Further impressive progress to report on finalising the envelope this time around, as we prepare for the final stages of this phase, taking us to the end of our first six months on-site at NLE.
Week 26 marks exactly half a year on-site at London East. This is quite the milestone, and while we did encounter several minor delays at the beginning of the project (thanks to the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic), we’re enormously proud of what’s been achieved in that time.
Much of the first seven or eight weeks were spent undertaking small-scale works in the office to prepare it for housing our management team when on-site at NLE. So realistically, it’s fairer to say that the broader strokes of the project have only been in effect for four solid months, which makes progress – in our eyes at least – all the more impressive.
We’ve had the envelope trades on-site over the past two weeks to continue progress, taking things to the point of readiness for our raised access floors to be installed. The materials for this phase have begun to land with us from our manufacturers in South Africa, the first container of which is seen arriving below.
As you can see, we’re now tantalisingly close to having our completed internal shell handed over to us. We just have the raised access flooring left to go at this point, along with the doors and some final checkerplate wall protection that will follow later down the line.
Having the shell completed will allow for the next phase of the project to begin, that being containment and electrical. While this is underway, we will also be orchestrating the installation of our evaporative cooling system into Data Hall 1.
One of the most exciting points of the project we’ve reached so far is the placement of our first machine plinths, which will hold our cooling system; both the primary evaporative and secondary / supplementary air conditioning units. These are the first pieces of equipment to be placed in their final positions on-site, and while we’re still a fair way off seeing any actual air be pushed through them to live client equipment, we’re very happy to see them sat in place none-the-less!
Next up, the raised access floor will be installed. This will bring the internal shell to a point of completion that allows for the next major phase of the project to begin.
We’ll also be undertaking another deep clean of the facility at this point, to ensure the site is ready for the less invasive, non-construction type works to push ahead inside properly prepared clean spaces.
Another extremely transformative week is now in the books at our London East site, following a fortnight of envelope works that have taken much of the internal layout to near-completion.
The visible transformations continue this time around, as the entire internal layout reaches completion, with all insulated wall panels now fully installed. Aside from another pass for finishing trims, this element of the project is now complete – a great milestone in the envelope construction phase.
The fire protection is now also nearing completion, zoning off all rooms appropriately where the panels reach the warehouse roof, along with any other installation gaps that need closing off.
The ceilings have really transformed each room, allowing the final shape of each room to be more visible, even ahead of the raised access floors going in next week.
There have been plenty of other jobs undertaken this time around, while the envelope construction works continue with our main contractors.
We’ve flown most of the overhead containment for systems that require cable runs above the ceiling. This includes lighting, fire systems, access control, CCTV, and any other supplementary systems added during the initial build or in the future.
The bulk of the main containment will be under the raised access floor, and will be installed shortly after the envelope phase is complete.
With the internal walling now essentially complete, and the ceilings over half way there, the next major phase will be the raised access floor across throughout the entire facility. We’re also coating the first floor with a high-quality paint seal as an added leak protection measure. This will be joined by a full protective vinyl underfloor surface along the length of the first floor cold corridor.
Massive changes to report this time around, as the walling installation works begin at NLE, zoning the building into its final room layout.
This comes along side a range of other works that have seen a huge, tangible evolution of the site as we head into the final phase of the envelope installation.
What a three weeks we’ve had on-site here at NLE. The walls have really started to take shape, with the first floor data halls now visible, along with some of the main access corridor and customer breakout / build room. We’ve also had the ground floor to first floor riser access holes cut into the mezzanine floor, ready for our future inter-floor service routes.
Our lift installation is now also underway, with the main vertical runners and lifting mechanism now in place. This will be enclosed by the shaft in the coming weeks, and the platform will be installed.
The ground floor of the facility has also had all fire protection for the mezzanine structure installed, which is another great milestone in terms of having that component of the envelope fully finished.
We now have 25 tonnes of insulated wall panelling on-site, ready for installation. This will be followed by nearly 33 tonnes of raised floor, and several tonnes of hung ceiling flown overhead in each hall.
Those with a keen eye will notice that the current door openings cut into the walls would not be correct when factoring in our raised floor. These are currently temporary cut-outs for positioning and site access, and will have their height increased (along with base boards installed) later.
We’re incredibly excited to see the site reach this stage. Of course we still have quite a way to go, with several weeks remaining on the envelope stage alone, however seeing the rooms take shape on-site is a massive milestone.
What else has been happening?
Our new van is now almost finished, and we’re very excited to show you what she looks like! We’re very impressed with how she’s turned out.
We just have some final finishing touches to make, and we’ll show you how she looks.
We still have a few weeks of walling and fire protection installation works to completed on-site, while also flying overhead containment grids in each Data Hall to allow for above ceiling cable runs. Beyond this, the envelope installation works will continue, moving onto floors, ceilings and access.
Plenty more progress to report on this time around, as we head towards twenty weeks of work on-site at NLE.
Focus this time around has been on preparing the space for the walling contractors to begin their installation works. This has included the removal of some legacy cable containment, the installation of new EcoTerm insulation on all skylights over the eventual first floor data halls, and the construction of our lift foundation.
As always, there have been a wide array of additional works happening alongside the headline tasks, both at NLE, and in the continued growth of operations across the board. We’re in early-stage planning for further expansion in Telehouse, for example – more news on that soon!
We’ve also had extensive work undertaken to reposition the on-site boiler, which included a full re-run of the building’s gas and water supplies. As a result, our office / NOC kitchen is now fully plumbed in, making the site much more pleasant to inhabit!
As always, there has been a huge amount of work happening behind the scenes. We’re now ready for our internal walls to be installed, along with all access doors, which have now been manufactured for us. Our personnel lift will also be installed in September, which required the block base to be fully in place, along with the associated internal walls that will surround the shaft.
What else has been happening?
Our new CREC units have now gone into manufacture, thanks to our long-standing friends over at EcoCooling. These ECT10800 units are manufactured entirely in Suffolk, at the EcoCooling design and production facility – so 100% UK made.
We’ve been sent some shots of these units as they run through the assembly line, something we’re always very pleased to see!
We’ve visited their production facility a number of times, and the level of innovation on display there really is something to behold. We’re very proud to again be partnering with EcoCooling for NLE, the third private design and build project we’ve had the pleasure of working with them on.
We now have a final week of closing preparation works before the next phase begins in anger, starting with the internal walls and doors. This week will include a range of tasks across the board, even including some work on our new van, which we’re very excited to show you once complete!
Another two weeks are now in the books at NLE, with plenty of progress to report as we head further into the envelope construction.
We’ve made great progress on our new compound perimeter security fencing, with our huge sliding vehicle access gate now in place. This joins the new pedestrian access gate, with the installation of our turnstile coming up next (after being sandblasted and powder coated in our desired shade).
There have also been many bodies on-site as works continue on the envelope, both for development meetings and for some minor adjustments to the mezzanine before the walls begin to go in later this month.
As you can see, we’ve had another great couple of weeks at NLE. The intense heat did delay some of the fencing installation, but progress was not hindered much at all, as we’ve spent lots of time on planning and orchestration of the next phase – that being walling.
The rear compound will also receive the full security enclosure treatment in the coming weeks, along with full razor wire to both sides of the facility, taking us to full enclosure of the site. We’ll also be fitting the motor to the main sliding gate in the near future, which will be tied into our access control system, along with the turnstile.
Towards the end of this month, our walling contractors will be on-site to begin splitting the facility into its final layout, including all four data halls and associated plant rooms / customer amenities.
We’ll also be continuing with works outside the facility, by completing the full perimeter.