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KBSE near to completing £12m M&E project

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Kier Building Services Engineers (KBSE) is reaching completion of one of its biggest commercial M&E fit-out projects. Under a £12 million contract, Kier’s specialist M&E engineering business is installing a full range of mechanical and electrical services, including standby power supplies, for a new data centre and offices at Arlington Square Business Park, Bracknell. The development is for GMAC-RFC, the UK’s tenth largest mortgage lender.

KBSE, in partnership with Moss Construction, another Kier company, is responsible for the design and installation of mechanical and electrical services for the new headquarters building. The original concept design had been produced by M&E consultants Chapman Bathurst.

The M&E contract, part of a £30m construction and fit-out project awarded to Moss Construction by developer Goodman International, involves fitting out all four floors and providing dedicated services to the data centre and other key areas within the offices.

Due for handover in April, the 110,000 sq ft building will incorporate a cutting-edge direct cooling system for the data servers and a 6300 amp busbar (electrical conduction) system with a line voltage rating of 400 volts. The busbar installation (pictured) consists of multiple runs connected between two 3000 KVA transformers and two 2000KVA static generators back to the main low-voltage switchboard, ensuring power back-up for data services at all times.

The busbars’ copper conductors are embedded in a fire retardant, self-extinguishing encasement and enclosed in epoxy cast-resin filler to ensure high mechanical strength and resistance from corrosion or chemical attack. Once sealed, the concrete trenches are designed to be self-draining, using a sump pump to remove surplus water.

Two 2MVA diesel generating sets are situated in a purpose-built twin generator acoustic enclosure designed to restrict the noise level to no more than 65dBA at a distance of 1m from the enclosure.

Describing the installation, KBSE’s Managing Director, Ray Manning, said: “By normal industry standards, this is an exceptionally large M&E project, reflecting the scale of the infrastructure required to ensure power for GMAC’s main data centre in the UK is uninterrupted if mains supply should fail.

“The capacity of the standby generators and associated services are impressive and the busbars alone amount to multiple runs totalling 380 metres and 150 tonnes of copper.”

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