Equinix Data Centres SY1 & SY3, Australia

Aurecon delivered full project management and engineering services for Equinix’s first data centres in Australia, located in Sydney

  • Aurecon’s role: SY1 – principal consultant providing all engineering design and project management services; SY3 – fast-track design and construction consultancy services
  • Client: Equinix

SY1 – First data centre for Equinix in Australia

A combination of teamwork and engineering excellence underpinned the success of the Equinix Data Centre Sydney 1, located in Mascot. Aurecon provided all design services for this 6 900 m² facility, which was constructed within an existing warehouse on very average ground conditions. As principal consultants, Aurecon worked closely with a team of architects, quantity surveyors and certifiers to document the project within an eight-week timeframe.

Aurecon surveyors and geotechnical engineers provided base plans and geotechnical assessments. Aurecon also undertook soil contamination studies of the area where underground diesel storage tanks were to be installed.

At the same time, initial space planning commenced. Various costed options were provided and value managed to achieve the best technical solution with full redundancy while achieving the maximum lettable area for Equinix.

The mechanical and electrical services design was based on an ultimate power density of 750 W/m². This was achieved through nine 500 kVA UPS's arranged in an N+1 redundant mode backed up by four 2.2 MVA diesel generators. Power is distributed to the floor via 500A static switches operating in redundant pairs. The mezzanine plantroom supports five cooling towers and four 1450 kW chillers. A fully integrated BMS provides operators with complete control of the entire facility.

To facilitate the installation of a massive amount of cable tray and fibre guides, a secondary lightweight structure was constructed throughout the colocation space from which the majority of services were suspended. The facility can operate continuously with 100 per cent redundancy and provides secure access for tenants and equipment while satisfying the requirements of the telecommunications carriers.

SY3 – A fast-tracked approach delivered a flexible and resilient data centre

Following the successful completion of SY1, Aurecon was appointed to provide fast-track design and construction consultancy services for Equinix SY3, a colocation data centre in nearby Alexandria, Sydney.

Delivered on budget and within a challenging deadline, this mission critical facility supports the expanding internet, telecommunications and data markets.

The brief was to fast-track design and construction to provide colocation space for 3,000 cabinets at a power density of 2,000 W/m2, together with associated building services including transformers, UPS, diesel generators, chillers, AHU’s and CRAC units. Equipment and components are configured to provide high reliability and fitted within the constraints of an existing government record storage facility of significant architectural relevance.

The original building was designed by iconic Australian architect, Harry Seidler, and constructed in the 1960s. Planning restrictions limited demolition of the existing structure, so extensive space planning was required to provide optimum use of the existing building envelope to minimise construction costs and provide suitable maintenance access.

Key to the fast-tracked approach was providing a single point of contact for all services and pre-ordering long delivery items. An important part of Aurecon’s approach to ‘greening’ the data centre was specialised design and engineering to improve efficiency and maximise technical space.

The design provided a simple to operate, resilient data centre with the ability to expand without unplanned interruption of service. It has achieved a higher than briefed power utilisation effectiveness (PUE), ensuring a much more efficient product and ongoing energy savings for Equinix.

Future integration opportunities include the option to introduce airside economy or free cooling to reduce the operation of chiller plant and the activation of off-line UPS.

An overarching building management system (BMS) interconnects all building systems via a structured cabling system to provide monitoring visibility of the data centre without there being a single point of failure.

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