DLR – De President Data Centre

Design of new build data centre

Technical information

  • Project: Data centre
  • Location: De President Business Park, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Client: Digital Realty
  • Lead designer: studioNWA
  • Architect: studioNWA
  • Landscape architect: studioNWA
  • Project manager: Brysk
  • Quantity surveyor: Linesight
  • Environmental impact assessment consultant: Arup
  • Geotechnical engineer: Arup
  • Fire engineer: Arup
  • Lift engineer: Arup
  • BREEAM consultant: Arup
  • Acoustic engineer: Arup
  • Mechanical & electrical engineer: Arup
  • Civil/structural engineer: Arup
  • Security consultant: Guidepost Solutions Llc/Arup
  • Principal contractor: Mercury Engineering
  • Phase 1: Completed in 2017 it consisted of the PBB construction together with the electrical infrastructure and the fit out of 1 data hall.
  • Phase 2: Fit out of second phase including two data halls, completed in 2017.
  • Phase 3: Will be the fit out of the remaining 4 Data Halls.

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Client: Digital Realty
RIBA stage: 7 (2017)
Role: Lead Designer / Client Rep / Novated Architect
IT power: 11,520kW to 18,000kW
IT cooling: Indirect Air Cooling
IT area: 7,200m²
Total area: 15,600m²

In 2013, studioNWA was commissioned for the design of a new build data centre, comprising:

  • 6 technical halls on the ground floor, each with an IT load of 2MW, able to be upgraded to 3MW
  • Indirect air cooling system (IAC) to technical floors located on the roof
  • Electrical plant to the side of data halls, both on GF and on FF
  • Containerised generators in external compound
  • Tier III accredited facility
  • Hot aisle containment keeping a flexible approach to cooling options
  • Equipment to provide uninterrupted power supply
  • Air handling cooling to plant areas
  • Water mist sprinkler protection to technical floors
  • Delivery area with de-box and build room
  • Extensive let-able office accommodation including toilet facilities, breakout areas, parking and other amenities

The design

The new Amsterdam facility is one of the latest additions to Digital Realty’s large portfolio of data centres. This purpose-built data centre accommodates rentable space for in excess of 20,000m². The design was for a “state of the art” power, cooling and system redundancy facility, to offer maximum flexibility to tenants.

The facility hosts 6 data halls, of approximately 1,200m² each, with up to 3,000kW. Further 3,000m² of ancillary space, split between GF and FF, along with an external generator compound support the white space. Roof mounted Indirect air units provide the cooling, which is flooded into the technical rooms.

The De President Business state and the municipality imposed strict design requirements concerning the height and the relationship of the built form to the site boundaries.

This requirement for a building facade set on the public highway boundary, and with open fenestration facing the public domain, is not compatible with the requirements of a data centre. However, with the use of a false security wall on the pavement edge, and a separate office block with a glazed curved facade, the imposed design requirements were satisfied.

The building mass provides the functional requirements of a data centre. The use of varying cladding materials, from solid pre-cast concrete panels and composite colour coated metal panels, to full height glazing satisfies the need for security and the aesthetic for urban design.

The building mass

Along with the data hall, the brief required for the design of a high-end office suite, of approximately 2,260m². The proposal provides the office block, which is to human scale, with the ability to be transparent and open, planned as the main frontage facing the park’s open landscaping and large lake. The designed building aligns its facade to the curved boundary, with a ribbon of landscaped land in between, and consists of a two storey high glazed volume, which makes the most of the views to and from the building. The organic shape and interface with the site is reflected in the choice of colours and materials.

This block acts as a buffer between the public space and the data centre, which sits behind.

The De President data centre was designed using the latest BIM tools. The proposal was produced working closely with the structural, mechanical and electrical design engineers, the client and planners, and was developed in collaboration with the construction company to ensure the most efficient, accurate and timely effective building was delivered.

The development of Digital’s data centre on the De President’s site met with such positive results, that the adjoining site was acquired and studioNWA, with the design partners, was commissioned by Digital to procure a second 6 data hall building, following the successful design of the completed building.

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