London Central Build Blog – Week 31

As our first data hall reaches shell completion, and technical installations can begin in earnest, progress in the new facility is set to rocket towards completion, expected before Christmas this year.

Emergency lighting row installed into ceiling, along the main access run leading to cold corridor pods
Emergency lighting row installed into ceiling, along the main access run leading to cold corridor pods
Lighting and door installations reaching completion
Lighting and door installations reaching completion
First coat of weatherproof paint applied to inside of cold corridor
First coat of weatherproof paint applied to inside of cold corridor
A look at construction works in the first floor data hall from the vision panels along the board room wall
A look at construction works in the first floor data hall from the vision panels along the board room wall
Large cable delivery, weighing in at over 1,000kg
Large cable delivery, weighing in at over 1,000kg
Earth cabling ready for installation, another few hundred kilograms
Earth cabling ready for installation, another few hundred kilograms

We have reached a pivotal stage in our progress this month (September 2014), as many of the tasks which have been required to push forwards with larger works are now completed. Although the state of the facility indicates to our readers that we are still deep in the middle of the project, we are in fact not that far away from having the first racks deployed in the data hall, ahead of building final elements such as cold corridor enclosures and finishing touches.

London Central Build Blog – Week 30

There have been dramatic leaps forward this week with regards to the first data halls readiness for technical installations. The ceiling has now been installed, creating the air plenum above which will handle the air in this first hall.

Zoning of plenum completed
Zoning of overhead air plenum completed
Zoning of overhead air plenum completed
Zoning of overhead air plenum completed
Ceiling edging being installed around perimeter
Ceiling edging being installed around perimeter
Ceiling grid installation underway
Ceiling grid installation under way
Ceiling grid installation under way
Ceiling grid installation under way
The completed ceiling grid ahead of light placement modifications
The completed ceiling grid ahead of light placement modifications
Tiles in place after lighting modifications have been made to the grid
Tiles in place after lighting modifications have been made to the grid
A view inside the air plenum, with the air handling apertures in view
A view inside the air plenum, with the air handling apertures in view
Lighting boxes installed ready to for the light fittings to be installed into the grid
Lighting boxes installed ready to for the light fittings to be installed into the grid
Another look inside the air plenum void ahead of lighting fitting installation
Another look inside the air plenum void ahead of lighting fitting installation
Fire doors being hung between the cold corridor and the data floor
Fire doors being hung between the cold corridor and the data floor

We apologise for the grainy photographs; light in the data halls is now extremely limited, as they have been fully enclosed. This makes photography difficult until our lighting system is online.

London Central Build Blog – Week 29

The cold corridor enclosure reached completion in terms of its structure this week. Apart from the installation of the cooling stacks, all that remains is to fit the louvred panels, decorate the corridor using climate resistant paints, and tank the floor with moisture resistant rubber.

Top of the corridor enclosure flown up to ceiling height
Top of the corridor enclosure flown up to ceiling height
Internal face of corridor reaching completion
Internal face of corridor reaching completion
Enclosure insulation reaching ceiling
Enclosure insulation reaching ceiling
Internal face of corridor enclosure completed ahead of finishing
Internal face of corridor enclosure completed ahead of finishing
Delivery of Celotex reflective insulation to box in our ceiling lights to remove their volume from the overhead air plenum
Delivery of Celotex reflective insulation to box in our ceiling lights, removing their volume from the overhead air plenum
Filling completed ahead of sanding down
Filling completed ahead of sanding down
Air plenum zoning installed in ceiling, blocking out the large overhead ceiling windows with reflective Celotex insulation
Air plenum zoning installed in ceiling, blocking out the large overhead ceiling windows with reflective Celotex insulation
Air plenum zoning installed in ceiling, blocking out the large overhead ceiling windows with reflective Celotex insulation
Air plenum zoning installed in ceiling, blocking out the large overhead ceiling windows with reflective Celotex insulation
A look across the data hall as plenum zoning reaches completion, and all natural light in the data hall is removed (once completed)
A look across the data hall as plenum zoning reaches completion, and all natural light in the data hall is removed (once completed)

London Central Build Blog – Week 28

Week 28 has seen further progress on the cold corridor enclosure, though focus has also been turned to other areas of the facility as various elements of the project near completion.

Rear wooden panelling completed around cooling apertures
Rear wooden panelling completed around cooling apertures
A look at the wooden cladding on the rear of the cold corridor enclosure
A look at the wooden cladding on the rear of the cold corridor enclosure
Insulation fitted into cold corridor enclosure
Insulation fitted into cold corridor enclosure
First fireboard sheets being fitted to enclosure
First fireboard sheets being fitted to enclosure
First fireboard run completed on outer face of enclosure
First fireboard run completed on outer face of enclosure
First 3M fireboard sheets being fitted to inner enclosure wall
First 3M fireboard sheets being fitted to inner enclosure wall
Upholstery completed on our custom NOC lounge seating
Upholstery completed on our custom NOC lounge seating
Upholstery completed on our custom NOC lounge seating
Upholstery completed on our custom NOC lounge seating
First carrier entering our Meet Me room, the first of many over the next few weeks / months
First carrier entering our Meet Me room, the first of many over the next few weeks / months

The cold corridor enclosure wall alone is comprised of over 3 tonnes of fireboard, which gives an indication of the sheer quantity of raw materials involved in building an entire data centre. Each 3 metre sheet is just shy of 50kgs.

London Central Build Blog – Week 27

The cold corridor enclosure has taken serious shape this week, which is the final piece of structural work to take place ahead of final decoration and technical installations in the data hall areas. It is fair to say that this is a highly complex structure, as its apertures have been designed to have very small tolerances, and must be positioned incredibly accurately to allow the cooling system to function as intended.

Both extraction and inlet apertures are different sizes, due to the design of air flow and pressure control in the facility. The positioning of the cooling stacks behind each set of apertures has been carefully designed to manage data hall air based on its position and its cooling load.

A look at the apertures designed into the cold corridor enclosure
A look at the apertures designed into the cold corridor enclosure
The enclosure taking shape
The enclosure taking shape
A look down the lift shaft with completed fire-rated enclosure
A look down the lift shaft with completed fire-rated enclosure
A look up the lift shaft, with temporary cooling fan to move air between data halls
A look up the lift shaft, with temporary cooling fan to move air between data halls
Cold corridor enclosure framework nearing completion
Cold corridor enclosure framework nearing completion
Wood panelling being fitted to inside of corridor space, for strength when mounting high speed fans
Wood panelling being fitted to inside of corridor space, for strength when mounting high speed fans
Frontal view of the enclosure as panelling takes shape, with a view of the apertures for air handling
Frontal view of the enclosure as panelling takes shape, with a view of the apertures for air handling
A view inside the cold corridor, as wood panelling nears completion
A view inside the cold corridor, as wood panelling nears completion
A view of the enclosure wall from the data floor
A view of the enclosure wall from the data floor

The cold corridor enclosure is also having highly specialist cladding and wall coverings applied to it. While the face which is on show in the data hall will be made up of basic plaster boards, the internal surfaces are clad in mounting timber and dual function fire and moisture resistant board. The internal surface will also have a highly resilient paint applied for added resistance to the cold air that it will be processing.

No fans or ducting inlets / outlets will be on show in the data hall, as they all handle air in the plenum above the ceiling grid.