London East Build Blog – Weeks 63 to 65

Vast changes again this time, as the electrical works push on at pace both inside and outside of the new facility.

While visually the site now appears a little less finished than before, with masses of flooring taken up to accommodate the newly installed containment and cabling, from a more wholistic view point, things are pushing forwards in a big way at the moment.


Weekly overview

The pace of work and progress on-site has certainly been turned up a gear, as multiple trades now work together on various aspects of the facility’s power systems, alongside work on other related areas to maintain solid progression throughout.

We have a lot of photos to present this time around, so rather than spending too much time on the introduction, we’ll let them do the talking.

LV Boards
Our LV boards have arrived with us, split across two deliveries due to their size
LV Boards
This first batch of boards shown here are destined for LV Room A
LV Boards
We were able to swing the boards right into the loading bay, ready for pre-staging ahead of them being rolled into their final position on their respective plinths
LV Boards
The first couple of sections of the board now coupled together in LV Room A
LV Boards
Here we can see into the gland plate enclosures, where the large armoured cables will soon enter the boards to feed the various breakers seen in the chambers above
LV Boards
Here is another view of LV Room A, with the UPS Boards now also in their final places opposite the main board
LV Boards
The size of these boards makes taking a photo of them tricky – getting them all in view is nearly impossible – a wide angle lens in on our shopping list!
LV Boards
A view from the door of LV Room A, looking towards the boards now full situated, coupled, levelled and locked off
Containment
This is the view down one of the risers, as the containment between floors begins to take shape, and specialist containment for fire cable routes is run in
Containment
A look at some of the containment in place to hold the ladder work under the floor
Containment
Here we see the floor starting to go back down in Data Hall 1, now that the whips are in place – more on that further down in this post
Containment
Another view of the floor back in place at the rear of Row A in Pod 1, with only the termination at the PDU end to go
Containment
Lots of inter-room pathways have been made for cable routes in the past few weeks
Containment
The largest cables will be cleated to the ground, with slotted channel now fixed to the ground along these routes to accommodate this
Containment
Here we see the slotted channel in place under the floor in the LV Rooms
Containment
The main containment runs out to the generators are also starting to take shape
Exterior
Further progress has also been made outside the building, with the trenches dug for the ducting that will carry our HV feeds into our demise
Exterior
The main run of trench to take the ductwork out to the roadside
Exterior
Here’s a look at the poured transformer base, with the shutter forming fully removed
Exterior
A look at some of the machinery on-site to undertake the ground work
Exterior
The trench continues to the road, with steel plates in place to bridge the gap for access while the top remains open
Cabling
Here we see some of the smaller drums of earth cabling for this phase of the project arriving to site
Cabling
Here’s one of the larger drums of earth cable, clocking in at around 750kg
Cabling
Some more of the earth cabling in storage, along with a large quantity of the ladder to be installed around the facility
Cabling
A sizable delivery of the larger armoured cabling that will run between the LV rooms, and to the Data Halls
Cabling
Some of these drums are around 2 metres in diameter, with the delivery clocking in at circa eight tonnes
Cabling
Some more of the drums inside, awaiting their time to land on the large 10 tonne axels we have for pulling them in – each single length of cable can weigh as much as 300kg, and needs to be pulled in using special rollers
Cabling
A view of the cabling as it is laid under the floor, between the LV Rooms
Cabling
Much of the floor has come up to allow for the cabling to be routed, along with the temporary removal of the UPS boards
Cabling
The cabling has been partly stripped here, and installed into the gland plate ready for eventual termination
Cabling
This view shows the cables starting to be cleated together, which run the width of the building between the two LV Rooms – there are 15 more cables to join this first three
Cabling
The first set of cables reaching LV Room B, which will interlink the two boards
Cabling
This view further shows some of the underfloor containment, which is multi-layered in the LV Rooms (top layer removed here)
Cabling
This is a view of the now completed cabinet-side whip cabling in Data Hall 1, which will feed each of the racks with diverse power
Cabling
This room alone has eaten up over 2km of cabling, with well over 3,000 ties holding it all down to the tray
Cabling
Data Hall 1 has been flood cabled with feeds for all eventual rack locations, including the currently vacant spots for Pod 2
Cabling
Diverse cable routes always take pathways which reduce cross-over, in this instance only happening once, where A and B feeds need to move past each other as each pod is cross-fed – a cable bridge has been installed to handle this
Cabling
As always, the devil is in the detail, and we’re very pleased with how the underfloor cabling has come together in Data Hall 1
Cabling
A view down the length of Row B, with all commando sockets in place, and earth bonding for both the racks and the raised floor visible
Cabling
The A and B feeds to each rack only converge at the rack itself, otherwise maintaining fully separated routes throughout
Cabling
Keeping routes so strictly diverse in this way requires far more cabling and containment, which comes with a great deal of additional cost and labour, however it is vital for true client-facing A/B redundancy

As you can see, it’s been a busy few weeks on-site here at NLE.

Things are certainly ramping up as we move into the closing stages of the opening phase of the project, which will allow our first clients to install kit into Data Hall 1.

It’s certainly a rather intense time to be a part of the NLE project, as multiple trades push on with various aspects of the build in tandem, ultimately taking us towards the finish line at pace, and in line with expectations on our phase one launch.


What’s next?

For the time being, much of the same. Progress will continue on electrical over the coming weeks, and we will also be pushing ahead with other areas, including the various cooling systems throughout the facility.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 59 to 62

We have a very exciting instalment of the build blog this time around, as we see masses of containment and cabling begin to roll into position at London East, along with civil works for our HV mains incomers.

This is another major turning point in the development of the new facility, as we head ever closer to energising the site ready for client deployments.


Weekly overview

Massive change has begun in earnest this week, as masses of under floor containment begins to flow into Data Hall 1. This has been flood cabled, and the installation team will then move onto the main containment runs which allow for cabling between the upstairs data halls and the downstairs LV rooms.

We’ve also got major civils happening both on-site and in the local area, as our incomers make their way to us, along with our first dark fibre links.

Containment
The underfloor containment for the commando whips being installed in Data Hall 1
Containment
A closer look at the containment runs which flank Pod 1 in Data Hall 1
Containment
This containment will carry the A and B feed whips from each side of the in-room power distribution units, along with some supplementary supplies for M&E equipment
Containment
A view across Data Hall 1, from the eventual position of Pod 2, looking at Pod 1 as it floats above the containment being installed underneath
Containment
Here we see the containment being installed around the central supporting platform for Pod 2, or whichever additional pod layouts are required in Data Hall 1
Containment
Containment beyond Data Hall 1 spans the entire building, including the risers, one of which is pictured here with preparative works underway for cable ladder installation
Electrical
The electrical boards have been installed on their custom plinths in Data Hall 1, on both A and B sides – the A side boards are pictured here, along with the M&E board which has an integral ATS to handle twin incomers from the LV rooms
Electrical
A closer look at the underside of the A-side boards, with the cable entry and exit pathway for A incomers and A-side whips
Electrical
These are the B-side power distribution units, which are installed on the opposite side of Data Hall 1
Electrical
While Data Hall 2 will likely remain as empty white space for a little while, we’re pre-installing the electrical infrastructure, including the in-room PDUs as seen here
Electrical
The plinths and bases are installed on the other side of Data Hall 2 here, with the PDUs being prepared for installation atop these shortly
Electrical
The Data Hall 2 PDUs being prepared ahead of installation on the associated plinths and expansion enclosures
Electrical
The first drum of cable on axle stands in Data Hall 1 for commando whips – this is the first run of over 2km of power cabling for this room alone
Electrical
The first rack commando feeds being loose laid onto the basket
Electrical
Some of the whips, because of the careful consideration of runs to avoid parallel runs and cross-over, are extremely long, and as such our corridors have proven helpful for preparation ahead of pulling in
HV Roadworks
Our HV supply is making its way to us from the relevant substations, with a view of the route works on the surrounding roads on the trading estate
HV Roadworks
Another view of the road works, which have spanned the entire length of Cody Road for delivery to us
HV Roadworks
The works have required careful closure control across considerable distances, as have the civil works for our fibre routes
LV
Our LV rooms are prepped and ready for the boards to arrive, which are landing with us early next week – an exciting milestone
Trades Canteen
Data Hall 4 has been doubling up as a trades canteen and plans overview space while various contractors are on-site
Transformer
The first of the ground works equipment arriving on-site, ready to begin digging in our transformer base
Transformer
During the dig, we had a daily collection of outcoming ground materials to keep the working area clear
Transformer
The shutter forms in place for the pour of the highly complex, reinforced transformer base
Transformer
The pour of the base will be undertaken early next week, ahead of the transformer enclosure arriving shortly thereafter
VESDA
Additional works have been underway in other areas, including final containment runs for the LV room VESDA and fire systems – these continue on into the risers, which are having twin-run trunking installed to handle all fire systems in these rooms
VESDA
The steel conduit bending station as setup in Data Hall 4, which has allowed for the smooth bend radius forming of conduit which needs to change directions

As you can see, things are changing rapidly now that the main electrical works are underway. Next week, we’re expecting to see completion on the in-room work for Data Hall 1, meaning containment works will begin in the LV rooms, and all of the runs in between.

We’re now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the large LV switchboards, which will be an exciting development for us. It’s a part of the project that we’ve been excited to see take shape, and an area of enormous financial investment.

While the base of the transformer may appear to be a somewhat simple hole in the ground, and a straightforward concrete pour, in reality it’s anything but. The internal rebar structure has been welded on-site, and is bonded directly to very deep earthing rods to ensure safety during operation.

Once Data Hall 1 is phase one complete on commando cabling, our team will move in to complete some additional items, including M&E feeds for cooling, VESDA pipework, ODF installation for network and fibre, and other related containment and cabling pieces.


What else has been happening?

We’ve extended our reach in Telehouse through to North 2.

As part of a private client deployment, we’ve rolled out two new racks in North 2, and as part of this we’ve now got diverse 10Gbps feeds from our network delivered into the building, from our Supernode in North, and our core node in HEX / LD8.

We’re excited to see our network continue to grow, reaching new facilities as our transit proposition helps business grow their presence online.


What’s next?

We’ve really just got lots of the same coming up; containment and cabling for the most part, throughout the facility, as we head towards energisation.

This will include works on the HV and transformer side, and will lead onto various M&E works including cooling power, data, control, and further leading on from that, VESDA air sample pipework.

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.