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Cody Park: One of Ark’s high integrity data centre campus sites

Ark is a privately held company that design, build, operate and finance third party data centre solutions tailored to meet occupiers’ individual requirements. Based at Hartham Park, in Corsham, Wiltshire, Ark’s first data centre was built a few miles away at Spring Park for a major UK mobile network and its partners.

Ark has subsequently built two further data centre modules at Spring Park, which are fully occupied and construction is underway on a further six modules one of which is due for completion next month. Cody Park is one of Ark’s high integrity Data Centre Campuses and was conceived and designed to complement the local environment and is ideally located for data centre occupiers seeking secure, low carbon data centre facilities within replication distance to London. Following the completion of the first module of Data Centre A9 in Farnborough, Data centre A101 is currently under construction at Cody Park. It follows the same model as P1 which was built at Spring Park, both being a stand-alone modular facility, not housed within another building.

This modular approach ticks all the boxes from a planning point of view – from visual impact to energy efficiency and the standard footprint simplifies planning approvals and civil construction. Data Centre A101 is located within its own secure compound of 8,055sq m and is being built in a modular sequence of phased construction in three modules that do not impact upon the previous modules in any way. Each module comprises two data rooms over two floors and incorporates its own dedicated M&E power and cooling infrastructure. When complete A101 will comprise two storey building with six data rooms over three modules and a total IT technical space of almost 3,000sq m.

Each data room provides up to 760kW of IT power and space for 182 cabinets, over seven aisles, at an average density of 4.2kW per cabinet. Module one will deliver 1,520kW, and modules two and three of the data centre are being deployed using the same methods, resulting in a final facility IT load of 4.5MW. There will also be an ancillary area hosting a secure control room, loading bay, build area, offices and operations centre. A101 is designed to Tier three high availability standards with very low additional energy used in the cooling and power systems, resulting in an annualised PUE of less than 1.3 within an IL3 security environment.

Data Centre A101 is the first facility situated on the 36-acre Cody Park – one of Europe’s premier data centre campus locations. Strategically positioned to meet customer requirements for synchronous data replication in a high security environment, it is adjacent to Cody Technology Park, which is the secure headquarter campus for QinetiQ and the location of A9 data centre. A101 is an evolution of the ‘volumetric’ data centre Ark deployed at Spring Park during 2012. With the volumetric solution, the entire data centre module is constructed off site and then transported as a series of units for assembly on site.

The steel required to transport these rigid boxes was more than that needed for the construction and operation of the data centre altogether. This led to the development of a ‘flat pack’ or ‘Armature’ solution that has been implemented as a method of standardising the complex elements of the BladeRoom into a more cost effective solution by reducing the amount of structure within the modules while maintaining the functional performance of the facility with no compromise on the operation of the data centre. Having undertaken site preparation including groundworks, foundations, the concrete structural slabs and the provision of site utilities, the assembly saw the delivery of four air optimiser units to the site, complete with roof sections. These were then craned into position before external cladding to the north gable end wall was delivered to the site and installed. This allowed the commencement of the ancillary block and energy centre steel frame to begin, which is a traditional steel frame building with insulated cladding.

Data rooms comprising of 16 prefabricated units, fitted with all services installed at the factory were then delivered to the site and 16 additional units were delivered as skeleton units only. They were craned into position and fitted to precast bolts within the structural slab and the first floor of modules one and two were sealed and constructed section by section. External cladding continued to the data room sections as the units were assembled and plant decks for modules one and two were delivered to site and craned into position. After this, the internal fit out began, and internal bay-to-bay junction trims were installed throughout to prevent cold bridging. Fire, power and data services were fitted before external services such as water, drainage and power were connected. At all stages, strict quality assurance procedures were followed and detailed installation guides produced for each element.

Each floor includes seven aisles, two air optimisers, an operations centre, a security office a communications room and ancillary office space. The ancillary area has goods lifts, stairs, a loading bay, build rooms, technical support office, building control centre, security office, kitchen and rest rooms. Work on the A101 data centre started in December 2012 and will be completed in June 2013, ready for operation in July. In addition, Ark continues to convert an existing building into Data Centre A9, which is located within QinetiQ’s secure headquarters at Cody Technology Park.

Once completed, A9 will consist of a two-level data hall building organised to support 1,200sq m of white space, which provides eight to ten discrete data suites with a total power supply of 4MVA. Suites can incorporate either 75sq m or 150sq m of white space with 125kW to 250kW of IT power and cooling and Tier three resilience. Secure maintenance service corridors containing the PDU’s and CRAC units are physically separated from suites. The UPS, generators, switch gear and chillers are also located separately. Technical accommodation including an operations centre, secure goods and quarantine area, staging offices and a security office are also incorporated. The suites are designed to meet the needs of corporate occupiers requiring a secure modular solution that incorporates a high performance design with low energy technology and practices at IL4 and above. This phase of work on data centre A9 commenced in September 2012 and will be completed next month. Ark’s world-class team of industry professionals understand the complexities of delivering and operating business critical infrastructure deployed to meet each occupier’s individual requirements, and this is apparent with the A101 and A9 data centres. The quality of work has been recognised in the past year. Ark was a finalist in the Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Awards 2012 in the category of Modula Data Centre Product Deployment, and also at the Datacenter Dynamics EMEA Awards 2012 in the innovation in the Mega Data Center category.

Spring Park and Cody Park data centre campus locations house a variety of Ark’s high integrity data centres offering a flexible approach to organisations who appreciate the need for secure, available and sustainable data processing, storage and communications solutions. Both sites are also aligned with the UK government’s policy of reducing the environmental impact of ICT by ensuring improvements in energy efficiency – in particular focusing on the UK’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. Together, Ark and its industry partners continue to be instrumental in the enhancement of industry standards and is associated with many thought-leading and best practice collaborations in the public and private sector including the Intellect Data Centre Council and the Data Centre Alliance, resulting in full compliance with the EU Code of Conduct.

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Ark Data Centres Limited
Spring Park, Westwells Road Hawthorn, Corsham Wiltshire SN13 9GB