London East Build Blog – Weeks 11 and 12

A short-and-sweet instalment of the build blog this time around, as the real meaty content starts in anger from next week.

It’s been another fortnight of completion and tidy-up works across a number of areas at London East. This will be the final post of what has effectively been a prelude to the main build blog content, which will begin on Monday – the envelope installation process.

Weekly overview

We’ve spent time this past fortnight across a number of areas, to bring open tasks to their conclusion ahead of the main envelope installation. We’ve also spent time away from the NLE project, with ongoing maintenance and improvement works at NLC, and the finalisation of our new core node deployment at CLL.

Mezz 1
A look at the finished lifting edge, now nosed in checkerplate, and pending the fitment of a protective mesh backing
Mezz 2
Another look at the protective nosing now fitted to the storage mezzanine lift aperture
Mezz 3
Contrasting top step nosing fitted to storage mezzanine staircase
Go Pro
We’ve now setup our permanent timelapse Go Pro rig to document the main mezzanine and containment envelope installation

As you can see, we’re fairly light on fresh visual content for NLE this time around, both in part due to the nature of the work, and also due to time spent on other projects in the past couple of weeks. This will all change in a very big way next time around, which we’re all very excited about.

What’s else has been happening?

In other news, much time has been spent back at NLC this past two weeks, across a number of areas. The bulk of the time has been spent finalising plans for the primary construction work to begin at pace next week; logistics mainly.

We’ve also completed other works outstanding at NLC, and finalised the commissioning of our new POP at CLL.

NLC Checkerplate
A view of the end-wall checkerplate installed to the rear of Row A, in Data Hall 1 at NLC
A view of our new core rack in CLL, containing the routing and MUX infrastructure for this location
A look at the top half of the core rack, showing a compressed version of our Supernode setup in THN, and still pending installation of the MUX hardware for all route options
A look at the containment pod we now occupy at CLL, which now also contains client systems delivered with on-net services
Our custom flight cases enjoyed an outing throughout this process

Busy times indeed for the team at Netwise, as we maintain ongoing growth and expansion like this across our estate, as works continue at NLE.

What’s next?

Next time around, we’ll be reporting back on progress of the main envelope build. We have two teams coming in from Sweden to undertake the first phase of the envelope, which will be the large mezzanine structure destined to contain all of the technical spaces in the new facility.

A look at the ground floor data halls, with racks positioned temporarily for scale, pending final containment pod layouts, which are highly adaptable / flexible
Another look at the ground floor data halls, with racks positioned temporarily for scale, pending final containment pod layouts, which are highly adaptable / flexible

We’re very excited! We hope you’ll share in the next few months of the build with us, which will be the most transformative of the entire process.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 9 and 10

Another two weeks of work are now in the books on-site at NLE. We’re now just two weeks away from the main mezzanine going in, which will house the technical side of the facility, including all four data halls.

This most recent fortnight of work has seen some of the open jobs complete – or at least reach near-completion – as we look to totally sign-off all preparation works before the large envelope construction begins.

Weekly overview

Focus remained on preparing our new loading bay and warehouse area on-site at NLE this past couple of weeks, along with time spent back at NLC completing some other necessary works and actions.

Our new loading bay, warehouse and workshop area is now complete (though still pending a final photo of the mezzanine end-capping in the final grey finish), which ties in with the visual language of the workshop and loading bay area at NLC.

We’ve also taken delivery of some more interesting items, including the turnstile for NLE, another forklift to join our growing fleet, and some of the main components of the UPS for NLE phase one.

We’re also able to share with you some new design drawings, which show the forthcoming mezzanine installation for the envelope portion of the build – an exciting look behind the scenes.

Warehouse 1
Hung ceiling being installed to the underside of the storage mezzanine
Warehouse 2
Detailed finishes being installed to the staircase hand rail
Warehouse 3
A look at the detailed finishes to the top of the storage mezzanine staircase
Warehouse 4
Custom-built access gate for lifting pallets up to the top level of the mezzanine
Warehouse 5
A look from the loading bay up to the custom pallet access gate
Warehouse 6
LED lighting being installed to the underside of the storage mezzanine, for illuminating the workshop area
Warehouse 8
A wide view of the storage mezzanine from across the open space, showing progress on the shelving, workshop area and custom end-capping (final photo coming next time!)
A look at the newly delivered turnstiles, to match the one found at the main entrance of NLC
Office 1
The NOC workstations coming together, clearly showing the visual language of Netwise
Office 2
A look across the NOC, as workstations are onlined
Office 3
The 4K TV for the meeting room has arrived, which has helped with on-site meetings – pending sideboard installation to match NLC

What we hope comes across most clearly from photos of non-technical works is the extreme level of quality and attention to detail we’re carrying over to NLE. It’s a large part of what NLC is known for, and something we’re extremely proud to carry through to every aspect of our operation.

What’s else has been happening?

We’ve bought another new forklift!

Another forklift joins the Netwise fleet

Meet Linde V2. She’s been delivered to NLC to assist with the movement of some heavy equipment, including 17 tons of UPS and batteries which have now been shipped across Europe.

She will be heading over to join Linde V1 at NLE in the coming weeks.

We’ve also started installing some new checkerplate at NLC. The entry door to Data Hall 1 has been clad on both sides, with more to be installed inside the data hall in the coming two weeks.

Build Room CP 1
The Build Room side of the DH1 door, now clad in custom-cut checkerplate
Build Room CP 2
The Data Hall side of the door, clad in checkerplate to match

We’ll provide updates on the data hall installation of the same checkerplate as it goes in.

Envelope mezzanine design

We’re working with a number of design and build contractors for the steel work, along with a private building services coordinator, for getting our in-house designs realised – both initially in 3D, and in later in reality.

Here are a few early-stage output renders of the main mezzanine, showing the access staircase and open atrium that will also house the lift shaft.

Next time around, we’ll show you more of the containment for the data halls, as they’re coordinated into our master drawings.

Mezz 1
A look at the main mezzanine structure, including access
Mezz 2
Another look at the main mezzanine structure, including access
Mezz 3
Another look at the main mezzanine structure, including access

We’ll be providing further insight into the design side of the build project over the coming weeks, as more of our area and system designs are coordinated into the master drawings.

What’s next?

In short, another fortnight of preparation works.

From 6th July, the main envelope works will begin in earnest, likely to take around two months to fully complete. While our contractors undertake this work, we will also be bolstering the perimeter compound fencing, to match the security standards found at NLC.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 7 and 8

Another busy couple of weeks are now concluded on-site at NLE, as we reach the end of month two. Phase one is certainly coming along nicely.

Weekly overview

Given where we’re up to with regards to the full build timeline, we continue to predominantly push ahead with supporting works on-site, with the main envelope set for installation in early July.

We’re also still very hard at work behind the scenes, pulling together all final adjustments to the many plans and schematics that make up the entire project. This will of course continue throughout the project, however with many of the larger components of the construction phase now at a critical ‘bake-in’ point, this is of keen importance at the moment.

In terms of visible changes on-site, focus has been on the storage mezzanine and racking in the loading bay / warehouse, closing stage works in the NOC, and the NOC kitchenette. Alongside this, there have also been further integrations on security and core systems.

Floor Tile Swatches
Final review of raised floor tile sample swatches
Mezz 1
A look at the main structure of the small storage mezzanine as it reaches completion
Mezz 2
A closer look at the storage mezzanine staircase, ahead of final cut-down on hand rails
Mezz 3
Test-fitting the new finished floor on the storage mezzanine
Mezz 4
Storage mezzanine finished flooring surface cut in and nearing completion
Mezz 6
Spacing test of new heavy-duty storage racking
Mezz 7
Further spacing test of new heavy-duty storage racking
Custom CCTV mounting brackets for additional external PTZ cameras
Additional PTZ cameras have been flown on the exterior of the building and integrated into our NOC
Logo Signage
Matching company brand now flown in the NOC to match NLC
Logo Signage Lights
Kreon lighting installed for washing our logo, to match the setup at NLC
Kitchenette 1
Splash-back installed in NOC kitchenette
Kitchenette 2
Kitchenette installation complete for NOC area, with Jura coffee machine to match NLC

We’re very happy with the continued progress at NLE. While we are naturally most excited for the heavy works to begin, which is where the ‘data centre’ elements will really begin to show, we’re still very glad to see such fantastic progress this early on.

What’s else has been happening?

Our new core POP in CLL is now almost completely deployed. All Layer 1 links for this location are now connected, with the final onlining of our routing layer to complete next week.

The new CLL MUX infrastructure is now in place across all inter-connected POPs
We’ve already begun populating waves for clients and on-net services at this new location

We’ve also nearly completed our large deployment in Frankfurt, with most carriers now online, servicing the nodes installed for use there. This has been a large and complex project, so our team will be very happy to see this reach total completion.

What’s next?

We will continue to push ahead with the final stages of preliminary works, ahead of the main envelope installation now scheduled for July. The next 3 to 4 weeks will provide an excellent on-ramp to this next phase, as various smaller tasks reach completion.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 5 and 6

Focus over the last two weeks has generally centred around finalising any preparation works ahead of the main envelope installation. This is now booked in following a number of final on-site meetings in week six, which saw the last survey completed, with production on the steel work now underway.

Weekly overview

The main areas of change seen since the last update have centred around the installation of our warehouse-side storage mezzanine, our NOC kitchenette, along with various smaller tasks and behind the scenes work to enable heavy construction to begin in the coming weeks.

Our warehouse mezzanine will enable far more effective use of our on-site loading bay area, providing masses of secure storage for spares and client deliveries. We make great use of the loading bay area at London Central, which is something we will be carrying through to all future Netwise facilities.

The new kitchenette is situated at the entrance to the office / NOC, provided for our on-site engineers, and anyone else working at this site during normal operation. We’ve already decked out this new space with another top-spec Jura coffee machine to match NLC – something our current engineering team very much enjoy! This will be the first of two new kitchenette areas installed at NLE, the second of which will be found inside the large customer break-out area.

The NOC itself has also seen some minor evolution, with the first row of engineer desks now sited in their final position, including all workstation hardware, and some colour-matched upstands to protect our new grey NOC screen wall.

Triple Screens
We’ve carried over our triple-screen workstation setup for all NLE engineers
The first row of desks are now in place, and setup ready for use – the ‘Netwise’ visual language found at our facilities can now be clearly seen here
Logo Vinyl Wrap
Ever-sticklers for detail, the main branded sign for the NOC area is being colour-matched with custom vinyl here
Kitchenette Wall Cabinets
While this may look like a simple wall cabinet installation, this is fully custom, to ensure the perfect fit to this space
Kitchenette Floor Cabinets
A look at the floor cabinets and flooring, ahead of sink and appliance installation
Mezz Delivery
Our warehouse-side mezzanine system being delivered to site
Pallet Racking
Our new heavy-duty pallet racking system, delivered to site ready for install both underneath and on top of the warehouse mezzanine
High Level Works
Some final high-level works being finalised ahead of the warehouse mezzanine being installed in this area – the power distribution here will be removed in due course
Mezz 1
The first steel section of the warehouse mezzanine erected, with a little help from Linde!
Mezz 2
The main steel frame of the warehouse mezzanine coming together
Mezz 3
A look at the mezzanine staircase being installed, complete with colour matched paintwork, identical to that used on the main warehouse frame during our first phase refurbishment
Mezz 4
A look at the highly-accurate cuts as we reach completion on the top deck
NLC Shutters
NLC received some TLC this week also, with some custom skylight bay shutters, welcomed by our NOC engineers during the summer!

As you can see, updates are still very much focused on pre-technical. We’re hoping to have some more technically-focused updates for you in the coming weeks, which are naturally of most interest to our readers.

Within the next two to four weeks, we’re hoping to have fully completed all pre-technical works, which will enable the main envelope to be installed, while our engineers continue with supplementary operations. Beyond this, we will begin populating spaces with the main technical components, which is where the real fun begins!

What’s else has been happening?

Aside from business as usual, helping various new and existing clients with deployments and expansion inside our facilities, we’ve also been hard at work on other specialist projects.

Our large deployment in Frankfurt completes this month, along with a specialist deployment in Kuwait. We’re very excited to bring these locations online, following a long deployment schedule due to the current state of play.

We’ll also be rolling out our new core POP in CLL this quarter, adding to our ever-growing metro network. This will be another exciting milestone, with a range of clients already lined up to co-POP this space with us.

Our new van is also here, but we’re keeping that one close to our chest for now – it’s going to look rather special once all additions have been fitted!

What’s next?

The next couple of weeks are going to provide ample time to complete any outstanding tasks ahead of the main mezzanine and associated envelope installation. These include small tasks, such as additional security integrations and work inside the NOC, along with larger tasks like the perimeter compound fencing and turnstile.

We certainly have another transformative few weeks ahead of us!

London East Build Blog – Weeks 3 and 4

As the end of the first month rolls around, we’ve seen further developments in the front-side of the building as we finalise the office, NOC and on-site meeting room.

We’re now also very close to beginning works on the main envelope, including the mezzanine, internal walls and doors, raised floors and hung ceilings.

Weekly overview

This week has seen the NOC space really take shape, adding in some of the final touches that tie-in with the visual language found at London Central. This includes the signature grey NOC screen wall, that has been carefully colour-matched to the doors within the facility.

Matching internal NOC signage has also been installed this week, with our main brand and associated focus lighting to follow soon.

We’ve now taken delivery of our goods lift, which will sit centrally in the main space of the building, and provide easy access to the first-floor data halls with any large, heavy equipment. This method of access will stand alongside standard stair access, as well as forklift access for the movement of any large materials; vital for successfully deploying a modular fit-out.

Excitingly, we’ve also taken delivery of our new forklift! This is the second forklift we’ve owned in our build project history, the first helping us through the London Central build before being sold on. This one will be staying with us as part of the split-level warehousing and loading bay integrated into the NLE design.

While we’re still acutely aware of how early into the project we are at this stage, we’re nevertheless incredibly pleased with how quickly the space has become identifiable as a Netwise facility.

Window Vinyl
All ground floor windows have been privacy screened to match NLC
Window Vinyl
A look at the privacy etch-style vinyl on ground floor windows
Window Vinyl
Another look at the privacy etch-style vinyl in reception
Window Vinyl
Completed reception privacy vinyls
Our self-tracking PTZ cameras now flown outside the facility, with remote monitoring from the NOC at NLC
NOC Wall
Our signature grey NOC wall, with the first TV being test-mounted
NOC Wall
Test mounting more of the NOC screens, with HDMI delivered over the structured cabling
NOC Wall
The NOC signage template in place, ahead of affixing characters
NOC Wall
A closer look at the brushed stand-off lettering, to match what we have at NLC
NOC Wall
The completed NOC screen wall
NOC Wall
Another look at the completed NOC screen wall
Meeting Room
The on-site meeting room laid out, carrying over our visual motif
Our new forklift arriving at NLE
Our new forklift will be instrumental in the construction of NLE

As with the last instalment of the Build Blog, while we await the full commencement of the internal envelope for the data halls, we’re primarily progressing with front-of-house works, and behind the scenes planning for the rest of the project.

Aside to what’s been snapped above, we’ve also been undertaking early preparation works for the installation of our lift.

There’s also been considerable activity on the network side of things. NLE has now been fully deployed on our metro network, utilising the initial 10Gbps link which will take us through to commissioning. We’ve deployed a high-availability Cisco stack on-site to handle all internal operations, and link back to our core Supernode in Telehouse North.

What’s next?

The next couple of weeks will see progress across a number of key areas, while the envelope is finalised, allowing heavy works to begin very soon.

Further security system integration will be happening next week, along with the roll out of our new compound fencing. We’ll also begin work on the lift shaft, to be in place prior to the main envelope enclosing it in due course.