September 2018

Kao Data Centre

Kao Data CentreKao Data London One, the first of four free-standing data centre buildings on the 15-acre Kao Data Campus located in the Harlow Enterprise Zone, is an imposing construction which features a dazzling external brise-soleil screening solution provided by Levolux.

Representing the first phase of a £200 million development, Kao Data London One provides 8.8MW capacity for IT equipment such as servers, storage and communications devices. The advanced facility was constructed by JCA Engineering and went live in January 2018 at the end of a 12-month build.

Kao Data CentreLevolux has an unparalleled track record delivering screening solutions for data centres and was therefore the natural choice for delivering the eye-catching and colourful solution for Kao Data London One.

The new building harnesses cutting-edge building technology to maximise energy efficiency and reliability. This included the addition of indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) technology and a custom external screening solution from Levolux. This uncompromised approach has already helped Kao Data to attract the attention of the media as well as local, national and international businesses.

Kao Data CentreThe Levolux solution combines its Aerofoil Fins, arranged vertically and its VLS100 Contour Louvre system, arranged horizontally.

High capacity cooling equipment is housed within the data centre’s technical space to reject heat from the facility for maximum performance. The openness of the façade and the low airflow resistance of the fins ensures that the cooling equipment, which is hidden from view, works more efficiently than if louvres had been used alone.

The screening structures also create an attractive architectural detail that improves architectural massing, by softening the visual impact of the building on the landscape. This can be significant for buildings measuring more than 70 metres long and 50 metres wide, situated on the fringe of urban centres.

Kao Data CentreIn total, Levolux installed 644 Aerofoil Fins, each measuring 400mm wide by 54mm thick, with lengths of up to 5.5 metres. The vertical fins are divided into two horizontal bands that extend around the facility. Each fin is formed from a single-piece, aluminium extrusion and is finished in one of five shades of green.

The colourful vertical fins help provide important shading for exposed mechanical and electrical equipment. All fins used on the Kao London One project are fixed at a typical pitch of 490mm and at an angle of 45 degrees to the face of the building. To aid installation, the fins were pre-assembled into panels, each comprising five different coloured fins, fixed between aluminium support angles.

Kao Data CentreIn addition to the Aerofoil Fins, Levolux’s VLS100 Contour Louvre system was used to create a series of vertical louvred sections at the western end of the building. The extruded aluminium louvres, with their ‘S’-shaped profile, offer outstanding strength and weatherability. This is one of Levolux’s more popular louvre systems for screening plant areas.

In total, Levolux provided 12 louvred panels, which extend more than 8.5 metres in height and with a maximum width of 8.2 metres. To allow easy access for routine cleaning and maintenance, Levolux incorporated two single louvred doors into the screening structures. The doors, which feature the same VLS100 louvre blade, are hidden within the louvred façade for an attractive, seamless finish.

Kao Data CentreAll aluminium components, including Aerofoil Fins and Louvres, are finished in a high-quality powder coating. The vertical Aerofoil Fins, which are finished in one of five shades of green, create an eye-catching architectural feature. In contrast, the screening louvres have been given a subtle, silver coloured finish.

The first Kao Data Campus data centre is fully operational under cover of its distinctive green Aerofoil Fins from Levolux. Soon attention will be shifting to the additional three buildings that will complete the campus. Following the same design blueprint, the additional buildings will increase the total capacity of the campus to 35MW, making it one of the largest and most efficient data centres in the UK.