LONDON2—One of the United Kingdom’s Most Energy-Efficient Data Centers

Tetra Tech's High Performance Buildings Group explains our innovative data center building design in the United Kingdom.

Two main aspects of any data center are efficiency and reliability. However, the key is to achieve a delicate balance between the two. Building from the ground up helped Tetra Tech achieve exactly that in LONDON2, a state-of-the-art data center for our United Kingdom client, VIRTUS.

The goal was to ensure resiliency, deliver cutting-edge energy efficiency, maximize the technical space, and provide the utmost in flexibility—LONDON2 delivers on all key aspects.

Using the latest generation of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) on-site, we separated the power for the mechanical load and the IT load, allowing the UPS to be run in different modes. This enabled the best balance to be achieved between the resiliency and efficiency required from the facility—each area has its own dedicated power supply as well as its own cooling plant.

The site was chosen, in part, for the aquifers below. To meet sustainable energy requirements, the project involved drilling a well to access available water for cooling.

As part of the planning process, we prepared a full energy statement to minimize carbon emissions and maximize energy efficiency, recommending a break from tradition in the cooling method used for data centers. The installation of indirect adiabatic cooling has shaped the whole development, while keeping the cooling plant outside the data hall has maximized the technical space available.

We chose industry-leading equipment suppliers for all the main data halls and the result is a design Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of less than 1.2, delivering high efficiency and high availability.

The site is designed to be modular, enabling expansion and the installation of equipment without interruptions to customers. The flexible nature at LONDON2 also allows ultra-high densities to be deployed. The hot arm containment arrangement and the 2 kilowatts per square meter low density can handle any scenario.

The result is described by the client as the "Goldilocks zone" where space, power, and connectivity come together to satisfy all requirements. Now the benchmark for new data center design, London2, enables customers to enjoy large-scale facilities, significant energy savings, and convenient access to their data.

Photos courtesy of VIRTUS