London East Build Blog – Weeks 40 to 44

Visual updates have been somewhat limited throughout January, hence the delayed publishing of this five week instalment of the Build Blog.

The bulk of time and effort on-site is still being spent on end-out plans, and getting the energisation works underway. Alongside this, we’ve also been carrying out supplementary works in a number of areas, to keep things progressing while time is spent on final stage plans.

Weekly overview

In terms of physical on-site work, we’ve been keeping tempo with a range of works across a number of areas, all of which have helped to keep visual progress steady (but comparatively limited) while the next phase is executed behind the scenes.

Because visual change is somewhat limited at the moment, we have a lesser number of photos available in this instalment, however they do show various changes and arrivals throughout the site.

Some of our switchgear and electrical distribution infrastructure has started arriving on-site, destined for LV rooms and data halls – our primary LV boards are still being manufactured, and will be with us soon
Here we see one of our Mardix intelligent distribution boards, this variant being for M&E equipment with integrated ATS, freestanding for test placement in Data Hall 1
This variant is for rack level distribution – we have sixteen of these boards with us, to support all four data halls in due course – these will stand atop custom power monitoring enclosures
One of our new Ortronics ODFs, which will handle fibre distribution at NLE
Another two ODFs can be seen here, awaiting installation and commissioning, which will come later in the final end-out stage
The ground floor lighting has progressed, with the overhead cabling seen coming together here in Data Hall 4 – the left side shows an area which has been loomed, moving towards the right, which is being held apart until it’s ready to be bundled, in order
The ground floor access corridor with completed checker plate, to match the first floor – checker plating for phase one is now very nearly complete
A view of the turnstile frame now in place, pending final completion, which has been slightly delayed thanks to the very visible snow
Again snow-related, preparative works on the roof have been postponed due to the visible weather – access for this initial preparation work is via our scaffold tower, as seen here
A small addition, however all internal door systems have now had their door stops fitted, to prevent over-opening and damage to doors and/or walls
The first KVM / crash cart is now on-site ready for client use in Data Hall 1 – this is an Ergotron model, which we’ll be deploying across the board here at NLE, along with their monitor mounting systems in the build room

The ground floor areas that were due checker plate cladding as part of the phase one roll-out have now had all areas completed, aside from a couple of missing sheets; we’re now waiting on additional material to arrive with us. This will also allow for checker plating and associated bash protection to be installed in the loading bay, where equipment will be lifted to each level loading dock for both the ground and first floors.

The ground floor has also had its final lighting systems cabled and energised, meaning that all site lighting can now be removed – a great milestone in terms of this becoming a self-supported utility it its final guise.

The main front-of-building turnstile came back to us late last year, having been to our powder coaters to ensure a match with the existing system at London Central. This was installed towards the end of 2020, however has yet to have its internals fitted to the overhead containment tray. This will be done when weather permits, given the current snowy state of the UK earlier this week!

Some of our new electrical boards have started arriving on-site. These are largely our new Mardix units, which have been built in a number of varieties depending on the end use case, and delivered in our signature orange. These really pop against the otherwise monochrome data halls, turning out just as we had planned. The larger of the two orange board types each hold a self-contained ATS to allow for dual incoming feeds for all critical M&E equipment.

Most of the VESDA equipment is now on-site, aside from the red pipework that will be installed to collect the air samples. This forms part of the final fire protection plans, which are being completed in the next couple of weeks.

You can also see that our comms panels (ODFs) from Ortronics have arrived, which will be used to handle and distribute fibre from each A and B core. These will be installed as part of the network roll-out at London East, which is set to begin later in this final stage of works.

We’ve also had a team up on the main roof this week, however things were postponed slightly due to adverse weather. Despite there being no issues with the roof, we’re electing to have the roof resealed for our own peace of mind; something we did at London Central also. This will lead onto roof and skin adjustments for apertures in due course, both for personnel access and our cooling system.

What else has been happening?

The bulk of progress in January has definitely fallen into the ‘else’ category when it comes to the Build Blog, as the vast majority of time continues to be spent on desk work, bringing together the final elements that will enable client services to go live at NLE.

Those elements include LV and HV electrical, which form the bulk of the end-out process. The transformer equipment and the generators fall into this work category, which were ordered this week. We’re very excited to share the delivery of these items as they begin to land with us!

We’ve also finalised plans for everything on the fire protection side of the project, which will be installed concurrently with the main power systems.

Excitingly, we’re also having some really interesting conversations with organisations interested in taking space from day one. These range from simple DR services to support primary systems elsewhere, through to full private pods, custom designed to requirement.

What’s next?

We have a very large shipment arriving with us soon, holding all of the containment for the first pod of racks in Data Hall 1 – this is something we’ve been excited to receive for some time, and equally something we’re very excited to share with you here.