Conceptual and Schematic Design of New Data Center

Cardno created the conceptual design and schematic for the new data center for the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

The Cardno team successfully doubled the existing UVA campus-wide IT capacity, as well as power and cooling of the data center, with no disruption of service to the existing UVA IT infrastructure.

Cardno collaborated with data center specialists MEP engineers to design an Information Technology Data Center for the University of Virginia (UVA). The initial project was to provide conceptual design options for a state-of-the-art data center which not only met UVA’s present computing system needs, but also the institution’s future requirements. 

The Cardno team provided a number of viable options with multiple building plan configurations and three-dimensional BIM massing and site layouts. Once the project was formalized, Cardno and team were then engaged to complete the design and construction documents for the data center. 

We were responsible for Design, Construction Document Development, Construction Administration and the coordination and consultation between all design, construction and UVA staff. Working alongside UVA IT staff, the following requirements were identified: single-hardened path electrical and mechanical systems, 5,500-sqft raised floor area, and 950-sqft for telecommunications in a total building of 13,456-sqft. 

This project provided a unique challenge – to double the existing UVA campus-wide IT capacity, as well as power and cooling of the data center, with no disruption of service to the existing UVA IT infrastructure. Severe site limitations imposed by existing utilities, stormwater structures and a railroad line also required the design to be two stories, while simultaneously allowing the project to take advantage of the site topography with grade entrance at both levels.   

Cardno also served as LEED consultant to register the data center with the USGBC for LEED Silver certification. This provided another specific challenge, given the extensive energy requirements inherent in a data center. All energy draws, including power and cooling were closely scrutinized and the project utilized the most innovative systems design available, with reliability being the critical component.