The BICSI is a set of standards and best practices defined by the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI). It defines standards in the areas of information technology and telecommunications. Technologies covered are electronic safety and security, data and voice technologies, as well as audio and video technologies. The BICSI standards also extend up to wireless systems and the areas of copper and optical fiber systems.

All You Need to Know About BICSI StandardsMost leading data center organizations are members of the BISCI standards program, which is an ANSI credited organization. Membership is open to all interested parties making the development of the standards open and unbiased. There are various standards published across the different areas. Some of the more popular standards are:

  • BICSI – 001, which is related to K-12 ITS Design
  • BICSI – 002 which is related to Data Center Design
  • NECA/ BICSI 568, which is related to Cabling Installation
  • NECA/ BICSI, 602-2011 which is related to Bonding and Grounding
  • BICSI – 004 – 2012, which is related to Healthcare
  • BICSI – 005 – 2013, which is related to ESS (Electronic Safety and Security)

The standards can be purchased online and there is a discounted fee for members. For example, the ANSI/BICSI 002-2011, Data Center Design and Implementation Best Practices is available at a price of $360 for members and $450 for nonmembers. The BICSI standard clearly states that it is a best practices recommendation document that needs to be used in supplement with other base standards such as the ISO/IEC 24764, CENELEC EN 50174-2 or TIA-942 at a facility.

The BICSI standard differs slightly from the TIA-942 and the Uptime Institute Standards in the scenario of the EPO (Emergency Power Off) button. The Uptime Institute does not mandate this since it claims that accidental use of the EPO is a cause for downtime in many data centers. The TIA-942 too mandates that the EPO should not be installed unless the local jurisdiction authorities require you to do so. The BICSI standard states the risk of the EPO, but at the same time also recommends data centers to balance business continuity needs and the needs of building and personnel safety. It recommends a 3 stage EPO for the F2-F5 classes and a 1 stage EPO for the F0 and F1 classes.

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Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.