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What is a Modular Data Centre?

Keys principles and advantages of modular Data Centres

Modular Data Centres are the future of Data Centre technology and building construction. Their main advantage lies in their flexibilty, both in terms of investments and technology.

Modular Data Centre

Definition of a Modular Data Centre

3D of Data Centre modules

The modular Data Centre can be built as required module by module. Each module is technically independant which allows greater flexibility in terms of development than a traditional Data Centre solution. It also allows the operator to integrate modular technology according to the customer needs. Initially the modules were sized for a 500m² data suite, but this was not considered profitable enough and the basic module has now doubled in size to 1000m². As further modules are added the modular Data Centre can accomodate up to 4000m² of data space.

The advantages of a modular Data Centre

The main advantage of the modular Data Centre is its flexibility for the Data Centre operator, but it also has advantages for the customer. For the operator the primary attraction is that this construction method requires a lower initial investment due to only part of the building structure being built in the first phase. The further investment is then divided into several phases and new modules are added as and when existing and new customers require them for their expanding business. For the customer the primary advantage is technological. Since the modules opperate independantly, it is possible to provide a technical solution which is specifically designed to suit to their individual needs. Customers with different needs can easily be accommodated within the same Data Centre.

The principle of a Modular Data Centre

Plan showing layout of Data Centre modules

The early design stages of the project are very important. This stage is complex because the whole project must be considered globally whilst developing a concept of modules that can evolve over time. We have to imagine a project which is consistent architecturally for every phase, but which allows the Data Centre operator to propose bespoke solutions for each of their clients. Construction of the various modules can take place as needed, either 1000m² or 2000m² at a time.

Design challenges in Modular Data Centres

One of the biggest design challenges in the conception of a modular Data Centre is ensuring the technical areas, offices and data suites can all evolve concurrently and coherently with the overall design scheme. The building must be designed to tie these key elements both in an aesthetically pleasing way and so that they can function collectively together even if located in different parts of the site.
Another issue is the time gap that may occur between the initial concept phase and the various construction phases. What must be avoided is that the later modules could be added on in a ad-hoc fashion with little regard for architectural consistency. We work hard to create a concept that is easy to add on to, especially in terms of the design of the façade panels.

Typical plan showing layout of key areas

Reid Brewin Architects has many years of experience in the design, construction and maintenance of both modular Data Centres and traditional Data Centres. Our strength lies in our ability to provide modular Data Centres which combine both aesthetics and creativity. Contact us to find out more about how we can help make your construction project a success.

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