Paul Marcoux Leaves Legacy in New Enterprise Mission Critical Data Center

As Paul Marcoux, BB&T senior vice president mission critical services, retires, he steps out on a high note. A gleaming legacy of his work resides in BB&T’s new, state-of-the-art greenfield data center. This 150,000-square-foot (SF) project houses two 20,000 SF, column-free, Tier III+ data halls and another 18,000 square feet of office and operational space. Its critical load capacity is 4 MW.

Built To Weather the Storm

The building is designed to withstand sustained winds of 165 miles per hour, which is equivalent to a level EF3 tornado. Mission critical systems and IT are reinforced to above-code seismic stability, and situated far above a 100-year floodplain. There is a lightning protection system and infrared snow and ice melting. All windows are fitted with steel shutters that automatically deploy during any alarm or weather event. Unique to this data center is its meteorological control system. This completely automated system monitors the weather and activates a pre-programed control and alarm sequence to protect power, cooling, and security in the event of any high-wind or other weather-related threat.

Safety Measures

Security measures include an access drive designed to reduce vehicle speed. Earthen barriers and K-rated fencing prevent vehicles from being able to crash into the facility. Entry gates are capable of stopping a 30,000-pound truck. Glass in the security booth is bullet proof, and video surveillance allows remote viewing of all outside areas.

To combat system cyber-attacks on the mission critical control system, the center employs an independent, self-healing fiber-optic backbone that is separate from the IT network. Accessing the network requires personnel to be onsite and behind a fire wall where no virtual private networks can be established.

Green and Healthy

The facility is as efficient and comfortable as it is reliable. As Paul says, “Energy cost is a hidden tax on the IT system. The only weapon a mis­sion critical operator has against this tax is to employ en­ergy conservation measures in every way possible.” Some of the highlights of the center’s energy conservation arsenal include:

  •      variable speed drives on all motors,
  •     100 percent LED lighting,
  •      high-efficiency UPS,
  •       integrated and high-efficiency cooling system com­ponents,
  •      waterside economizer for free cooling during cool tem­perature days and nights,
  •      an electric vehicle charging station, and
  •      a white roofing system.

Those working at the facility can enjoy a one-mile walking trail and indoor and outdoor rest areas for breaks and social gatherings. Restrooms feature hands-free systems, and antimicrobial door handles and internal ductwork. There are showers and an on-site nurse station. There is even a wellness room for mothers.

An Eye on the Future

The facility is designed to be right-sized for now. But it can be expanded in the future to accommodate an additional 100,000 square feet and 4 MW of critical power capacity. Its 30-year lifespan is expected to provide BB&T with secure, resilient IT and data storage for the next generation.

See Article 1: Farewell to Board Member Paul Marcoux

See Article 3: Winter Meeting Highlights, Summer Meeting Plans