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AppointmentsRussell WBHO confirmed for new £30m supercomputing centre

Russell WBHO confirmed for new £30m supercomputing centre

North West regional contractor appointed to Hartree project at Daresbury Laboratory

Manchester main contractor Russell WBHO has been appointed to deliver a new £30m supercomputing centre at Daresbury Laboratory in the Liverpool city region by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Russell WBHO is 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.

The company secured the project following a competitive tender process under the Crown Commercial Services Framework.

Russell WBHO’s 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.

The Trafford-based main contractor is well known for the breadth of its project capabilities and is responsible for constructing high-spec industrial and manufacturing facilities, including more than 1m sq ft in large-scale temperature controlled storage and distribution projects across the UK for leading global cold storage operators.

The team has also been recognised for its work delivering for high rise towers like the award-winning Axis and Oxygen in Manchester city centre, and sensitive historic refurbishments such as NOMA’s heritage stock and the Municipal Buildings in Liverpool.

Nick Sunderland, commercial director for Russell WBHO, said: “We are extremely pleased to secure this contract with STFC for the new supercomputing centre at Daresbury Laboratory 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.

Ben Small, project director for Arcadis, added: “Arcadis is delighted to have been appointed to project manage the development of the new supercomputing centre at Daresbury, working alongside STFC and Russell WBHO. This project will support the world class research delivered by STFC.”

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