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Published 03/08/2020


Regardless of whether you are a project manager or data centre owner, your goal is to achieve a successful and on-time completion of your newly-built critical facility. Turning a construction site into a controlled IT environment ready for equipment installation requires the elimination of all coarse debris, as well as dust, marks and residue on every surface to meet ISO 14644-1:2015 ISO Class 8 particle level standards. We spoke to industry experts from leading construction companies to learn three things they think make the difference when handing over a state-of-the-art data centre or IT environment.

data centre construction


One of the most basic decisions you’ll make is whether to engage general cleaners who cost less or pay a premium for technical cleaners. Do you get what you pay for?

The answer is a resounding yes according to Ben Stupkin, former Contracts Administrator with Hutchinson Builders. “Reliability and assurance of the end product − knowing we would get the highest quality without having to stand over them and watch,” Ben says is one of the key benefits of using technical cleaners. A project manager’s time is valuable and shouldn’t be wasted shadowing general cleaners who are out of their depth just to make sure the quality of their cleaning is satisfactory. Reece Henshaw from Morris Property Group notes, “It was a real eye-opener for me seeing a technical cleaning company complete such a clean effortlessly with no management from our team.”

General cleaners are less expensive because they provide a different standard of cleanliness compared to technical cleaners. Incorporate sufficient funds in the budget to cover professional technical cleaners so you can focus on other priorities and not worry about whether the cleaning is being done properly. In the long run, everyone will be glad you did.


Failing to remove particles generated during the construction phase could result in these contaminants remaining in the IT environment for years to come. The potential to damage operating equipment and cause downtime is enormous. Using a professional technical cleaner minimises issues between a builder and facility owner. Ben Stupkin says, “We have greater confidence from the client when they know we are using a company established to conduct these types of cleans.”

Reece from Morris Property Group describes a previous bad experience saying, “We had a particular cleaning company come to complete a clean of a server room and office space. After the clean, dust was still present all over the rooms. We tried to get them back to re-do the work but to no avail. We then threatened retention money being held and had to engage another cleaning company. This is never a good process and we have since implemented a sign-off procedure."

For best results, don’t try to do a deep clean all in one go. Use a three-phased approach to achieve the best results.

  • Start with an initial post-construction clean.
  • Continue with a technical clean prior to equipment installation.
  • Finish with a deep clean just before handover.

Schedule cleaning in advance so no other trades are working in the rooms. Sign off on each room after it has been cleaned each time to ensure that you are satisfied with the results. The technical cleaner should provide a clear service delivery schedule right up to the handover date illustrating how deadlines will be met.


FDC Senior Contracts Administrator Christian Cevenini points out that when cleaning data centres and IT areas, “the big difference is the detail of the cleaning. The intricacy is a lot higher overall.” Post- construction cleaning requires a complete understanding of how to thoroughly detail all materials used such as sealed concrete, stainless steel, glass, painted surfaces, laminate, vinyl and plastics without causing expensive damage.

Do your cleaners know what they’re doing?

Ben Lyle, ICON Construction Senior Project Manager, states that “Our job is made much easier when we engage a cleaner who understands the environmental condition that the facility will ultimately need to operate in. It puts us in a much better position to commission and handover. You are less likely to be re-cleaning areas and the broader project team gains confidence that the facility is complete and ready for the next phase following construction.”

Make certain that your service provider can be trusted to properly clean in technical spaces with minimal, if any, supervision from you. Review their written scopes of work, methods of procedure and Safe Work Method Statements to ensure they will meet your client’s acceptance standards.


Don’t trust the final result of your data centre and IT projects to cleaning companies who don’t have the proper expertise and experience.

It’s not worth the risk or the hassles.