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Northolt Data Centre

A major investment bank and existing client of Metropolitan required a complete turnkey M&E and Fabric package of works within a live data centre environment. The client had no hesitation in appointing Metropolitan as the principal contractor due to our already-established relationship, alongside our unrivalled experience as a contractor in the data centre space. Delivery of this highly-sensitive £2m programme is split into two phases over 16 weeks and is currently still ongoing (Nov 2018).

The Metropolitan solution

This specialised project required careful planning and allocation of the most appropriately skilled team members at our disposal. Our M&E Design and Fabric teams liaised to put together a package that would satisfy the client’s concise requirements. This package consisted of two eight-week stages of works.

Works involved throughout the programme are as follows:

  • Removing existing HD CO2 and chilled water-cooled IT racks, after migrating and decommissioning the IT equipment within. This allows us to also decommission and remove the water-cooled skids within the HD plantroom.
  • Clearing existing IT racks and cabinets.
  • Migrating existing IT services across other cabinets within the data suite so that a number of CO2 cooling doors can be removed from the remaining rows within the hall.
  • Dealing with high-level CO2 pipework and associated IT rack mechanical power supplies.
  • Implementing IT rack power supply temporary feeds, allowing us to strip out specific PDUs; other PDUs become redundant upon stripping out certain rows, with no rewiring necessary.
  • Removing further existing PDUs and installing new Airedale down ow cooling units with integral dual coils, associated two-port valves and the project-specific controls solution.
  • These units connect to existing GEM 2 future-chilled water branches and shall be commissioned and set to work in advance of the remaining three.
  • Installing new permanent resilient 32 amp three-phase power supplies to new cabinet rows, whilst retaining power supplies from specific PDUs.
  • Running associated pipework back into the existing HD plantroom for connection to the existing redundant GEM.
  • 2 secondary chilled water ow and return pipework, which used to feed the four CO2 cooling plants. We will relocate the single-leaf door within the north data hall and carry out other minor building work at this point.
  • Stripping out redundant chilled water pipework located within the HD area raised access floor void, alongside associated valves, flexibles, brackets, etc. This includes validating the IT cabling with the client’s IT team before removing any redundant data cable basket containment.
  • Carrying out remedial works to the raised access Door to remove existing bridging steelwork and reverting back to a regularised grid with construction to a heavy-grade standard.
  • Installing new data containment at high level and preparing the area to accept the client’s new passive network racks and associated IT cabling.
  • Installing bespoke cold aisle containment roof and doors (separately suspended) as well as essential features such as sensors, security cameras, smoke detection and lighting. We will also install additional raised floor supply motorised air grilles to supplement the new cold aisle cooling.
  • Constructing the remainder of the cold aisle containment and installing new mainframe IT equipment with a subfloor structural frame as necessary.
  • Making final stainless steel chilled water pipework connections to the five down-flow units within the data hall, then testing, commissioning and setting into operation.
  • Constructing the remainder of the cold aisle containment and installing new mainframe IT equipment with a sub floor structural frame as necessary.
  • Testing and commissioning BMS controls and strategy once the new mainframe data suite is operational. The mainframe environment area is designed to deliver a critical power and cooling capacity of circa 550kW.
  • Installing new leak detection services to capture the newly-installed pipework, routing back to a new control panel that is interfaced with the building’s BMS system.

On completing all of the above works, we will carry out an Integrated Systems Test within the client’s live site. To ensure the client is 100% confident that we have fully delivered against the project brief and their expectations, the team will then provide a full O&M handover and client training, as well as delivering a full demonstration of the new suite.