New Design/Build Data Centre Project of the Year
The Virtus LON 10 project commenced on Site in October 2019following a brief design period of approximately 8 weeks. The Design and Build contract was appointed based upon a stage 3 outline design for a Data Centre providing 6MW of IT load and a total building load of 10MW. The project was designed to provide three data halls across 3 levels of the building. The project was sectioned into two phases, the first phase scheduled to be delivered 31st March 2020.
ISG selected their Data Centre Engineering Team led by Paul Pompili to deliver this fast track project. Paul’s Engineering team, unlike most Construction teams had a highly biased Mechanical and Electrical engineering skill set. This focus enabled the Construction team to lead and develop the design process alongside their M&E contractor.
Design and co-ordination reviews occurred throughout the project on a daily basis, led by the ISG engineering team, which mitigated the possible delays brought about by poor information and process.
Commissioning was of paramount importance on the project. Virtus had set-out an extensive requirement for the commissioning with an enhanced Level 1 to 5 commissioning process. This included an enhanced Level 1 requirement for all the equipment brought to site rather than the norm of only the items FAT.
The Commissioning process was set out during the early stages of the project with all the testing regimes scheduled and tracked throughout.
Detailed commissioning meetings were held weekly with the Virtus in house Engineering team to ensure the Level 4 testing scripts, in particular, would provide the Virtus team with key data which could be utilised during the operation of the building.
The project consisted of the following equipment:
• 5No. 1.4 MW Air-cooled Chillers (free cooling)
• 5No. 2MW 11kV Generators
• 5No. Secondary Chilled water pumps
• 2No. HV Switchboards
• 6No. 3MVA 11kV/440v Transformers and associated RMU’s
• 6No. LV switchboards
• 5No. 1.4MW UPS systems
• 5No. 120KW Mech UPS systems
• 46 140kW CRAC units
• High Pressure Water Mist system
The project was seriously impacted by the COVID-19, as an incident occurred in early March whereby the entire Construction Management team where isolated for a 14 day period causing the operation to be shut down. On return the entire project was restructured to provide a COVID-19 safe environment. This resulted in a reduction of the workforce to 25% of its previous levels. With a fast track project of this nature this required a change in the working days with a two-shift working day growing for a limited period to 24 hours to ensure the project continued to move forward.
Remote working was instigated to a number of the Management team utilising TEAMS to conduct regular daily meetings.
During the construction period Virtus introduced a Customer, who was to occupy the entire building. This introduced an additional requirement of a full fit out of the data hall by the Customers contracting team. ISG reprogrammed their work schedule around the new customer requirements to ensure there was no need to modify systems. The entire fit-out of the Data Halls, which include power distribution and Fibre installation, was interspersed with the Lighting and BMS works undertaken by ISG. This ensured the Data Hall would be delivered on time and mitigated any delay caused by the COVID-19 situation.
ISG introduced a new Structural Ceiling solution within the Data Halls which allowed all services to be directly supported from the Ceiling grid rather than penetrating the ceiling to be supported from the structural soffit. This had the added advantage of minimising works within the ceiling void during the Customer fit-out and thus brought a level of efficiency not previously experienced on a Virtus Data centre.
Similarly, a new concept was developed for the High security ventilated wall to the data halls which provided a flexible solution allowing the air path to be modified to match the physical layouts of a Customers data hall and Hot aisle containment configuration.
During the Commissioning of the Data Halls a full mock-up of the Data Hall and its Hot aisles was produced with over 100 sensors located throughout the area to provide data which would later be used to understand the management of air within the data hall for the customer etc.
The project was completed to an extremely high standard to the full satisfaction of the Virtus team.