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.

London Central Build Blog – Week 26

Fantastic progress has been made once again this week, across various aspects of the project, from the office through to the core service areas.

Modifications made to meet me enclosures, to alloy for side cable entry
Modifications made to meet me enclosures, to alloy for side cable entry
Template in place for mounting our logo in the office
Template in place for mounting our logo in the office
Holes drilled and plugs inserted
Holes drilled and plugs inserted
Mounting points installed, and logo characters being placed
Mounting points installed, and logo characters being placed
Sign mounted minus the logo tagline
Sign mounted minus the logo tagline
Sign with tagline
Sign with tagline
The completed sign
The completed sign
The temporary divisional wall installed in ground floor data hall, until this area is converted into technical space
The temporary divisional wall installed in ground floor data hall, until this area is converted into technical space
Ground floor lift shaft enclosure reaching completion
Ground floor lift shaft enclosure reaching completion
Channel installed for base of cold corridor enclosure
Channel installed for base of cold corridor enclosure
Top channel supports cut ready for installation
Top channel supports cut and ready for installation
Cold corridor enclosure taking shape, which is to become a complex frame-like structure with various air handling voids, rather than a basic wall
Cold corridor enclosure taking shape, which is to become a complex frame-like structure with various air handling voids, rather than a basic wall

While hard work is most definitely the name of the game when building a world class data centre facility (especially whilst also keeping a large base of existing rack footprints running smoothly), it is safe to say that a break from time to time is welcomed. The entire build team enjoyed a private day of racing at the local Team Sport karting centre this week, which proved to be an incredibly fun afternoon away from the facility.

Our build team members were treated to go karting this week
Our build team members were treated to go karting this week

London Central Build Blog – Week 25

This week has seen dramatic progress on shell construction in the first floor data hall, along with various other areas of progress which have brought the project forward considerably.

One of our multiple fibre entry ducts dug into our property
One of our multiple fibre entry ducts dug into our property
Internal access hatch for duct entry point
Internal access hatch for duct entry point
Cable management installed for running this entry point to the meet me cabinet stack
Cable management installed for running this entry point to the meet me cabinet stack
Custom built seating area behind NOC for casual meetings, with a nice technical view
Custom built seating area behind NOC for casual meetings, with a nice technical view
Custom seating area awaiting final upholstery on rear and lower front
Custom seating area awaiting final upholstery on rear and lower front
Lift shaft on first floor taking shape
Lift shaft on first floor taking shape
Final bay reaching completion ahead of louvred panel installation
Final bay reaching completion ahead of louvred panel installation
A look down the rear wall, which will handle incoming air
A look down the rear wall, which will handle incoming air
Far corner with fire escape access cut into wall
Far corner with fire escape access cut into wall
A look across the first floor data hall ahead of final shell works
A look across the first floor data hall ahead of final shell works
A closer look at the fire escape access
A closer look at the fire escape access

London Central Build Blog – Week 24

Week 24 has seen major headway made on the installation of power and network containment systems which run from the buildings core through to each data hall. Great care was taken during the design phase of this project to ensure cable runs were accessible, free flowing and direct. The cable basket which is being employed throughout the facility provides an incredibly flexible method of cable distribution, from centralised core services right through to the rack level.

Spine basket for data runs to ground floor cold corridor
Spine basket for data runs to ground floor cold corridor
Another look at containment in the electrical intake room
Another look at containment in the electrical intake room
Overhead cable containment installation in electrical intake area
Overhead cable containment installation in electrical intake area, for generators and UPS power feeds
Cable basket as it nears the data floors
Cable basket as it nears the data floors

This week has also seen the undertaking of roadworks outside of our facility, as Virgin Media Business become the first of our multiple fibre providers to enter the building. VM Business will be supplying us with major high speed fibre services, which will form a large part of our highly resilient core network and global connectivity services.

McNicholas engineers undertaking roadworks outside our London Central facility, for Virgin Media fibre
McNicholas engineers undertaking roadworks outside our London Central facility, for running VM Business fibre
Engineering works by McNicholas
Engineering works by McNicholas
Our new private road-side ducting and manhole
Our new private road-side ducting and manhole