The term “critical environment” can refer to any environment that supports mission-critical functions of an organization, but across industries its usage varies. At Salas O’Brien, we use the term to describe a variety of environments including facilities that support mobile providers, financial institutions, broadcasters, or similar—institutions that rely on faultlessly secure and reliable facilities. But for us, it isn’t just the importance of the equipment and systems that makes a data center a critical environment.
What Makes an Environment "Critical"?
The key factor that distinguishes a critical environment project is its need for stringent environmental control and faultless reliability. Whether it’s cooling and ventilation to stabilize heat-producing equipment, airflow management to control airborne pathogens, security to limit access, or uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and redundancy to ensure reliability, extremely precise design is a must for a critical environment to remain continuously functional and compliant.
Mechanical and electrical, automated control, HVAC, and energy as well as architecture, infrastructure, and fire protection are pillars to critical environment success. Salas O’Brien's designers are experts in each and every one of these services.
Beyond the Data Center
Our team has extensive experience designing for data centers, but our critical environment expertise doesn’t stop there. Sterile medical environments like research laboratories, clean rooms, and operating theaters, as well as vital links in manufacturing chains, are also critical environments, and our designers have an excellent track record in these areas as well.
The work we completed for El Camino Hospital’s Operating Room 2 is a prime example of our expertise in critical environments for healthcare. Over the past years, Salas O’Brien has completed designs for a variety of El Camino projects including multiple remodels and an electrical study and redesign of one of the hospital’s key electrical plants. When the hospital staff noticed a need to improve the electrical reliability and airflow conditions of an operating room, leadership asked our team to analyze the existing system, propose a design solution, and implement the solution.
A Difference You Can Rely On
Whether your critical environment is supporting a key telecommunication data center or a medical facility that save lives—faultless design and control are vitally important. Salas O’Brien has risen to the challenge again and again, and our employee-owners are committed to carrying that legacy forward.