London East Build Blog – Weeks 16 and 17

Another two weeks are now in the books at NLE, with plenty of progress to report as we head further into the envelope construction.

Weekly overview

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.

Another busy fortnight at NLE, with many engineers and consultants on-site
The front compound is large enough to hold plenty of working trades at the same time
A look at one of the more complex parts of the new perimeter fencing
The new pedestrian access gate, which will complement the main access turnstile which will sit alongside it
Much like the pedestrian gate at NLC, the gate also functions as a fast exit path, with push panic latch and security enclosure
A look at the new pedestrian access gate from outside the compound, with the turnstile due for install just to the left
The main supporting legs for the new sliding vehicle access gate in place
The completed sliding gate as seen from outside the compound
The old palisade bays and gates, ready for recycling / safe disposal
Rooflight Blanks
These sheets of insulation will be used to blank off the skylights, in the same way this was handled as NLC
The main access staircase for the mezzanine had its full checkerplate and up stands installed this week

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.

What’s next?

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.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 14 and 15

After a real flurry of activity during the main mezzanine installation, the last two weeks have been a little more restrained in terms of visual change, as the majority of our time and effort has been spent orchestrating the next phase of the project.

We’ve spent time otherwise completing additional works ahead of the internal walling and access fit-out, which will be the next major milestone here at the new data centre.

Weekly overview

Aside from lots of time spent in meetings with our structural engineers, service coordinators, electrical contractors and other critical contributors to the NLE project, we’ve predominantly seen the most visual change at the front of the facility over the past 10 working days.

Our new high-security perimeter fence has started to take shape. This will largely match the specification of the compound perimeter found at NLC; that being a 2.4M palisade design, with overhead razor wire.

The difference here is that we’ve actually been able to retain some of the existing posts, designing custom post extensions to allow for a much taller border, and a faster installation.

We’re also adding a matching pedestrian turnstile, along with a gargantuan 6M sliding access gate for vehicles. This will be a whopping 3M high, to match the full height of the razor wired compound.

The rear of the facility will be following suit, with large 3M pedestrian access and fire escape gates, along with rear security fence extensions and razor wire, to match the much larger front compound.

The first section of the new palisade perimeter being installed
One full side of the compound fencing in place, pending razor wire installation
A look at the compound perimeter from outside, as the first corner section is reached
The corner section on the opposite side of the compound being installed
A look at some detailed customisation, as the palisades are cut and secured around penetrating bash guards
The underside of the mezzanine received a full post-install floor clean and polish – you can also see the large 6M sliding gate and corresponding posts stored in this shot!

We’re very pleased with this progress as we continue to push towards the end of month four on-site at NLE.

We’ve been extremely pleased with our approach to the main compound fence runs. While the front side of the compound will require more in the way of new posts and additional hardware, the custom extensions have proved a great success in quickly deploying the main runs using existing posts, which have already been dug in to the subsurface.

The final consultative actions on the walls, doors and custom machine plinths are scheduled for next week, meaning this next phase of the build will be underway shortly. This will split the facility into its various rooms and fire zones for the first time.

What else has been happening?

We’ve continued with further roll-out of our new core node at CLL this past week. While there’s not much to show visually, as much of this involved logical work on our 100G+ ring, we did want to show our new custom MUXs, which are fully branded, and have new shuttered connectors.

Our new branded 40 channel multiplexers

All future MUX additions and/or replacements will be our new branded variants, which we’re excited to be partnering directly with the manufacturer for!

What’s next?

Aside from the forward-looking continuation of the main envelope, our own team will be pushing ahead with development on later-stage plans for the installation of containment and associated systems.

We’ll also be moving onto the parts of the perimeter fencing that include the turnstile and the large sliding gate, which are certainly more complex additions to the compound.

London East Build Blog – Week 13

What a transformation we’ve seen this week at the NLE data centre project. The main mezzanine is now in place, ready to receive walls, doors, raised floors and ceilings, which will form the data halls and all other technical spaces. The true scale of the build has now begun to show itself.

What was once an empty, blank canvas of a building is now well on its way to becoming our newest flagship London data centre.

Weekly overview

This week, we’ve had two teams on-site installing our new heavy-duty mezzanine system. This system was designed here in the UK by our structural engineering contractor, and manufactured in Sweden.

Quite remarkably, this structure went up in just 3.5 days. That’s the entirety of the steel work, and nearly 20 tons of surface boarding, in a little over half a week.

The first of three articulated lorries arrive on-site from Sweden
A look at some of the steel work awaiting installation in the front compound
Materials making their way inside, ahead of install
The first sections of steel being installed
The first skeleton bay of the mezzanine steel work in place
A look across the steel work as bay three is installed
A look across to what will be the open double-height atrium, from our storage mezzanine
A look at where the final bay will be installed
The underside of the completed steel work structure, ahead of surface installation
The top surface of the structure nearing completion
A view from the underside of the structure, with the top surface in place
The underside of the new mezzanine structure, with temporary site lighting now in place
Our new triple-flight staircase, which will function alongside the new lift, which is pending installation
A look across the finished top surface, towards the access atrium and storage mezzanine in the warehouse – with safety barriers now in place around the open perimeter, ahead of wall installation
The top side of the finished mezzanine structure, facing towards the rear of the facility

The visual change on-site over the last five days has been incredible. This is set to continue, as we look ahead to the full envelope installation, which will present us with the final building layout.

What you’re looking at here is a 470 square meter mezzanine floor, designed to support 450 tons, but with a max design loading of around 700 tons.

This will be holding up the two first floor data halls, along with service corridors, build and breakout rooms, and a fully-featured DR suite to match that on-site at NLC.

The underside will house a further two data halls, plus our heavy plant and electrical switchgear rooms.

We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this tranformative phase of the project, and while we are acutely aware of the work that still lays before us, we’re extremely happy to see such a major milestone reached.

Our time lapse camera has been running throughout this phase of the build, so we’ll be pushing out a quick cut of the process soon.

What’s next?

Next up, will be the walling and door / access installation, which will fully zone off each area. There may be a week or two of layover ahead of this installation, so there will be plenty more supplementary works ongoing throughout this time.

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.