15 October 2021

Topping-out ceremony at the STOS Competence Centre of the Gdańsk University of Technology

The STOS Competence Centre, which is being built at the Gdańsk University of Technology, has just topped out, which means that an important construction stage has been completed – the highest structural point of the building has been constructed. Now it is possible to intensify the works related to “closing” the implementation of the building and work on the elements inside, including the cooling system of the “heart” of this investment, i.e. the server room.

The STOS (Smart and Transdisciplinary knOwledge Services) Competence Centre is being built on the campus of the Gdańsk University of Technology in Traugutta Street, near the building of the Faculty of Management and Economics. It will be one of the most modern IT centres in this part of Europe. It will include the so-called “bunker”, i.e. a place with one of the fastest supercomputers in Poland, enabling the collection, processing and archiving of huge data sets and the performance of complex simulations in scientific research.

“The new space is to be the seat of the Information Centre of the Tri-City Academic Computer Network at the Gdańsk University of Technology and the IT showpiece of Pomerania,” says Professor Krzysztof Wilde, Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology. ”Thanks to STOS Competence Centre, we will become an even more recognizable academic centre in Poland and Europe. The capabilities of the Centre will allow our scientists to carry out even more ambitious research projects, and students will receive new teaching opportunities and access to the latest technologies.”

“STOS Competence Centre is to be ready by the end of June 2022. We carry out the works in accordance with the schedule, and it must be emphasised that the facility is characterised by a significant degree of complexity,” says Małgorzata Winiarek Gajewska, President of the NDI Group. The challenge is both the building geometry and the multitude of installations, which requires good planning and coordination, as well as high discipline in the organisation of the work of our subcontractors and suppliers. However, we are satisfied with the progress of the works,” adds the President of NDI, Małgorzata Winiarek-Gajewska.

The work is in full swing. Construction works have already been completed. In part of building B, the facade of the building and, in large part, the steel structures and partition walls, are practically ready. In addition, plasters and door joinery are completed. Work on all installations is underway.

No less happens in part of building A. This is where the roofing and installation of external facades began. A steel substructure, partition walls and installations are being developed.

A supercomputer means super requirements

“At the “0” level, that is in the heart of the facility, where the server rooms are located, works on the installation of ice cold technology, power supply with busbars, telecommunication installations are very advanced,” lists Michał Sadowski, Project Director, NDI. “In the server room, the fastest possible assembly and completion of all installations is planned, i.e. the laying of pipelines, busbars, power cables, the water mist technology. We want to quickly finish these rooms and equip them with the necessary devices, such as switchboards, control cabinets, pumps, valves. We want to be able to check the installation and make all tests as soon as possible,” he adds.

STOS Competence Centre will be equipped with the latest generation technical and network infrastructure, and the server room itself is to meet the highest standards of data security, i.e. protect it against fire, water and electromagnetic fields. The supercomputer will require special conditions, including continuous cooling.

“In the coming months, we will intensify works related to the implementation of technological cooling installation. We plan deliveries of equipment, including exchangers, pumps, buffer tanks, the so-called heart of the installation,” announces Dominik Kardynał, Site Manager, NDI.

What else is going on at the construction site?

As winter is approaching, the builders are also building a district heating network and a sub-station. An indoor installation is being prepared to distribute heat in the facility. Building B is already closed with a roof and external facades. In building A, works are still underway to protect it against rainfall.

In addition, electrical works are carried out both inside and outside the facility. Cable routes, cabling and busbars are mounted. A medium voltage network and a telecommunications duct system are being built. Additionally, the so-called Faraday cage is being built in the facility, which is used to protect and shield the server chamber against electromagnetic fields, securing data against deletion, damage or theft.

The advancement of sanitary works is approx. 40 percent. Connections of the rainwater sewage system, sanitary sewage system and heating connection have already been completed, and the following installations are in progress: internal cooling technology, water and sewage system, water mist extinguishing, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

A smart facility for over PLN 150 million

The implementation of the investment began in September 2020. NDI is responsible for the construction of the main facility with an area of approx. 12 thousand square meters and for the development of the area around it. The works also include the construction and equipment of server rooms.

The server room will be situated on the ground floor. So will its element – the so-called “bunker” and the hall, porter’s lodge, showroom and offices. Offices with a conference room, social facilities, and technical rooms will be built on floor +1. On the +2 and +3 levels, there will be offices, a ventilation room, cooling devices, as well as a technical part supporting server rooms. Two underground storeys will be dedicated to car parks as well as technical and storage rooms. The facility will be equipped with a smart building control and environmental monitoring system.

The cost of building a smart facility is nearly PLN 156 million, of which PLN 90.1 million comes from the EU subsidy under the European Regional Development Fund, obtained through involvement in the project of the Pomeranian Voivodeship Marshal’s Office. 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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