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Category Archives: Data centres

JCA shortlisted for DCS Awards 2018

Leading design and build contractor in the data centre arena, JCA, is delighted to announce it has been shortlisted for the 2018 DCS Awards in the category, New Design/Build Data Centre Project of the Year.

The DCS awards are designed to reward the product designers, manufacturers, suppliers and providers operating in data centre industry. The Awards recognise the achievements of the vendors and their business partners alike and this year encompass a wider range of both facilities and information technology categories, which acknowledge all of the main areas of this market in Europe.

JCA’s nomination relates to its design and build of Kao Data London One, on behalf of client Kao Data, which was delivered on time at the end of 2017. The approach taken was to be unique to the data centre industry for such a major development.

JCA is primarily an engineering services and data centre specialist that would not traditionally undertake the construction of a new build shell and core data centre, as this would generally be undertaken by a recognised large scale construction company. By allowing the project to be engineering-led, however, the client benefitted from a shell and core design and construction that was in harmony with the overall purpose of the facility and complementary to the mechanical, electrical and ancillary infrastructure services.

In addition, Kao and JCA undertook a truly collaborative, open approach to enable the free-flowing of ideas, high levels of project dynamism and problem solving to achieve Kao Data’s objectives of delivering on time and on budget. Two elements in projects of this nature that are often targeted but very rarely achieved.

The objective for Kao Data was to become the first entrant into the London UK wholesale data centre market for many years. The driving force for the project was to create a product that was market leading in terms of quality, efficiency and innovation. To be able to offer state-of-the-art carrier neutral data centre space at a strategic location just outside London and in doing so form one of the largest data centre campuses in the UK. Kao Data London One is located on the 36-acre Kao Park development in the Harlow Enterprise Zone on the London-Stansted-Cambridge technology corridor.

Each data centre in the £200 million Kao Data Campus is split into four halls, totalling circa 150,000 square feet of net technical space. In addition, each technology suite will be capable of supporting a 2200kW IT load, representing a total technical load of 8.8MW per data centre.

JCA has designed Kao Data London One to deliver market leading efficiency, with the innovative use of technical infrastructure and building engineering expertise to provide Kao Data with a product that provides the highest standard of efficiency, resilience, operational sustainability and connectivity. JCA’s focus on delivering the highest levels of sustainability has also resulted in Kao Data London One achieving BREEAM Excellent Design Certification.

Importantly, the design and construction of the data centre follows the innovative principles of the Open Compute Project and as such is one of the first carrier neutral wholesale data centres to do so.

The Kao Data Campus is powered by a specifically installed UK Power Networks 33kV/11kV 43.5MVA substation within the campus security demise. The 33kV utility power supplies are diverse with N+1 33/11kV transformers in the UKPN adopted substation located within the security demise of the campus. The objective of the concurrently maintainable design is to offer 100% availability with N+1 11kV power generation specific to each data centre and each generator comes complete with 48hour fuel storage.

Rack densities up to 20kW and beyond can be accommodated within the data hall which is designed around hot aisle / rack exhaust air stream segregation with flooded style supply air distribution. Kao Data London One offers the latest incarnation of Indirect Evaporative Cooling systems that are so efficient that there is no requirement for any form of mechanical cooling, which assists towards total facility PUE of 1.20 even at part load.

The campus is compliant with the ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9 (TC9.9) Thermal Guidelines (2011 and 2015) including the commonly overlooked International Society for Automation Environmental Conditions for Process Measurement & Control Systems: Airborne Contaminants (ISA 71.04 (2013)). Kao Data views the monitoring of airborne gaseous contaminants within the technology suite as a pre-requisite for data centre operations. All major volume server OEMs stipulate the minimum environmental operating conditions required to comply with their warranties. By strictly adhering to these requirements Kao Data is able to evidence to its customers that neither the reliability of the technology assets nor the warranties will ever be put at risk and the environment is optimised for compute performance. Having consulted with subject matter experts, we believe this approach is a first for a wholesale data centre operator.

Whilst there were multiple challenges that had to be overcome throughout the design and construction phases of the project, the overarching principle of collaborative engagement and an engineering led approach to the design and construction has enabled Kao Data to achieve its objective and the business now operates one the most advanced data centres anywhere in the world.

Voting for the DCS Awards is now open until 11th May. Please click HERE to cast your vote. 

JCA thanks you for your support!

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JCA showcases data centre firsts at DCW18 with Kao Data London One

Innovations in data centre design, energy-efficiency and sustainability are being showcased at Data Centre World 2018 by engineering services led principal contractor, JCA, which has just delivered one of the UK’s most advanced data centres for its client, Kao Data.

Offering industry-leading flexible configuration and environmental performance credentials, JCA’s design and construction of Kao Data London One followed the innovative principles of the Open Compute Project, one of the first carrier neutral wholesale data centres to do so.

Officially opened last month, Kao Data London One is the first of four planned data centres that will comprise the Kao Data Centre Campus on the 36-acre Kao Park development, located in Harlow on the London-Stansted-Cambridge technology corridor.

Each building in the £200 million campus will be split into four halls, totalling around 150,000 square feet of net technical space.  In addition, each technology suite will be capable of supporting a 2200KW IT load, representing a total technical load of 8.8MW per data centre. Rack densities up to 20kW and beyond can be accommodated within the data hall, which is designed around the principle of hot aisle / rack exhaust air stream segregation with flooded style supply air distribution.

Kao Data London One offers the latest incarnation of Indirect Evaporative Cooling systems. These are so efficient that there is no requirement for any form of mechanical cooling, which assists towards total facility PUE of 1.20 even at part load.

JCA designed Kao Data London One to deliver market leading efficiency from the innovative use of technical infrastructure and building engineering expertise, to provide Kao Data with a campus that has the highest standard of data resilience, operational sustainability and connectivity for national and international customers, as well as environmental performance. As a result, Kao Data London One achieved BREEAM Excellent Design Certification.

Tom Absalom, Managing Director, JCA, said:

“We are delighted with Kao Data London One, which JCA delivered to Kao Data on time and within budget at the end of 2017. This industry leading data centre is a showcase for our full design and construction capability, as well as demonstrating our innovative and collaborative approach to critical infrastructure projects, working closely with both client and supply chain partners to achieve the highest levels of operational and sustainable delivery.”

Paul Finch, Chief Operating Officer at Kao Data, commented:

“I’m delighted that the first phase of the Kao Data Campus has been brought to market according to schedule with all objectives met and importantly, on budget. From the outset of the project we went back to basics with an acute focus on reliability and availability.  We have shown these attributes can be complementary to lower capital and operations expenditure, energy-efficiency and sustainability.

“From a procurement perspective, Kao adopted a collaborative and shared risk approach to delivery, which in light of recent high-profile failures in the construction sector, has strongly positioned both us and our partners well for the future phases of the development.  This is due in no small part to the experience of the management team and the decision to partner with an engineering-led main contractor, JCA Engineering and key equipment suppliers.”

The Kao Data Campus is powered by a specifically installed UK Power Networks 33kV/11kV 43.5MVA substation within the campus security demise. The 33kV utility power supplies are diverse with N+1 33/11kV transformers in the UKPN adopted substation located within the security demise of the campus. The objective of the concurrently maintainable design is to offer 100% availability with N+1 11kV power generation specific to each data centre and each generator comes complete with 48hour fuel storage.

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Blog – Tackling the skills conundrum in UK construction

With the UK continuing to face a chronic shortage of skilled tradespeople, leading building engineering and fit-out specialist, JCA, looks at the changing landscape for the construction labour market and its future prospects.

A healthy construction sector is hugely important to the UK economy. It generates over £110 billion annually, equivalent to 7% of GDP and employs approximately three million people, a figure that’s representative of 10% of the nation’s workforce.

Construction is a high cost, high risk, long-term activity, so its performance is a good yardstick for the general health of the wider economy. When economic growth slows or declines, therefore, construction investment can dry up quickly but when the economy begins to recover, the industry can overheat just as fast.

Having shed over 140,000 jobs in the 2008 recession with a further cull during the 2012 dip, the sector has found itself in dire need of a range of both professional and practical skills, as the industry has begun to expand once more. It is thought that around 20% of all vacancies in the wider construction sector are persistently hard to fill. This is because businesses are finding it extremely challenging to recruit staff with the right skills, qualifications or experience but demand for such roles is forecast to rise even further this year. The impact of Brexit on the labour market could also weigh heavily on businesses, as around 45% of the UK’s 270,000 migrant construction workers are from EU countries.

Research by the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows that skills shortages are holding back the sector, with 62% of surveyors citing this issue as the major impediment to growth. That figure is up from 40% in 2012 when RICS began its quarterly UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey. To compound matters, the retirement rate is on the rise, as 22% of the sector’s workforce is over 50 years old with 15% in their sixties. In recent years, the industry has also lost out to competing sectors, where work is perceived to be more stable.

In tackling this major obstacle to future growth, we must also consider the image of the construction sector within the labour market and perhaps crucially, amongst the next generation of workers. Data from the Construction Industry Training Board shows that the overall appeal of the construction industry as a career option for young people is low, scoring 4.2 out of 10 in the 14 to 19-year old age group.

The Government’s introduction of the new Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, paid at a rate of 0.5% by employers with a payroll of more than £3million per year, expects to raise over £3 billion a year by 2019-20 in order to fulfil its commitment to increasing vocational opportunities. The funds collected will be accessible to employers who want to purchase Apprenticeship training, regardless of whether they paid the levy or not.

For its part, JCA is exploring the possibility of introducing its own Apprenticeship and potentially graduate-based programmes with the objective of developing ‘home grown’ skills. The Stevenage-based building engineering and fit-out specialist has expanded significantly in the past two years and now employs almost 200 staff.

JCA strongly believes that apprentices have the potential to be the entrepreneurial, motivated business leaders of the future. The company acknowledges that there is a powerful connection between high-quality vocational training and employability but accepts there is a lot of work still to be done to achieve the parity of esteem between academia and Apprenticeships, in order to attract the brightest talent into our sector.

Carol Pape, JCA’s Human Resources Manager, said:

“We need to get young people interested in the sector or the skills gap will widen further. Investing in apprentices and graduates will bring skilled, home grown workers into the market, so we need to work together to appeal to both ends of the spectrum of construction employment. On one side, convincing skilled professionals to see the rewards of working on projects that build a sense of legacy. On the other, encouraging young people to commit to Apprenticeships secure in the knowledge that there is a clear pathway for personal and professional development within a dynamic industry.”

For further information about current opportunities with JCA, please click here

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Essex data centre project enters final phase

Construction of the KAO Data London One data centre in the Harlow Enterprise Zone, is entering its final phase. Switch rooms are virtually complete and powered up and UPS generators and battery racks are online. To minimise any risk of human error with the electrical systems, the three distributed redundant systems from 11kV to rack are colour coded – Feed A is Amber, Feed B is Blue and Feed C is Cyan. Data halls are nearing readiness for hardware and outside, the landscaping project is underway.

KAO Data London One is due to become operational by the end of 2017. It is the first of four planned data centres that will comprise the KAO Data Centre Campus, on the 36-acre KAO Park development.

Fittingly, the new campus in the Harlow Enterprise Zone is on the exact site synonymous with pioneering discoveries in telecommunications. In the 1940s it was the birthplace of the wartime navigation system OBOE, invented by Alec Reeves and in 1966, engineers Charles Kao and George Hockham made one of the most significant technological breakthroughs in the post war era. By discovering how to transmit light over long distances using optical glass fibres, their discovery changed global communications forever and paved the way for a host of modern innovations, including broadband internet.

Each building in the £250 million KAO Data Centre Campus will be split into four halls, totalling around 150,000 square feet of net technical space. Each technology suite will be capable of supporting a 2,175kW IT load, representing a total technical load of 8.7MW per data centre. JCA has worked closely with power utility contractor Matrix Networks, which has installed the UKPN adoptable 33kV/11kV 43.5MVA sub-station, that’s providing the capacity to support the whole campus.

Ian Jackson, Chairman of JCA, commented:

“Over the past 13 years, JCA has built a reputation for excellence in its core marketplace, which has enabled the business to win a range of new, large-scale engineering projects, involving design, planning, build, procurement, installation and maintenance of critical infrastructure. We were delighted to be appointed by KAO Data for the delivery of KAO Data London One which is on schedule for completion before the end of this year.”

Paul Finch, Chief Technical Officer, KAO Data, said:

“The discovery of fibre optic technology on this site fifty years ago, has been fundamental to the world’s economic development. The KAO Data Campus encapsulates this legacy and reaffirms the UK’s position as a global business hub. We are proud to be working with JCA Engineering on London One, which aims to deliver market leading efficiency. Our technical infrastructure will provide the highest standard of data resilience and operational sustainability, making it ideally placed to support local and international businesses.”

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JCA on show at DCD Zettastructure 2017

Europe’s most anticipated digital infrastructure transformation event

Continuous growth in cloud demand and IoT technologies, which are mission-critical for the digital business, is set to dramatically transform data centre architectures over the next few years. With acceleration of hybrid IT, ownership of IT infrastructure is radically shifting, disrupting business models and the ecosystems of digital infrastructure providers, moving business towards the server less data centre of the future.

For the first time, JCA is exhibiting at this ground-breaking event, being held over two days at Old Billingsgate in London. Organised by Data Center Dynamics (DCD), which delivers a world leading series of events across five continents, this year’s event brings together the full ecosystem of operators, technology specialists and end-users, helping them make informed technology decisions in a dynamic digital infrastructure landscape.

To find out more about upcoming conferences, please visit DCD

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Data centre project achieves ‘excellent’ BREEAM certification

We are delighted to announce that the first data centre being built by JCA at the Harlow Enterprise Zone in Essex on behalf of KAO Data has achieved a BREEAM Excellent Design Certification.

BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings, measuring sustainable value in a series of categories. The certification is an impressive credential for the attention that’s been paid to keeping a low carbon footprint for KAO Data and its customers. We are immensely proud of all the hard-work that everyone has put into this landmark achievement for sustainability. The development of KAO London One at Harlow, as part of the KAO Data Campus continues according to schedule with client handover anticipated in December 2017.

JCA’s Managing Director, Tom Absalom, commented:

“Achieving BREEAM ‘Excellent Design Certification’ for the data centre construction project JCA is delivering on a design and build basis for KAO Data is testament to our collective focus on delivering the highest levels of sustainability. The team can be very proud of gaining this significant environmental recognition as part of its collaborative approach.”

To find out more about BREEAM’s classifications, please visit http://www.breeam.com/

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