1 June 2021

Launch of STOS Competence Centre is getting closer

The launch of the innovative STOS IT complex of the Gdańsk University of Technology is getting closer

The state-of-the-art STOS Competence Centre is being built on the campus of the Gdańsk University of Technology. Work on this intelligent facility, unique on a national scale, is in full swing. Works currently carried out include, among others, systems inside the building that will have a huge impact on the functioning of the “heart” of the facility, i.e. the server room. Construction works that are unusual for enclosed structures are also underway.

STOS (Smart and Transdisciplinary knOwledge Services) Competence Centre of the Gdańsk University of Technology is being built on the campus of the university, in Traugutta Street. The investment is to act as a multidisciplinary data collection and processing centre – in accordance with the latest global standards. The facilities of STOS Competence Centre can also be used in scientific research in the field of, i.a., physics, chemistry, astronomy, biotechnology or medicine, as well as for implementation research for the commercialisation of science. The contractor for the investment, selected in a tender, is the NDI Group from Sopot.

“This is the largest investment in the post-war history of Gdańsk University of Technology,” emphasises Mariusz Miler, the Chancellor of GUT. ”In the second quarter of 2022, the facility will be ready for use. Already in the next academic year, our students and graduates will have the opportunity to see for themselves how modern server support systems work.”

However, not only the students of the University of Technology will benefit from the project. Talks are already underway with the authorities of other Tri-City universities about colocation, i.e. transferring their servers to STOS Competence Centre. This would lower their costs related to the purchase of equipment and its maintenance.

“The building will also serve the business environment. The computing power of the servers that will be delivered here will also provide opportunities for development in the field of IT to many companies in the Pomeranian Voivodeship,” emphasizes the Chancellor of GUT.

 

Installations for the “heart” of the GUT’s STOS Competence Centre

The core of STOS Competence Centre will be a server room equipped with advanced IT infrastructure, including a supercomputer. Ultimately, the machine will have one of the highest computing powers in this part of Europe, which will enable it to carry out complex simulations as well as transfer, processing and archiving of huge data sets.

“Our task is to ensure appropriate temperature and humidity in this room, as well as protection against fire, water and electromagnetic field,” says Aneta Tul-Sierpińska, Head of Sanitary Works from NDI. ”The corridor that leads to the server room is almost seven metres high. This gives us the opportunity to run our installations in two areas – some in the ceiling void, and some in a special space under the “raised” floor. This is a very rare solution.”

In the near future, the assembly of the precision air-conditioning and water mist installations will begin, which is logistically challenging due to the size and weight of the pipes. The diameter of the steel pipelines inside the building is almost half a metre, and their length is more than seven metres.

There is also a process cooling system with a heat recovery system, which will be used to heat the entire building. The facility will have an intelligent monitoring system to ensure the continuity of operation of all components.

 

Work on the construction site of STOS Competence Centre in three shifts

To make up for the harsh winter, work is now being carried out in a two or even three-shift system.

“We have already completed the backfilling of the building at levels -2 and -1. Works related to insulation and backfilling of the outer walls of higher floors are in progress. Level 0 ceilings have mostly been completed. We have started building walls on level +1 and we are boarding the ceiling on level +2,” says Katarzyna Przybylska, Construction Engineer from NDI. ”The structure of the building does not resemble typical enclosed structures. We perform here, among other things, walls that act as shields, and suspended ceilings and ceilings that are located on several levels within one storey.”

Despite the ongoing construction works, while maintaining all standards and construction technologies, NDI is also already carrying out finishing works inside the building.

“We have started the thermal insulation of underground garage ceilings, the first painting of the walls, and in a moment, we will move on to the installation of steel substructures needed to install the glass walls that surround laboratories and halls,” explains Michalina Szewczuk, Construction Works Manager of the general contractor, NDI.

The “bunker” with a server room, hall, gatehouse, toilets, the so-called showroom, and office rooms will be located on the ground floor. Offices, a conference room, social facilities and technical rooms will be built on the first floor. The levels +2 and +3 will accommodate, among others, offices, a ventilation room, cooling devices and a technical part for server rooms. The building will have two underground levels intended for parking lots and technical rooms.

The base cost of the investment, which will be completed in the first half of 2022, is PLN 155.7 million. PLN 90.1 million comes from the EU subsidy under the European Regional Development Fund, obtained thanks to involvement of the Pomeranian Voivodeship Marshal’s Office in the project. However, the total cost of the investment will exceed PLN 200 million – the difference results from the need to supplement STOS Competence Centre with additional, specialized equipment (including a supercomputer), which the university will successively purchase and install in the facility in the coming years.

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