Professional Services

Building Characteristics Review

Every data center is not created equal. Do you know and understand how to work with your building’s characteristics to ensure room for growth and reduce your risk?

Uptime Institute’s Building Characteristics Review reviews the architectural and structural features of your facility. 

The Building Characteristics Review evaluation criteria and methodology is drawn from Uptime Institute’s Tier Standards and extensive field experience gained by working with thousands of data centers around the globe, and insights gained from the analysis of the world’s largest knowledgebase of data center incidents and outages gathered over multiple decades.

This review builds on the characteristics included in the Tier Standards, with a major expansion of focus on the architectural and structural data center features. This focus allows for a more in-depth and detailed review of criteria on critical support space allocation, code compliance and more.

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Components of Our Building Characteristics Review

Commissioning Documentation

  • Factory testing (witnessed or not) of critical infrastructure equipment
  • Receipt, installation and pre-functional testing of critical infrastructure components
  • Functional testing, critical infrastructure stand-alone testing, pre-system start-up configuration
  • System start, OEM testing
  • Integrated systems testing (ISOT)

Building Features and Growth Areas

  • Purpose-built data center
  • Single-purpose facility to support IT equipment operations
  • Stand-along building physically separated from other corporate facilities on site
  • Flexibility for capacity increases – space, power, cooling – with minimal risk to existing critical load
  • Connection points for future/temporary extensions or capacity units
  • Mechanical support systems availability (chemical treatment, fuel scrubbing) to extend the life of and/or protect infrastructure
  • Mechanical systems and electrical systems to facilitate the ease of operations
  • Consistent labeling on infrastructure equipment and standardized sizes

Support and Specialty Spaces

  • Adequate space separate from computer room for IT hardware receiving, storing, staging, building and testing
  • Adequate space separate from computer room for:
  • BMS/Building automation system (BAS) control center
  • Command center/Disaster recovery
  • Parts and tool storage
  • Engineering and facility shop activities
  • Meeting and training


  • Adequate space around the data center to minimize impacts from adjacent facilities

Expansion of Architectural and Structural Features

  • Structural load of floors and roofs
  • Sizes of travel corridors and doorways
  • Critical support space allocation criteria

Fire Systems

  • Smoke detection
  • Fire suppression types

Non-critical Ancillary Systems

  • Humidification
  • Grounding
  • Lightning
  • Water treatment
  • Power factor correction
  • Monitoring Systems


  • Code compliance
  • Enhancement of infrastructure to support operations

Evaluating Facility Risk, While Planning for Growth

The Building Characteristics Review is an important component in the strategic review of any data center. It closely evaluates the building setup and architecture to ensure it can accommodate the data center, staff, operations and the overall needs of the business.

Once the Review is completed, customers receive an unbiased report on their building and architectural conditions, with recommendations for mitigating and remediating any gaps in order to align the site’s infrastructure and operations with business requirements.

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Contact the Experts at Uptime Institute Today

Uptime Institute offers professional services designed to provide you with expert guidance for the design, operation and management of your data center. A Building Characteristics Review is one of the many ways we can help.

In addition to the Building Characteristics Review, we also have the ability to provide Data Center Tier Certification, data center risk assessments, management and operations program assessments and education for engineers, architects and data center managers.

Reach out to us on our website today to take the first step toward strengthening your valuable infrastructure.

The World's Leading Brands Look to Uptime Institute for Data Center Expertise