Ramboll. James Greatorex

James Greatorex

UK Head of Building Structures
T: +44 1223 321 195
An increase in personal data collection obliged a leading commercial organisation to purchase a seven hectare greenfield site on which to build a new data centre. A defining feature of this project was the detailed coordination between services and structures. A myriad of services was required to support the vast array of IT equipment. The building was designed to have no point of failure; everything is duplicated.

Our first job was to carry out large scale ground improvements to produce a level site. The risk of differential settlement necessitated the use of a cement stabilisation method in order to create a stiff solid platform for the 15,000 sq m ground slab. In addition, it acted as a piling mat and sub-base replacement beneath the 2k of road on site.

The structure was required to provide extensive, open-plan space. Our engineers achieved this using a steel portal frame made from 2000 tonnes of steel. Steel and concrete composition construction was used for the double height offices. What appears to be a uniform industrial building from the outside contains a separate internal structure; a 40m by 80m data hall. This freestanding inner sanctum with a 34m main span and a 2m deep truss on the roof is skillfully designed to avoid any single point of failure or water ingress. Any security problem with the mainframe building is contained. Plant is located in an external 40m by 34 m building.

The size of the site puts it in the high risk flood category vis-a-vis risks posed to surrounding sites. Detailed modelling was undertaken to produce a Flood Risk Assessment. Our drainage system includes 300m of soakaways and 200m long swales, which were artfully landscaped and satisfied the Environmental Agency’s requirements.

The shell contract was handed over to the fit out four weeks ahead of schedule. The entire project was completed in 14 months.


First Floor, Emerald Building
Oud Metha Road
PO Box 116921, Dubai, UAE
Tel:+971 4 334 3616
Fax:+971 4 334 3617


Other sites

Other sites