London East Build Blog – Weeks 56 to 58

Another period of exciting change and development on-site at NLE, as we continue to move towards phase one completion and readiness for the first clients to enter Data Hall 1.

We’ve seen the most notable changes in cooling and electrical, with major physical advancements in both of these critical areas.


Weekly overview

This latest period of work most keenly focused on major adjustments to our roof, through the installation of seven custom exhaust cowls which form the atmospheric extraction loop for the evaporative cooling system in Data Hall 1.

Roof Cowls
Here we see six of the seven extraction roof cowls for Data Hall 1 installed on the roof of the building, over the cold corridor
Roof Cowls
Another view of the cowls from the roof, which allow for hot air to leave the building when not required as part of the recirculation loop
Roof Cowls
The view inside one of the cowls, which are the high velocity variant, given the amount of air each fan can move at full speed – visible here are the self-closing lids and the bird mesh
Roof Cowls
This is the view inside the cold corridor, looking directly up at the custom containment frame which holds the fans and custom blanks – more fans will be added as required for each hall
Roof Cowls
A wider view from inside – this view of the fans and frame will soon be hidden, as a sub-ceiling is to be installed here, to keep cold intake and hot extraction separated
Roof Cowls
A closer look at one of the extraction fans, with the fibre glass lids visible through the blades – we’re using Ziehl Abegg fans throughout, as deployed to great success at London Central (some of which have been spinning without any interruption since 2015!)
Loading Bays
Although we’ve already shown the newly completed loading dock setup in the warehouse, here is a wider view of the first floor assembly, to match that seen on the ground floor
Fire
Our new master building fire panel is now in place, ahead of final commissioning – this new system is considerably larger and more feature-rich than the system it’s replacing
Fire
A closer view of the new building fire panel, which interconnects with all detectors, beacons and sounders, along with the extinguishant panels and VESDA systems in each data hall / plant room
Plinths
Here we see our custom designed plinths being fitted and levelled in one of the LV electrical rooms, which will soon take our main switchgear
Plinths
A view of the main switchgear plinths in the A-side LV room, now levelled and with the floor refinished to the new edges
Plinths
This is a view across the A-side LV room, also showing the smaller plinths in place to house the UPS switchgear for this space
Plinths
This is the same view inside of the B-side LV room
Plinths
A wider view from the B-side LV room, showing the scale of the main switchboards (the B-side board is ~7 metres long!)
Risers
We’ve now begun preparing the main risers for cable ladder and other containment, which is set for installation next week ahead of flood cabling and commissioning the site throughout June
Boards
Here we see one of our custom designed cableway enclosures, sat atop one of the newly installed plinths – our custom Mardix transfer boards then sit on top of these enclosures, in each LV room and data hall
Boards
This is one of the custom transfer boards being pre-staged ahead of fitment to the plinth and cableway enclosure, as seen above
Boards
This is the transfer board for the B-side LV room in place and fully tied into the wall, ready for commissioning in due course
Boards
A closer view of the transfer board in the B-side LV room – the custom Netwise orange finish really pops against the monochrome technical space colour palette
Boards
The same board, but reflected in the A-side LV room

We’re very happy with progress over the past few weeks, as we march further into the final stage of deployment for phase one.

Much of the work this time around has been labour intensive and highly physical, resulting in massive adjustments to both the cooling and electrical sides of the project. This all sets up nicely for the building-wide under floor containment to be installed from next week, leading into a four week period of high-activity on-site as the facility is energised.

We’ve reached a relatively pivotal point in the project now, in that the dominoes we’ve been lining up throughout the last few weeks / months are now ready to be pushed, which will lead to massive change in the next four to six weeks. Ultimately, this next phase will take us through to onlining and commissioning, and put us in a position to bring the first client systems online, and launch the site as phase one (aka Data Hall 1) completes.


What else has been happening?

Aside to the usual build works, we’ve also been hard at work implementing wider improvements across our operation.

Our London Central facility enjoyed a deep clean last week, including a full re-coating of the anti-static floor in all technical spaces.

We upgraded our core routing fabric in Telehouse North, as we prepare to deploy additional capacity in Telehouse North 2 next month. This is something we’re very excited about, as we move into the newest building on the Telehouse Docklands campus for the first time. We’ll be upgrading our Harbour Exchange / LD8 and City Lifeline fabrics very soon.

Civil works have now begun on both our grid feeds and our main fibre incomers, with visible roadworks now underway in the area surrounding our new facility. We’re very excited to see these critical services edge ever-closer to the site, ready for connection and use.


What’s next?

In the next week or so, the energisation process begins. This will last around a month, taking us from the current state to having full and final energy pathways deployed within the facility. This includes the work in getting our new feeds from the grid to our building.

Netwise brings Zayo into brand new London East data centre

Netwise, London’s leading independent data centre operator, has today announced that international fibre infrastructure provider, Zayo Group, will be the first major Tier 1 carrier to officially connect into their new London East data centre (NLE), which is set for launch in mid-2021.

Netwise / Zayo

Zayo will provide diverse dark fibre routes into the new location, providing connections back to Netwise’s existing core nodes in Telehouse North and Equinix LD8.

With its central location in the East London data centre ecosystem, NLE will join the existing suite of major Telehouse and Global Switch campuses in the area, creating the best-connected data centre hotspot in the UK.

The new facility will extend capacity and diversity for Netwise, adding 13,000ft2 to their private data centre portfolio, joining the 11,000ft2 London Central site which opened in Bermondsey in 2016.

As well as providing customers with access to turnkey colocation and connectivity services, available across the Netwise data centre estate, clients will also have the option to lease dark fibre routes, allowing for the deployment of high capacity interconnection services for demanding applications. This will benefit Tier 2 carriers and managed service providers that need to interconnect active sites at over 100Gbps. The new connectivity service will be provided in addition to existing Layer 1, Layer 2 and blended transit services available at all on-net Netwise locations.

Netwise London East represents a new era of efficient, green data centre technology in the region, with a PUE design figure of just 1.05. This is an exceptionally low PUE for a colocation facility – particularly in London – delivered through the innovative application of latest-generation evaporative cooling systems. Similar to the existing London Central facility, the new site will be powered by 100% renewable energy sources.

“We’ve used Zayo to deliver high capacity links elsewhere on our network for quite some time, so this is a natural evolution of our growing relationship. The diverse route options provided by Zayo will enable the resilient interconnection of our new London East data centre with the rest of our core network,” said Matt Seaton, Senior Manager at Netwise. “We’re excited to see the positive impacts of this efficient, world-class facility benefit UK clients and beyond.”

“The newest collaboration with Netwise will enable Zayo to meet the growing demands for connectivity solutions in a major European hub,” said Yannick Leboyer, Chief Operating Officer, Europe at Zayo. “Our unique, low latency fibre network will provide high quality connections for service providers in the UK and across Europe.”

Hard hat tours of the new facility have now begun and can be requested by contacting enquiries@netwise.co.uk. The date of the official launch event is currently pending in consideration of pandemic restrictions, but is expected to happen in July 2021.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 52 to 55

A slightly later-than-planned update to the build blog this time around, thanks to time spent on more critical development works, as we head into a period of extended activity on-site at NLE.

The last four weeks have seen excellent progress across a varied range of areas, bringing a number of outstanding side-projects to a close, and solid advancements made on some of the remaining primary tasks.


Weekly overview

We’ll be keeping the update this week brief, so as to retain focus on real-world progress, however this post will serve as a general visual update to our readers, showing advancements across the various areas which have seen the most apparent change.

Front Gates
As seen at NLC, we’re blanking off the gate and turnstile sections of the front compound fencing, for added visuals and security – the turnstile sections are to follow
Checkerplate
The final outstanding checkerplate has now been installed, seen here in the ground floor level loading bay
Loading Bay Guard
Both the ground and first floor level loading bays have had checkerplate and bash protection installed, allowing the forklift to bump into the stops here for accurate, guess-free loading
Louvres
The intake louvres are now complete, pending their filter frames being installed in due course – here you can now see both top and bottom runs in place
Louvres
Here is an external view of the two intake louvre runs for Data Hall 1
Louvres
This is the continuation of the intake louvres beyond the first floor data hall fire escape route
Roof Sheets
This is our shipment of soaker sheets for the roof aperture profiles, which will take the extraction cowls
Roof Louvres
A view of some of our newly installed extraction cowls, as fitted to the roof of the cold corridor for Data Hall 1 – these will take warm exhaust air out to atmosphere when not required for recirculation, and are in this position to avoid any possible heat loops with the intake side of the primary cooling system
LV Plinths
Our LV rooms have preparations well underway to receive the main switchboards – the first part of this is preparing the open floor apertures for the incoming custom equipment plinths
LV Plinths
This is the main open trench for the primary switchgear in LV Room B – the custom plinths will sit inside this opening, with the floor finished to the front and back side of the frames
Boards
Here we see our custom PDU expansion boards which will affix to the bottom of our Mardix PDUs in the data halls, allowing for our circuit monitoring to be installed on each rack feed
Ceiling
We’ve now started installing the ceiling tiles, as overhead works on the fire detection and lighting systems reach their conclusion – this has really started to finish off each room, giving a better indication of the finished surfaces
Ceiling
Here we see the tiles installed in position above the eventual location of Pod 2, inside Data Hall 1

The most keen focus has been spent on the cooling system, in terms of the handling of air in and out of the building.

Beyond the visible updates as presented above, we’ve also been able to continue with underlying developmental plans for the remaining work phase, including aspects of power and connectivity.

Our fire contractors are now close to completion, which will be another major system milestone checked off very soon, as we march towards client deployment readiness.


What else has been happening?

It’s been a bumper start to Q2 here at Netwise, as we help a wide range of new and existing clients grow and deploy in our London Central facility. We’ve also started showing new prospects around London East as it moves nearer to completion, with a range of racks in the first pod now allocated to incoming clients.

We’re also close to pushing out a press release announcing our first major on-site carrier, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks.


What’s next?

Works are continuing on power, fire and connectivity. These are the main focus as we move towards the summer months, and to our forthcoming launch – watch this space for updates on when our first on-site events will be held.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 49 to 51

Things are really heating up now in terms of progress on-site at NLE, as we document another three weeks of work at our forthcoming data centre.

We’re almost at the one year mark in terms of when we first gained access to the new building, and despite some setbacks early on due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been extremely pleased with how quickly we’ve transformed the site from shell to data centre.

We’re not quite there yet, but we’re getting ever closer!


Weekly overview

The last three weeks have seen tremendous progress across a wide range of project areas. The most notable changes have centred around the physical adjustments to the rear of the facility, as the first set of louvred intake panels are cut into the exterior walls for Data Hall 1.

Speedgates
Our custom cable cover ramps have been installed as part of our client flow speed gates
Cooling
The coolers for Data Hall 1 now have their water supply and drains plumbed in
Cooling
The cooling controller for Data Hall 1 has now had its trunking installed, which connects through to the routes in the data hall itself
Fire Panels
The fire panels have started to have their containment installed, with cables now run in to them for future commissioning
Fire Panels
Here we see some more fire panel containment and cabling, along with the route being taken by our single run of MDPE pipework for the cooling supply
Fire Panels
The containment during installation inside Data Hall 1 for fire systems, including the main panels and VESDA system
Fire Panels
This shows a near-complete containment assembly for the VESDA system in Data Hall 2, which allows for multiple route options between equipment
Louvres
The first set of louvres being cut into the rear elevation of Data Hall 1’s cold corridor, with frames being installed
Louvres
The first set of louvres installed ahead of having their rear bag filter frames fitted – there will be a second run of these louvres installed underneath these, giving 28 external intake louvres per hall in total
Louvres
Another view of the first set of louvres installed for Data Hall 1
Louvres
An exterior view of the louvres as installed, ahead of the second run below this set, and some finishing flashings that will be install on completion
Louvres
The louvres for Data Hall 1 are split across the fire escape door
NOC
The black textured wall in the meeting room at the NLE NOC also doubles as a handy pin board, which is ideal for displaying various technical drawings during the build process
Pod 1
Pod 1 in Data Hall 1 is now fully assembled, with both automatic doors now installed and powered
Pod 1
A view across Data Hall 1, at the now fully assembled containment pod, housing the first 28 racks
Pod 1
We’ve carried over our use of APC hardware for all racking and containment, which will mean a familiar service presentation for clients with services in London Central, and elsewhere in our partner sites
Pod 1
A look at the contact-free entry and exit sensors for the shared Pod 1 colocation space, which can be opened even with hands full with equipment
Pod 1
Another view down the length of Pod 1 – you can just make out our custom rack unit blanks in the top quarter rack, which have our logomark on them

As we hope is self-evident, the visual and functional change on-site has been noteworthy, to say the least.

Big advances have been made in containment, which helps move the project along in many areas. Our fire contractors are now able to bring all systems together, and complete the VESDA and extinguishant panel integrations with the main building system.

Having Pod 1 reach point of completion from an assembly perspective is also a major project milestone, and gives a tangible focus point for any tours of the site ahead of it opening.


What’s next?

Next week we will reach 12 months on-site at NLE, although due to COVID-19 restrictions early on, we’re probably more like 9 months of true work into the project.

The next set of louvres will be installed in the next week or so, along with further works on various open projects. This all falls alongside larger project work, which will see broader stroke progress as the build continues towards full onlining in the next few months.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 47 and 48

We have another two weeks in the books on-site at London East, as things continue to develop as we head towards energisation.

The last couple of weeks have seen a good amount of change across a number of areas, including dramatic visual changes in Data Hall 1, and to the generator canopies.


Weekly overview

The containment system in Data Hall 1 has now been partially assembled, scheduled for completion next week. Most importantly, the two pod entry / exit doors have been installed, and had their electric opening and closing mechanisms setup.

Containment
Here we see one of the pod entry and exit doors partially assembled, with the cabling strung out for testing
Containment
This angle is from inside the pod, looking towards the front of the room, as the containment roof panels begin to find their place atop the rows of cabinets
Containment
A look at the rear of the racks, as the system continues to be assembled, including baying, roofing, cable trough installation etc
Containment
This view is of the second pod entry and exit door, found at the rear of the hall, as it is assembled
Containment
The front-side pod access door now fully assembled – it will receive vinyl signage similar to that found at London Central later in the project
Speedgates
The speed gates for access to the technical spaces at London East are now fully integrated and assembled, pending their walk plates (as seem temporarily placed here) and carpeting
Mountings
The first round of panel mountings have begun, with the fire alarm / extinguishant panel and cooling system control and status screen for Data Hall 1 shown here
Mountings
A closer look at the fire system panels, which are now in place for all data halls and LV rooms
Mountings
A closer look at the Weinview screen panel, which will show cooling status and master controls for Data Hall 1
Mountings
The data halls and LV rooms at East have latest-generation VESDA-E units installed, pending air sample pipe work installation shortly – the data hall models, as seen here, are the full visual output models
Mountings
Here we see the VESDA-E units as mounted in the LV rooms
Gens
The generator canopies have now been refinished in the same anthracite grey as found across this new site, pending ID vinyls in due course
Gens
The generators, alongside being fully commissioned from an electrical connection and control standpoint, will also have a final clearcoat applied in the next few weeks, and some removable security access panels fitting in the gaps between them (effectively zoning them off from the compound)
Extraction
These are the extraction cowls destined for installation on the roof, over the top of the rear cold corridors
Inlets
These are the various components that will make up the intake louvres, destined for installation on the rear face of the building, allowing our evaporative cooling plant to intake external air, through our forthcoming bag filter wall

The containment pods are extremely impressive in person, and will provide a dominant focal point for the first hall. The contact-free entry system, which makes use of a proximity sensor, is particularly impressive to see and use.

The walls – as seen above – have begun to see more tech installed upon them, in the form of various panel boards for various systems. These will have their feeds installed as the main electrical works are underway. In particular, the newest generation VESDA-E panels are very striking, and work much better with the colour pallet at East (compared to their previous generation white / white and green panels). It’s the little details that we really love, and which come together in making a truly beautiful facility.

We think that the refinished generator canopies are a real show-stopper. These sit in a rather dominant position in the front compound, and as such we wanted to ensure they remained in-keeping with the visual language of the site. They’ll be having their ID and branding vinyls applied soon, which again will add to their commanding presence.

The adjustments to the skin of the building are scheduled to begin in the coming two to three weeks, in line with the commissioning of the water supply and drainage to the evaporative coolers, which began this week.


What’s next?

The open set of works as seen above will be brought to a close, as the main electrical contractors begin. Works will continue across the board, most intently focusing on cooling and fire system works, which are now underway throughout the building.