Case Study - University of Cambridge datacentre, Cambridge, UK

Project data

  • Customer
  • University of Cambridge
  • Value
  • £15m
  • Area
  • 2,200 sq m
  • Procurement route
  • Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)
  • Form of contract
  • NEC
  • Programme duration
  • 52 weeks
  • Completion date
  • July 2014
  • Project Manager
  • Davis Langdon LLP
  • Architect
  • TTSP
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Davis Langdon LLP
  • M&E Engineer
  • Arup


The University’s green datacentre is expected to achieve a 10% reduction in carbon emissions compared to its 2013 levels. This is due to the adoption of a highly efficient 'chilled water' hybrid cooling technology that is unique amongst multi-user datacentres within the University sector.

The project schedule saw the team perform ground excavation and general infrastructure works, piling and cutting, followed by the erection of steel frames to support the building structure.

University of Cambridge data center

The project

We constructed a new two-storey datacentre for the University of Cambridge to centralise the university’s data storage needs in one location.

The datacentre was constructed on a green field site and housed four data halls on two floors. Supported on piled foundations, the building accommodated approximately 240 racks, associated ancillary space and a plant, providing 3.2 MW of power.

External works included providing the necessary infrastructure connections as well as security fencing around the perimeter of the site.

A soft landing requirement was within the contract and saw the team remain on the project for a year to assist the facilities management team with operations.

“Following a two-stage competitive tender exercise, the ISG offering was reviewed against a number of criteria and ultimately delivered on both cost and quality of proposal. Specialist datacentre expertise was needed throughout the project lifecycle not just in the initial phase. The site set up stage was also particularly challenging on this project and required a professional approach from the outset.”

Ian Tasker, Datacentre Manager, University of Cambridge