HDR-Hurley Palmer Flatt Group has contributed to the design of a new data centre in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, designed to withstand extreme weather events, including cyclones.

The iSeek North Queensland Regional Data Centre is a Tier 3 designed facility, designed to remain intact during category 5 cyclones with a force of up to 280 kilometres per hour.

 “We considered all the scenarios to deliver this pioneering facility, including fixing mechanical components to the structure in a way that they can withstand extreme force, and addressing the knock-on effect on airflow. Add to that there are only a few types of protective mesh certified for use in cyclone areas, so the whole process demanded meticulous coordination of equipment and design,” says Peter Gaston, project director at HDR.

The data centre’s mechanical structures also had to contend with Townsville’s tropical climate. Auxiliary systems, which ensure IT systems can continue running in the event of serious downtime, had to be protected and positioned to prevent exposure to humidity.

“There is no doubt this is a fantastic piece of infrastructure developed and supported by a group of forward-thinking organisations and individuals,” says Gaston.

The data centre features fully redundant cooling systems, redundant power supplies to equipment; energy efficient, controlled air distribution to the data hall; energy efficient cooling using variable speed compressors; and variable speed fan control on CRAC units.