ITE have constructed a number of data centres, some of which can be viewed in the case studies.
ITE Projects have over 20 years’ experience in designing and building data centres and computer rooms.
Data Centre Build
We use our own IET certified electricians, FGas registered mechanical technicians and project management and design team to ensure a high standard of installation.
Type of Data Centre Construction
ITE have constructed data centres in a number of different situations. These may include warehouse and light industrial units offering a relatively straight forward conversion to an efficient data centre due to the open nature of such buildings. These can also offer greater space for hosting and allow ample space for mechanical plant to run at optimal efficiency.
We have also constructed steel mezzanine structures in a number of sites to effectively double the usable space of the facility.
Such builds include the Rapidswitch and Iomart data centre in Maidenhead, Orange Business Services in North London and Equinix in Heathrow and Dusseldorf.
Office areas are commonly converted into smaller company computer rooms or data centres but these tend to have more constraints on space, room height and plant location and are subject to existing wall layouts. However, ITE have built numerous data centres in these situations, the majority being in the London Docklands area. These builds typically require modification of the internal room layout, the inclusion of additional riser space for mechanical and electrical services, steelwork reinforcement for heavy items of plant and a provision for external plant.
This type of build includes Telecity/Redbus, Docklands Data Centres and Orange Business Services in London Docklands, Viasat Satellite Communications in West London, Cemex in Staines and Mothercare in West London.
A few sites have been designed as dedicated data centre/office administration centres and include B&Q/Kingfisher in Hampshire and Elsevier Science in Oxfordshire.
Our aim, when designing a data centre is to avoid any single point of failure. This is achieved with multiple feeds to computer racks and built-in redundancy in the overall design. A basic n+1 system will ensure that any malfunction of a single piece of equipment will not cause detrimental effects to the running of the data or e-commerce site.
We have constructed some data centres in phases, starting with a tier 1 or 2 system which includes generators, UPS and cooling. The data centre capacity and/or resilience can be upgraded to a tier 3 or 4 system at a later stage if required, but this can be done more economically if this is considered at the design stage. Further information is available from the Uptime Institute white paper 'Tier classifications define site infrastructure performance'.
Data centre builds for Iomart and Rapidswitch involved converting a number of light industrial units into one large data centre. A number of dividing walls were removed and additional strengthening steelwork added where necessary. A new steel framed mezzanine structure was added with additional stairways and a goods lift.
External works included trenching for new independent HV supplies, concrete plinths for the generators and external switchgear housings and a high level steel gantry for cooling pipework.
The Viasat data centre involved converting an office grade building to data centre standard with an emphasis on security as well as resilience. The data hall and electrical switchgear was completely surrounded with a 120 minute fire rated blast wall to BS5234. Twin separate risers were installed for the twin computer area electrical supplies and cooling pipe routes.
The QIComm/Docklands Data Centre was converted from a multi-tenant office building utilising extensive additional steelwork to support the Cat/Finnings flywheel UPS system. The build included a data hall, switchrooms, office, kitchen and rest room areas as well as a telepresence conference area.
How Much Will It Cost To Build a Computer Room?
ITE are always happy to supply a quote for any size of data centre ot computer room. We have listed some of the major factors that will effect the overall cost:-
- Number of Racks
If you tell us the number of racks that are planned, we can estimate the cooling, power and space requirements.
A higher resilience of data centre will add to cost. A tier 4 system will require two entirely separate cooling and power pathways with associated equipment. However to keep start up costs to a minimum a site could be built to a tier 2 standard initially and upgraded at a later date.
Converting a multi tenancy office building will normally be more complicated that an empty warehouse unit.The external space usually associated with ware house units allows room for cooling plant, generators and switchgear. Adding plant to roof areas may require strengthening steelwork, additional service risers and planning permission. A warehouse unit with adequate external space is an ideal starting point for constructing a data centre.
- Available power
Once we have established your power requirements we can negoitate with suppliers to increase your available mains supply.
If the data centre construction involves building a mezzanine to increase floor space then other factors such as fire escapes, goods and passenger lifts need to be considered.
- Cold aisle
Deciding on a cold aisle layout from the outset will save costs in the long run
The initial cost of the data centre build can be reduced by building the facility in phases. This was done on a number of sites including Rapidswitch, C4L and Docklands Data Centres and involved the installation of switchgear and cooling for a portion of the site, which was then added to and up graded as the site became populated.