Aurecon provides civil and building services engineering to NEXTDC’s P2 Data Centre in Western Australia.


NEXTDC P2 Data Centre, Australia

Western Australia’s largest data centre meets city's increasing digital demand

  • Aurecon’s role: Civil and building services engineering
  • Client: NEXTDC
  • Project team: Multiplex, Hames Sharley Architects
  • Aurecon expertise: Building design, Bridges & civil structures
  • Status: Completed 2020

What started as a vision to build a resilient and connected data centre became a reality when NEXTDC’s P2 opened as a place to invest and do business. Three years of planning, design and construction delivered the first Uptime Institute Tier IV certified data centre in Western Australia. Tier certification is a measure of a data centre’s infrastructure capability to meet the performance level that its clients’ businesses depend on.

Aurecon was NEXTDC’s P2 design partner for Stage 1, providing civil and building services engineering to this major digital interconnectivity hub in central Perth.

At a glance, the P2 facility:

  • Is 10-storeys high
  • Has five storeys of data halls with a total of 12 000 m 2 of technical space
  • Has two storeys of electrical infrastructure and backup power generation
  • Took more than 396 000 labour hours to construct
  • Includes 100 kilometres of electrical cabling
  • Was built using 6950 cubic metres of concrete
  • Has five layers of digital security

Designing from the ground up

P2 is a 20-megwatt specialised hyperscale cloud co-location facility to support the ‘always on’ nature of digital business, with infrastructure certified to the highest-resiliency standards.

Full integration in this advanced data centre meant designing a structure for a multilayer security system, full redundant power architecture, highly efficient computer room air conditioning with indirect free cooling, energy-saving LED lighting systems, and an integrated local operations command centre.

Aurecon’s early design for the earthing systems and the building services assisted greatly in enabling the foundations and basement to be built while the upper floors were still under design review. Design and construction proceeded simultaneously to maintain the project’s critical development timeline.

The data centre was built with flexibility in mind to respond to the ever-changing digital landscape.

Designing a sustainable data centre

Tier IV certification is currently the peak of the tier classification system and a significant feature of P2 is that individual equipment failures or distribution path interruptions, caused by unexpected or planned events, will not impact IT operations.

The facility provides continuous cooling and power for the entire operation – supported by rotary uninterruptible power supply systems. Coupled with diesel generators, any external electrical network disturbance is mitigated by the IT load seamlessly transitioning between mains and generator power with no break in power supply and cooling.

The simplified and highly segregated cooling system uses stand-alone modular cooling units with added redundancy for fault tolerance. Fire segregation separates the generators and power supply system.

To ensure high levels of cleanliness within the data halls, all incoming air is filtered, and outdoor air quality is continuously monitored. The mechanical system automatically recirculates air upon detection of smoke from bushfires or other sources outside the building.

Careful selection of external equipment and extensive acoustic attenuation within the building has been designed to reduce noise emissions from the building to below the sensitive levels required for local residents, even at peak equipment load, and with all backup generators in operation.

The ground floor and high-voltage electrical cabling intakes were raised higher than ground level by nearly two metres for local 100-year flood mitigation.

P2 champions a high level of resilience, reliability and performance that deliver NEXTDC’s customers with a 100 per cent uptime guarantee. The facility is an enabler for businesses to build their digital platform.

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