Las Vegas might be known for the phrase, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," but it's what doesn't typically happen in the city—natural disasters—that made it attractive to Cobalt Data Centers.

"Nevada is known for having an attractive tax environment, and Las Vegas is well-protected from natural disasters," said Everett Thompson, CEO of data center advisory firm Wired Real Estate Group, at the building's opening in February.

The three-month project to provide new switchgear and install owner-furnished uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, generators and bus duct for the Cobalt Cheyenne Data Center was designed to provide superior fiber connectivity to the growing technology industry in Las Vegas. Since it was a remodel of an existing 34,000-sq-ft building, crews had to carefully work around a functioning data center.

The project, with local firms Burke Construction Group as the general contractor and Helix Electric as the electrical subcontractor, included extensive layout and installation of both underground and overhead conduits within the existing building while limiting the amount of disruption and additional cost. The project also included the installation of a Vesda system, a fire alarm system upgrade, a complete server data system and a detailed access control system.

Two experienced superintendents from Helix Electric tackled the extensive system by focusing the layout and production separately, which the company says helped save time and contributed to the project team's reduction of the final budget by more than 9%.

The electrical design is a modular, expandable system providing triple redundancy. Generator capacity is 9 megavolt ampere (MVA) with six generators, while UPS capacity is 4.5 MVA in six, 750-kilovolt ampere UPS in a tri-redundant system design. The overall facility is supported by 5.5 MW of power with 3,000 amps of main service, with rough-in for a future 3,000 amps.

The Cobalt Cheyenne electrical system was designed to allow for multiple redundancies in all critical components. If a single module fails or needs to be taken offline for service, this advanced UPS system is designed to be able to provide an adequate supply of power.

The project was "well done on a tight schedule," praised one judge.

Cobalt Cheyenne Data Center Las Vegas

Key Players

Contractor Burke Construction Group Inc., Las Vegas

Owner V5 Technologies LLC, Las Vegas

Lead Design Harris Consulting Engineers, Las Vegas

Structural Engineer STB Engineers Inc., Lake Forest, Calif.

Architect Ethos Three Architecture, Las Vegas

MEP Harris Consulting Engineers, Las Vegas

Subcontractors Helix Electric, Las Vegas