Contractor appointed to deliver £30m supercomputing centre

CGI of the supercomputing centre

Russell WBHO has been appointed to deliver a £30m supercomputing centre at Daresbury Laboratory.

The Manchester main contractor was chosen for the Liverpool City Region scheme by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The firm is now preparing to start work at the 6.2-acre site before the end of the year and the project will take approximately 21 months to complete.

Its specialist team will manage construction of the 33,000 sq ft building to house two data halls, which will require an atmosphere maintained at 21-24 degrees, and an office suite with ancillary facilities.

The building will be steel frame construction with composite cladding to form the external envelope.

Russell WBHO will work with data centre specialist M&E consultants Sudlows to deliver the project. The professional team also includes project management consultant Arcadis, architect AEW, structural engineers Healy Consulting, and environmental consultancy E3P.

Nick Sunderland, commercial director for Russell WBHO, said: “We are extremely pleased to secure this contract with STFC following a multi-way tender process via the Crown Commercial Services Framework.

“Our involvement through the planning and pre-construction phase, coupled with our in-depth knowledge of highly-specialist industrial and temperature-controlled facilities such as this, has enabled us to bring forward a viable budgeted programme to deliver this scheme.”

The new supercomputing centre will support the £210m Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI) programme, a collaboration between STFC Hartree Centre and IBM that provides industry access to state-of-the-art digital technologies and expertise.

Home to some of the UK’s most advanced technologies in computing, data science and artificial intelligence (AI), the Hartree Centre’s supercomputing facilities are dedicated to industry applications. UK businesses can access specialist expertise and supercomputers, helping to accelerate productivity and reduce the time and cost of developing new products.