Great coordination between disciplines and extensive knowledge of the market enabled two new data centres to be seamlessly incorporated into Equinix’s AM7 data centre site in the Netherlands with no downtime for existing operations.
Equinix is a major global provider of data centres and planned to extend its existing AM7 data centre with two new developments - AM7.2 and AM7.3. Royal HaskoningDHV was commissioned to design and specify the building. We managed the project and provided design across all disciplines – mechanical, electrical and architectural, excluding the aesthetic façade.
“The plot was comparatively small, but working with our client’s flexible design template, we ensured space was used efficiently,” said Niels van den Heuvel, Associate Director and Architectural Lead Engineer. “The result was a 25% increase in IT capacity over and above the template.”
The critical challenge for buildings such as these is to successfully complete the project within the shortest possible lead time, while responding flexibly towards all disciplines involved. The project benefitted from short lines of communication with our colleagues in Mission Critical Facilities who engineered the electrical technology and mechanical critical infrastructure. This close cooperation ensures the functionality of the finished extension.
“We work to very tight timings. Ensuring all disciplines are aligned within the time pressure is where we add value. We’re able to do that because we connect all disciplines and because we know and understand the processes and the regulatory requirements,” Niels added. “Flexibility to respond to a changing brief is important too.”
Our team worked closely with architects responsible for the aesthetic façade to ensure it supported the functional requirements of the building. For example, it needed to be sufficiently open to allow the circulation of air around cooling equipment on the roof.
The three buildings are connected by corridors at all levels, enabling people, pipework and cabling to travel throughout the entire development. Having been involved with the original campus masterplan, Royal HaskoningDHV ensured utility capacity was sufficient to meet the expansion plans. That enabled the new data centres to be linked up to the existing utilities and campus building without disrupting campus operations which continued 24/7.
The plot was comparatively small, but working with our client’s flexible design template, we ensured space was used efficiently. The result was a 25% increase in IT capacity over and above the template.
Niels van den Heuvel