, in addition to your main distribution frame, at least one IDF (independent distribution frame, i.e. "small telecom closet") would be necessary to overcome the attenuation limitations of Ethernet cabling (assuming this isn't a end-to-end fiber shop, a situtation which would provide many different questions and answers).

Assuming that the cable is run in anything other than under-floor conduit, talk to your architect about how and where the cable raceway will be placed. It's been my experience that most architects don't take cable installation concerns into account when designing floorplans, and thus you often end up with situations where it is next-to-if-not-impossible to get a new cable down a certain length of run, because the designer placed the raceway too damn close to HVAC equipment, or it runs blind 30' up a column with no access port, or any of at least a dozen other stupid situation's I've been in because nobody thought discussing layout was worth the time.

What else, what else... Well, you'll probably want to have some 220 and/or 440 circuits brought into your distribution frames, just in case you need that sort of power at a later date (if you don't already now) - I know the Cisco Catalyst series of routers require at least 1 220v Twist-Loc connection for power, 2 with redundant power supplies.

That's about all the advice I can think of to give, considering the limited information you've provided. Still, useful stuff.

fewer boss levels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514061)

big money saver.

Showers. (4, Insightful)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514063)

So that employees can cycle or run/walk to work, or at lunch and not stink up the place. Fit employees are cheaper on the health-care front and happier.

can't believe no one has mentioned it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514069)

glory holes in the bathroom!

Phone suggestions (1)

mrAgreeable (47829) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514071)

For the phones I would make sure your telephony switch supports VoIP handsets and wire anywhere you expect to have a telephone with PoE. All the VoIP phones I've used have a built in switch so you can plug the user's workstation into the phone. Newer phones will have a gigabit switch. I've done testing with Avaya and Cisco phones and I couldn't find any bandwidth limits when plugged into the phone vs. straight into the wall jack. It's a great setup because you don't need power dongles or redundant wiring for the phones. Each desk has one jack for voice and data.

Check the power draw from the phones and make sure your switch can provide enough. I've seen PoE switches that can't light up every port because some devices were pulling too much power. Current-generation phones seem to take far less power than they did a couple of years ago unless they have big fancy LCD screens.

This may require an upgrade to your PBX though, which can be expensive. For the size organization you're talking about (or for just about any size, depending on specific features you need) going with Asterisk might be a great idea. You get free conference bridge support, voice mail, menuing, etc. and can perhaps ditch the service contract you're paying right now. You can find IP phone service as well or if you want to stick with T1s (or copper if it's cheaper), Digium sells hardware to support that which is generally pretty affordable.

And, unrelated to the phones, you might want to put LAN drops in the ceiling throughout the office for wireless access points.

Generators / bloombox's , UPS's.... (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514085)

and Power (3 phase if possible) and enough to triple what you have now to plan for future growth.

Closets (5, Insightful)

hymie! (95907) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514095)

Somebody's going to mod me down, but I'm dead serious. This is the second time a company I worked for has moved to a new location with no storage space for anything at all -- HR documents, financial documents, machinery (both active and surplus), office supplies, even employee's coats. Let me assure you how professional it looks to have random file cabinets placed all over what are supposed to be ADA-compliant-width hallways. </sarc>

Accessibility and Power Backup (1)

GJSchaller (198865) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514097)

Two essential things you'll want to consider, or at least ask about:

1) Power in the event your main electrical supply goes out. Do you have a UPS in the data center? Do you need a generator on-site to keep things running? How much is it powering - just IT, or the CNC machines, too?

2) Make sure every damn thing in the building is easy to access once the building is complete. Light bulbs, faucets, AV equipment, etc. We moved into a beautiful building in 2006, with all sorts of high-tech displays all over the site, embedded into the walls. The majority of them are next to impossible to access if you want to re-seat a cable, replace a power supply, change a bulb, etc. It's at the point now where most of them are off and dormant, because it will require a general contractor to access them and do minor maintenance.

Well apparently .... (-1, Troll)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514103)

...based on WTC building 7, the thing to include is explosives.

One Word: Halon. (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514129)

Oh, and a big red button for the BOFH to initiate discharge. Preferably with PFY and his (perhaps imaginary) girlfriend snuggling behind a warm rack ;)

But seriously, just deal with two CAT6 cables going to every desk -- that's all. You don't need any phone wiring, because in this day and age, you can buy cheap IP phones -- say used Zultys ZIP4x4s that cost at most $50 each and work well (but look like crap, sorry) with Asterisk. They have managed ethernet switches built-in. You'll want a decent Linux server, capable of running Asterisk. For the phones, probably you should get a PRI line coming in, or get a decent Internet connection and use VOIP, but PRI is less of an unknown if you need to deal with faxes. The PCI or PCI-X PRI card from Digium will cost between $500 and $1000 IIRC, but is well worth the investment. Get some nice HP ProCurve PoE switches, you can get them used. For your secretary and the CEO you'll want Aastra 6755i as that looks better and has fully documented bells and whistles, and isn't doesn't cost much more used either. You can get Suzy's Twitter feed on them if you so wish :)

Just look on eBay, be careful, and you'll figure out there's a couple of sellers there who are good and have first hand knowledge of HP gear and they do actually refurbish it, apply updates so you won't waste time, etc. I suggest HP gear over Cisco, as with HP you don't need any support contracts and updates are free as long as product remains in support. Cisco won't speak to you unless you fork over some money or already have a "blanket" support contract with them.

Avoid any sort of vendor lock-in. Don't go for closed systems.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514139)


Off-Grid Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514149)

Make sure you have diversified off-grid power to gracefully power-down the server room, maintain server A/C and building access security: UPS, Generator, Solar, Wind. Great for green promotion and those pesky power glitches. Be very disciplined on those monthly tests, the one system you didn't test is the one that fails.

Bathroom (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514153)

A bathroom. With showers.

Most important! (1, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514157)

Private office with full bath and sleeping arrangements (preferably with the receptionist)

Over build now (2)

kenh (9056) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514173)

I'd suggest the most important things will be power for the server room (incl UPS & backup generator, scaled to your runtime needs for orderly shutdown of servers in case of an extended outage) and run conduits/wiring shelves to enable the easy stringing of fiber/copper in the future.

I'd also suggest making sure the building is wifi/wireless friendly - if all interior walls are metal, for example, you may need an ungodly number of APs to enable wireless networking.

As for the server room, I'd think real hard about the size room you think you'll need, then double it. This is your chance to ensure you have enough room for everything now, and while virtualization is all the rage, I wouldn't use that to justify skimping on space. You'll want romm for the equipment, systems you are working on, spare parts, and perhaps space for your desk (preferably with a door between you and the server to cut down on noise).

Run wiring trays in the server room - run the wires overhead, not under raised floor.

Finally, don't forget cooling - as servers become denser and denser, their heat output doesn't shrink in my experience. Also, not familiar with CNC shops, but air filtration for the server room might also be in order.

Apart from conduit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514179)

(ok still with conduit), Overbuild the wiring layout. If you expand or change machines, you will need to run new wire to the machines (I am assuming CNC machines). You just can't plug a USB stick into a drill press anymore (although that will work). Its better to have programs downloaded to machines over wires. Make sure your conduit is large enough to support maybe double the amount of wire you initially intend to run. A wiring closet (or set of closets) is also a good idea. Remember that when they install new milling machines or CMMs (Computer Measuring Machines), they will likely need to cut the concrete floor and possibly add a sand barrier + lots of rebar and concrete to isolate that machine from vibration of all the other machines, and also to keep that machine very well secured. The conduit run might be better 4 feet off the floor along the outside wall. Also overhead runs and conduit lines coming down from the ceiling might be your best bet. I worked for a place that was 160,000 square feet. They mostly made oilfield parts. 45 CNC lathes, 20 CNC mills (small precision 5 axis Mori Sekis to big Hitachis), 5 manual lathes, 1 manual mill, and about a dozen Charmilles CNC EDMs (Electronic Discharge Machines). All CNC machines were 'wired'. They did not want operators bringing their own USB sticks into the shop.

Need more detail here -- (1)

Bookwyrm (3535) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514219)

Does the IT systems have to be up 24/7 for the CNC rigs? If so, what about UPS/generators/power backup?

You mention security systems, too -- that's another ball of wax. Going with badges, biometrics, security guards, or what?

Fire systems? Are you both the IT guy and the guy in charge of a fire suppression system? In a CNC manufacturing environment? Do you work with hazardous materials on the CNC floor? If so, get an expert.

Hot climate, cold climate? Wet, dry? Flood zone? Likely to get buried in snow zone? Is the new facility out in the middle of nowhere? Middle of a big city? High crime zone? War zone? It sounds like you've got the obvious stuff down, but are asking for the non-obvious, but without a more information, the non-obvious stuff is harder to suggest. (i.e the sort of thing like 'Oh, it's in *that* country/state -- don't do X, because regulation/union/group Y will bite you.') It's hard to 'be in your shoes' without a bit more info.

A good kitchen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41514229)

Beside all the obvious cabling and whatever, I would install a good kitchen.
Preferably with room for doing a whole rotisserie pig.
And you need a big walk in fridge for curing meat.

Hey, I don't work in a CNC shop.

Notice on floors (1)

blue_teeth (83171) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514237)

DO NOT FUCKING stand and talk on walkways and doorways.

cable trays. cable ducts (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514241)

you can never have too many cable trays and ducts. makes pulling and replacing so much better. you will never get more space, so spec double sized equipment room with a separate air handler. oil vapor and water vapor from the cutting tools does not go well with servers and stuff.

Double plus 1 (1)

runner_one (455793) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514255)

Plan for the future.You can never have too much cabling in the walls.
Every cable run double what you think you need and then add 1
For example a location that will get one computer, run 3 cat6 cables. A location that gets 2 computers run 5 cat6 cables.

Take it step by step (1)

chainsaw1 (89967) | more than 2 years ago | (#41514265)

First, make sure you know all the current needs. Are you just doing to electrical infrastructure, or ALL of it. Who else is providing input to your boss? There are certain groups that will have higher priority in the building design, such as Safety & Occupational Health, Human Factors, etc. Make sure these are covered BEFORE you start planning. You don't want safety to throw up a flag if you need a power box near an eyewash station.

Next, ask what is in the business pipeline for the near and far future. You may know some of these, but not all of them...

Check industry vendors to get an idea of where the future of CNC equipment you may be using is going. What infrastructure will be needed to support these capabilities? How will the workfloor change to accommodate these machines?

Bearing these in mind, scope up your desired infrastructure. Keep in mind:

a) Boss may not be able to afford everything. Make sure it is possible to scope back your design. Be sure to also know and communicate what risks become more likely if the scale-down is needed. There will also be compromise if multiple designers present conflicting designs.

b) Remember your *ilities. Make sure changes can be implemented, because maintenance, breakdowns, and logistics happen and the world has revolutionary changes that nobody expects.

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