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Brown University, Watson Data Center Upgrades
Providence, RI
Supporting increased
demand.
Upfront planning prevents unscheduled shutdowns.
On time and on budget.
Faced with increasing demands for administrative and research computing, Brown University needed to upgrade its crucial data center without shutting down. Building a new facility somewhere else was not in the university's budget or schedule. The project, located in the basement of a high-rise building, was rife with challenges.

HED developed a multi-phase plan to meet short-term needs while simultaneously establishing a ten-year growth plan in a more reliable operating environment. The master plan defined increases in capacity and reliability through the reconfiguration and upgrade of support and infrastructure spaces while the data center remained fully operational.

Carefully planned, choreographed construction upgraded or replaced all key systems. IT cabinets were organized into hot and cold aisles, network distribution was relocated into overhead trays, the sprinkler system was replaced, new and existing computer room air conditioners were configured into a loop and UPS modules were added. A new acoustically isolated operations center, separate from the noise of computers and HVAC equipment, improved the workplace.

The success of the project can be measured by how upfront planning while working with the university avoided any unscheduled system outages. The university avoided the significant cost of building a new facility by adapting its existing facility to meet immediate needs. The result is an updated data center delivered on time and on budget— and a detailed plan for future growth
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Results
All construction was completed without unscheduled system shutdowns.
The data center covers 4,700 square feet of raised floor.
Future plans target a 400kW growth over ten years (75kW Day 1 to 475kW final).
A new operations center includes a break room to provide improved services for the 24/7 staff.
Project Data
Watson Data Center IDG-DC-02
Brown University
Providence, RI
PROJECT SCOPE
Renovation, Study
HED ROLE
Design Architect
RSF/GSF
8,500
CONSTRUCTION COST
$0.0 Million
SUSTAINABILITY LEVEL
LEED Certified
YEAR COMPLETED
2011
Project Team
  • Robert Stein
    AIA, LEED AP
    Principal
    Architecture + Design

  • Peter Norris
    AIA, LEED AP
    Associate Principal
    Architecture + Design Leader

  • Wayne Drooks
    PE
    Senior Associate
    Mechanical Engineering

  • John (Jack) McCarthy
    PE, DCEP
    Principal
    Sector Leader

  • Robert Buchetto
    Associate AIA
    Associate
    Architecture + Design

Upfront planning prevents unscheduled shutdowns.
Brown University, Watson Data Center Upgrades
Providence, RI
PROJECT DATA
PROJECT TEAM
Supporting increased
demand.
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