Data Centres

We are at the forefront of designing data centres, identifying the opportunities for creating energy resilience and efficiency and responding to the increased focus placed on ESG factors by the investment community.

Data centres are intrinsically linked with enormous power demands that must be maintained at all costs, requiring highly secure and protected spaces with an uninterruptable power supply.

As engineers, our expertise helps developers and operators of data centres to be more energy efficient and through the recovery of waste heat, an enabler for low carbon energy networks.

By considering data centres as a ‘thermal battery’, they can be used as a heat source. Many data centres already operate on renewable energy, however, they are producing a significant amount of heat. The key in the early conceptual stages of design is to factor in the technology to capture this waste heat and re-use it effectively and efficiently. The technology and the process exist, and the opportunity to create value is real. We see Hydrock’s role as working with our project partners to make it common place.

The big issues

Our teams are experts at getting under the skin of how you can plan for the future and maximise opportunities. Just some of the big issues that we’re witnessing include:

Increased electrical demand

Due to increased server densities and rack cooling loads in excess of 50Kw, electrical demands on data centre sites have increased considerably in the last 5 years, with capacities in excess of 100MW often found. It means grid connection points and associated infrastructure need to be carefully considered and planned years in advance.

Edge data centres

In the next five years we are likely to see the emergence of ‘edge data centres’, as the decrease in the size of the servers means data centres can fit into smaller spaces. This makes them viable to be rolled out across the country and have a place in every town centre, moving closer to where people are, to keep up with consumer demands from the increasing number of home appliances all talking to the internet.

Opportunity for on-site energy storage

Due to their large electrical capacities, data centres now require National Grid connection points, which in turn brings the advantage of very secure and reliable electrical supplies. This allows the use of battery storage in lieu of traditional standby generation, which can be used to support the site and also generate revenue and make achieving planning permission easier.

Environmental, social and governance factors

Investors are increasingly shaping their funding decisions on the ESG credentials of both the tenant and the overall sustainability credentials of the scheme. Understanding whole lifecycle carbon emissions and the decisions made both in choice of construction and operation are critical to creating a successful asset.

Health and wellbeing

Ensuring that the overall workplace and surrounds is attractive to employees, is of increasing importance to data centre operators. Attention has turned to inclusion of external views, internal and external green spaces and exercise facilities.

Recovery and reuse of waste energy

Increasing server densities and higher data hall temperatures allows the recovery of rejected energy from the servers. This coupled with the increasing adoption of district heat networks and colocation with facilities requiring heat, means that the data centre can be used as a thermal battery to provide low carbon energy, assisting in the fight against the climate emergency.

Our Services:

Hydrock’s ability to offer an integrated engineering approach means that we can guide the delivery of the data centre from feasibility through to handover. Our full range of services include:

  • Environmental Management
  • Civil & Structural Engineering
  • Building Performance Engineering
  • Geotechnics and Land Quality
  • Transport planning
  • Fire Safety Engineering
  • Smart Energy and Sustainability
  • Acoustics and Air Quality

Our track record

Park Royal, London/Site Capacity: 48MW
Outline design/Indirect Adiabatic Cooling/MEP & Utility Engineering

Iver, Buckinghamshire/ Site Capacity: 84MW
Outline design, planning submission report/Indirect Adiabatic Cooling/MEP, Utility Engineering & Sustainability

Croydon, London/Site Capacity: 150MW
Site feasibility study/Indirect Adiabatic Cooling/MEP & Utility Engineering

Croydon, London/Site Capacity: 100MW
Site feasibility study/Indirect Adiabatic Cooling/MEP & Utility Engineering

Iver, Buckinghamshire/ Site Capacity: 100MW
Site feasibility study /Indirect Adiabatic Cooling/MEP & Utility Engineering

Farnborough, Hampshire/ Site Capacity: 52MW
Site feasibility study /Indirect Adiabatic Cooling/MEP & Utility Engineering

Iver, Buckinghamshire/ Site Capacity: 27MW
Site feasibility study /Indirect Adiabatic Cooling/MEP & Utility Engineering

Windsor, Berkshire/ Site Capacity: 115MW
Site feasibility study /Indirect Adiabatic Cooling/MEP & Utility Engineering

Hemel Hempstead, Hertforshire/ Site Capacity: 50MW
Site feasibility study / Utility Engineering

Paris, France / Site capacity 40MW
Detailed design / Multi-disciplinary design/ Contractor side role

Surrey/ Site capacity 32MW
RIBA Stage 2 - 3 / Multi-disciplinary design

Park Royal, London / Site capacity 72MW
RIBA Stages 4B-5, MEP/Detailed Design for main contractor

Park Royal, London/Site Capacity: 50MW
Outline design/Planning Permission Support/ Utility Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transport Assessment/Framework Travel Plan/Outline Delivery and Logistics Plan/Outline Construction/ Logistics Plan/Air Quality Assessment/Noise Assessment/Daylight and Sunlight Assessment/ Archaeological Assessment/Built Heritage Statement/Fire Safety Statement/Outline Site Waste Management Plan/Lighting Strategy

Farnborough, Hampshire
Site investigation/Detailed Geotechnical Designs/Structural and Civil Engineering Designs incorporated a dynamic compaction approach to ground conditions allowing construction of a simple ground bearing foundation slab, providing significant cost savings with 6 data halls, each cooled by 1MW indirect air-cooling (IDAO) systems

Newport, Wales/Site Capacity: 40MW
Civil Engineering/Structural Engineering/Fire Safety Engineering/Acoustics Services. Housing ten data halls, the new £80m data centre will house ten data halls with a total capacity of 40MW, doubling the current capacity of the campus. The massive 25,500m² building will include the data halls, offices and backup generators, while the site-wide infrastructure design will include significant rainwater harvesting tanks and a 15m deep caisson, all designed to SuDS regulations in Wales.