POWER PARTNERS: CyrusOne’s Dublin Campus
With now over 50 data centres across the globe, CyrusOne knows what it takes to design, build, and operate mission-critical facilities. They frame their philosophy around three main principles: lowering capital and operating expenses for their clients, reducing risk through redundancy, and building scalable facilities that allow clients room to grow.
Making all of this work means finding partners who understand those principles, data centre infrastructure needs, and the necessity of high-quality but highly efficient construction. STO Mission Critical has been one of those partners throughout this growth, including one of their largest colocation projects to date, a 23-acre campus in Dublin, Ireland built to ultimately house three data centres offering an IT load of 54MW.
While speed to market has always been a major priority for CyrusOne, their continued honing of their design model and advancements in data centre technologies have raised the bar even higher. Efficiency has become central to their success—and part of that comes from having consistent service providers who can serve as consultants and partners on projects all over the world. With a portfolio of dozens of projects together in Texas, New Jersey, and other US locations, the STO Mission Critical team was ready, willing, and able to extend that expertise and lessons learned to their Dublin colleagues to ensure this purpose-built campus was a success. Global understanding, local knowledge. With so many projects under their belts, the extended STO team was able to offer tips and insights into how to execute CyrusOne’s design model. However, every location has its own regulations and codes, which is where the local Dublin team came in.
“One size doesn’t fit all, even within the European Union,” says Philip Harrington, senior surveyor for STO Mission Critical in Dublin. “Thanks to our involvement during preconstruction, we were able to get heavily involved in the details to help the UK-based design teamwork through a few challenges in localizing the design.”
Supply chain relationships. Since the mission-critical market is so hot, the demand for skilled labor is higher than ever. Projects in the US, in particular, have engaged most of the major subcontractors and vendors in the sector, which has posed some challenges for building a local Dublin workforce. But STO leaned on their long-time local relationships to secure a first-rate project team. “We engaged with our own supply chain from a long way out,” says Harrington. “We’ve nurtured our relationships with these trusted partners so they stayed invested in the project, and that’s been very rewarding for all of us.”
Power players. The Dublin campus is massive, and CyrusOne initially requested an 80MW supply of power to service the three facilities if they ever reached full capacity. Local power authorities aren’t typically willing to make that level of power available on a permanent basis, so STO stepped in to help find a solution.
“Our local relationships with ESB, the trans-mission asset owner, and Eirgrid, the transmission system operator, have been very helpful,” says Martin Donnelly, STO Mission Critical senior project manager. “We were able to work with them to determine what level of power was feasible, and with CyrusOne to add a sub-station to the initial rollout to ensure they’d have the power they need.”
From the inside, out. In many markets, Structure Tone is synonymous with interior fit-out expertise. The Dublin team put that expertise to work on the CyrusOne Dublin campus, in particular helping deliver the signature green feature wall of the office area. “We’ve built several green walls, so we were able to advise on planting, growth structures, secondary steel support, and irrigation,” says Harrington. “It’s an integral part of the office façade and we were able to help organise solutions to deliver the design.”
When COVID-19 shut the site down for several weeks, Structure Tone put its health and safety plans into action, identifying hazards, mitigating risk, and assigning COVID-19 compliance officers to each subcontractor to make sure everyone on-site followed such protocols as wearing proper PPE, getting their temperature checked daily, and keeping the proper distance.
When completed, the Dublin campus will plant a flag for CyrusOne in one of Europe’s premier data centre locations. But it’s also a major source of pride for the STO Mission Critical team. “We get challenged every day, which is what makes it fun,” says Harrington. “We’ve enjoyed working with our US colleagues, building our relationship here with CyrusOne, and proving that we are capable of taking on a job like this and excelling at it.”