HP Wynyard Data Center, England

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group designed a unique, energy-efficient air cooling system for the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Wynyard Data Center.


  • Size: 30,000 square meters (323,000 square feet)
  • Construction Cost: Confidential
  • Client/Owner: Electronic Data Systems (EDS), subsequently acquired by HP during project
  • Architect: Hyphen Architects
  • Contractor: JCT Construction Management
  • Project Manager: Bruce Shaw Partnership
  • Completion Date: 2009
  • Office: London

The HP Wynyard Data Center project consisted of converting an existing 30,000-square-meter (323,000-square-feet) warehouse building into a data center facility. This critical project was undertaken with an aim to radically depart from standard mechanical design practice to incorporate a passive cooling solution, supporting a state-of-the-art data center while maintaining quality and reliability.

Tetra Tech developed a ground-breaking, pressure-free cooling solution. The design makes extensive use of cool fresh air instead of the customary refrigeration infrastructure to keep the servers housed in the data center cool. By maintaining a low ambient temperature, the servers can operate faster and more energy efficiently, improving the performance and saving on cost for the client. The system benefits from the low external ambient temperatures—prevalent in the local climate for much of the year—with supplementary cooling taking place during peak ambient conditions.

The use of direct air cooling requires large volumes of air at low velocity into and out of the data halls. To facilitate this, the design for the data halls incorporated a new raised structural floor with the air plenum, forming a key part of the mechanical design, housed beneath. The ventilation system delivers the supply air into the undercroft supply plenum. The design allows for 100 percent of this air flow to be drawn from external fresh air with the capability of mixing warm return air, cooling and dehumidifying to create the required supply-air condition. By using this system, it is estimated that HP will save up to AUD$4.16 million in power annually.

The electrical system was designed to be modifiable as technology advances and server racks are upgraded. This includes visible, color-coded cable trays that allow the electrical design to be adjusted easily, without the need to trace every cable back to its source.