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Making New Inroads in Data Center Technology and Design

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At age 12, Zann Chiam’s art teacher assigned the class to walk the city streets to observe the Singapore skyline and sketch drawings of their favorite buildings. “That’s when I fell in love with architecture,” exclaims Zann, “the façades; the spaces inside; how a building makes you feel — Wow!”

After pursuing a career in architecture at university in Australia, Zann was hired as a BIM consultant in Corgan’s Singapore office, where she discovered her passion for designing large-scale data center projects. “Although data centers seem to be quite uniform and similar in functionality, each building has its own uniqueness in terms of megawatts —the evolving technologies prompt challenges which impact space planning and details,” she says. “When our team is introduced to an unfamiliar technological system, we conduct intense research to familiarize ourselves and understand how it works.”


Revit Up with Technology

“I am in awe of technology,” says Zann, “once I experienced Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the power and efficiency of Revit, I saw it as an essential design tool everyone will use in the future.” Zann is continuously learning about leading edge products, equipment, and emerging technologies.

Her team is currently working on designing several hyperscale data center projects based in India and Japan. “Unlike conventional architecture, in data center design, we do not necessarily plan from the macro to micro perspective as our focus is on the data hall; instead, our planning starts from the inside,” she explains.

Right Size


Exceptional Teamwork

Zann’s highly collaborative team conducts morning meetings to discuss the day’s plans. Everyone involved in a project brainstorms ideas and solutions, then follows through with relevant production work including 3D modeling, renderings, and drawings. At noon, they often go to lunch together at their favorite Vietnamese place around the corner to enjoy a delicious meal of Banh Mi.

“My senior leaders inspire me weekly,” she says. “Too often, my generation gives up on pursuing a career in architecture due to the rigorous demands — as a fresh graduate and aspiring architect, I too sometimes wonder if I’m on the right path, but when I see the passion of my senior leaders who have been in the industry for decades, I am encouraged by the perseverance and dedication they show for architecture.”

“I have learned there is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to completing a task. Leveraging StrengthsFinder helped our team identify our best working styles and show us how we can tap into each other’s strengths and learn from one another,” explains Zann. “Corgan’s nurturing environment combined with the support and guidance from our senior leaders motivates us to share information and explore various methods to achieve our end goals.”


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