This article, by Thomas Lockie and Brathepan Alagenthiran, explores Bryden Wood's innovative Chip Thinking® approach. It discusses how digital simulations and data-driven strategies can optimise asset performance, streamline project delivery, and enhance efficiency in data centre design and other critical sectors.

Imagine if we could beta test physical assets by observing them in action, and, by learning from their flaws, arrive at optimal solutions with confidence.

Well, this is precisely how we operate. By leveraging our clients’ knowledge and data to create sophisticated digital simulations during the strategic stage of the design process. Realistically assessing asset performance and incorporating feedback into the project brief are key to allowing us to move forward with reduced risk and increased efficiency.

At Bryden Wood, our consultancy services for business assets are firmly rooted in design and construction thinking. We take an iterative and collaborative approach, analysing predictive and historical data related to proposed or existing assets. By doing so, we bridge the gap between business strategy, effective delivery, and optimisation. Our successful track record includes large-scale data centre projects worldwide.

Chip Thinking®

Chip Thinking® represents a systematic approach to dissecting the critical components or functions of a data centre facility. By methodically breaking down these elements, we unlock insights that drive design improvements and performance optimisation. Our unique modelling and analytics team combines architects, engineers, business analysts, mathematical modellers, software coders, and data analysts. Together, we create a strategic way of thinking and working— one that brings information to life.

Chip thinking explanation diagram

This approach is highly effective in the creation of the client brief, and subsequently, validating emerging design concepts and facilitating the creation of standardised Reference Design solutions.

Data aggregation + analysis

The process of using Chip Thinking® to elicit and capture stakeholder requirements at a range of scales from a single component up to site deployments globally.

The above diagram shows the process of using Chip Thinking® to elicit and capture stakeholder requirements at a range of scales from a single component up to site deployments globally.

Chips serve as a unified knowledge hub where all data and stakeholder insights converge. In this way, everyone gains a comprehensive understanding. Through digital simulations, 4D planning, and automated configuration tools, stakeholders can fine-tune facility designs to meet standard requirements. It’s about optimising every aspect.

Managers gain clarity on how capital expenditures (CAPEX) ripple through the broader business. Chips provide a common language, key to bridging client-specific operational data with complex project functions.

Stakeholders choose the scale that matters most to them. The chip model treats all aspects equally, resulting in objective, transparent, and holistic answers. By digitally modelling processes or assets as chips, we quickly assess their current effectiveness and explore potential changes across diverse scenarios. This depth of analysis is impossible when focusing solely on individual components. Chips allow easy value adjustments that support targeted process optimisation, leading to seamless improvements in productivity.

Planning for the future becomes straightforward and we can consider different data variables (such as market trends) and calculate how they impact energy or space requirements. Testing multiple options reveals “sweet spots”—for example, the optimum capital investment to maximise future flexibility across various markets.

Benefits of modelling using CHIPs:

Once a client’s requirements have been thoroughly assessed, a chip library becomes a powerful tool for the design team, providing:

  • Clear project brief understanding
  • Project test fits (minimum spatial requirements for each component / building and consequently maximising the site utilisation)
  • Future-proof expansion and phasing
  • Quick costing method for all options
  • Assessment of utilities requirements
  • Standardisation and design optimisation

At Bryden Wood, we thrive on unconventional thinking when it comes to construction. As thought leaders, our mission is to set an example for the entire industry—a beacon of improvement, optimisation, and waste reduction.

Our belief is simple: by closely collaborating with various stakeholders, we can create value-driven data centres that align seamlessly with stakeholder needs. This philosophy extends well beyond data centre projects to numerous other critical sectors.

Through the application of Chip Thinking®, we’ve demonstrated that standardised Reference Design solutions are universally applicable.