Texas 2 Data Center Is Taking Shape

Apr 20, 2017 | Data Centers

The walls and roofs of our purpose-built data centers are the buildings’ bones and provide the wind rating needed to protect our facilities in the event of natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornados. Texas 2’s data hall is being constructed to resist 185 mph winds. With the walls and roof in place, our newest data center is taking shape and on schedule to open in Q4 of this year.

Precast concrete walls are erected and put in place.

Raising & Welding Precast Walls

The data center’s precast concrete walls are designed and poured off site and must match the data center’s design exactly. There is no room for error. Once the panels are put on trucks, delivered to the site, and erected by crane, they must fit together precisely. As the walls are raised one by one, they are bolted and welded into place.

These massive and resilient walls provide insulation, wind and fire resistance. The structure also resists flying projectiles, and protects the data halls from debris in the event of a hurricane or tornado.

While the process of designing, pouring and erecting the precast concrete walls is impressive, the work that goes into the foundation that supports them is even more so. We drill down 25-30 feet to install massive concrete piers or caissons, similar to ones that support traffic bridges, to support the precast walls and concrete roof. Grade beams are then placed on top of piers, and eventually a cement slab is poured.

Southeast facing precast panels bolted and welded together

We also leave a depressed slab in the foundation for installing raised white floor in the data halls. This allows for high-density cooling while keeping the floors level at the same time. With a depressed slab, customers don’t have to use ramps when moving equipment in and out of the data halls. Additionally, we have constructed deep trenches around the data halls that will contain piping.

3D rendering of Texas 2 piers and foundation

Pouring the 185-mph Wind-Rated Roof

Texas 2’s roof has been poured and sits atop precast columns and double tee beams, awaiting several layers of insulation and seamless bitumen membrane that will seal the roof, making it waterproof. Texas 2’s roof resists severe hail, fire, and winds up to 185 mph. The roof also has high reflectivity, causing it to absorb less heat and adds to the energy efficiency of the data center.