Modular set-up and future-proof

A brand-new data fort opened in Drenthe recently. Boasting a PUE of 1.26, this purpose-built data centre with its Tier3+ design is energy-efficient, uses the latest technologies, is scalable and enjoys the highest security status. Excellent, safe and innovative are the core values of EVINOVA, the modular data centre that has been built for the future.

EVINOVA Data Centre B.V. primarily focuses on provincial and local authorities, regional hospitals, larger SMEs and financial institutions. EVINOVA also endeavours to become the preferred partner of renowned IT firms. Products and services offered include co-location and hosting.

Datacenter with Tier3+ design ready for business

One of the unique features of the scalable data centre designed and implemented by ICTroom is its safe location, one and a half metres above Amsterdam Ordnance Datum. This is unique in the Netherlands. After all, such a high position is very rare in the Netherlands, particularly in the Randstad area of the country. This also makes EVINOVA the ideal partner to be utilized as a twin data centre for organizations with a position in a data centre in the Randstad area. The data centre also distinguishes itself by means of its low PUE of 1.26, extra high racks of 51U with a rack depth of 120 cm, power per rack up to in excess of 6.0 kW and a total capacity that allows for 20,000 server positions, with the possibility of expansion up to 30,000 server positions.


Director Dik van der Leeden states that EVINOVA was specially designed to serve as a data centre. A start has been made on designing the technical infrastructure, and only once this is complete will the building itself be designed. It is already three years ago now that the plan to set up this data centre was composed. The more the idea was fleshed out, the more the size of the data centre grew, ending up three times as large as initially planned. This data centre has been built to be fully modular, making it fully future-proof.’
The foundations were laid in October 2012, says Van der Leeden. ‘The extraordinary thing is that the construction of the building and the completion of the data centre were carried out by ICTroom pretty much simultaneously. In view of the schedule, this was inevitable. ‘Unsurprisingly, in this regard meticulous fine-tuning between all involved parties took place beforehand, giving us the confidence that this would actually produce the desired outcome in practice too.‘ Due to the fact that the building and interior were erected simultaneously, the parties regularly consulted on the construction work throughout the project, ensuring work could be harmonized seamlessly. At the end of April 2013 the data centre was completed in line with planning.’

Modular set-up and future-proof

Close cooperation

It is not the case that ICTroom designs a data centre, whereupon an architect designs the building and then the construction firm takes over and does the building work. Throughout the process a great deal of harmony is required between the parties, says Hans Regterschot, Project Manager at ICTroom. ‘In my experience, the extent to which such harmonization is required is occasionally underestimated. ICTroom produces a design for the technical infrastructure of the data centre based on the customer's desired specifications. The architect and the construction firm then set to work with this. Obviously they then make certain decisions, and these decisions have the capacity to influence our design. Which is why consultation is so important. Together you discuss the options, reach a good compromise, and the designs are adjusted if need be. Fine-tuning is also necessary in order to be able to build in modular fashion. What do we have to sort out now in order to be able to do something in the future without this impacting on the operation of the data centre? We already have very exact knowledge of what lies ahead during the technical design phase, enabling the construction firm to incorporate this into their design.’

"We kunnen telkens de nieuwste technologieën toepassen"

Integrated systems

It was agreed with the construction firm that no construction work would be done in rooms where ICTroom was working. Hans Regterschot: ‘ICTroom is building a clean room and that's something you want to have clean right from the outset. You can't have any machining work there any more, for instance. Due to the work on the building, cleaning work was carried out more often and we installed special mats to minimize the ingression of dirt. In order to build a data centre that is as energy-efficient as possible and to prepare for ISO certification, special amenities were introduced as early as the construction phase. Lighting, security and access control are interrelated, for example, and so we connected them. Now everything is run by the intruder alert and access control room. Thanks to motion detectors and pass readers, they know exactly what rooms people are in. This also makes it possible to switch on lighting only in those rooms, ensuring energy consumption is dealt with extra efficiently. The data centre's fire alarm and extinguishing system is connected to the building's evacuation system. The customer can immediately see at the main control room what alerts have been triggered and where. All systems talk to one another and satisfy regulations. Here too cooperation was the key word. In order to ensure the end product is good, you need exactly the right things, right down to the door locks.’

Modular set-up

The data centre will be kitted out in line with a phased approach, states Van der Leeden. ‘The completion of the building signalled the completion of the first phase. A room with space for one hundred extra high 51U racks. Behind this first room, a second floor is already ready. We only have to add the room interior to render this second phase operational. Subsequently there will be room in the data centre for another four phases. The bulk of the amenities are already on-site. ICTroom's design was very thorough in this regard.’ Ultimately a total floor area of over 1,500 m2 will be made available in six phases. Dik van der Leeden: ‘An added advantage of the phased approach is that it enables us to use the latest technology at each stage. We have an amortization schedule of five years. It won't run completely in synch, but once we reach the third, fourth or fifth phase, for example, we'll be able - if a little exaggeration is allowed - to do away with the first phase and kit it out again, thus giving rise to a neat cycle of modernization. Six phases in which we will always be using the latest technology.’

At each stage we will be able to use the latest technologies

Flywheel UPS

The data centre's modular set-up can also be seen in the e-room. In the floor next to the main distribution frame, frames are visible on which new equipment can be installed. This does not need to be done until the need arises. This precludes high levels of investment for equipment that is not yet required. All preparatory work has been carried out, rendering demolition work or renovation unnecessary. The extra equipment can be installed in the frames and connected straight away. This e-room also contains a Flywheel UPS, an ultramodern and energy-efficient technology that is still relatively rare in the Netherlands.

Adiabatic cooling

The EVINOVA data centre uses free-air cooling. Furthermore, preparations have been made to add adiabatic cooling. Dik van der Leeden: ‘All required provisions were introduced at the construction stage. Yet another example of building for the future. Nothing will have to be prised open. Just shove it in and it's purely a matter of switching a couple of bits of equipment in order to have it operational. Adiabatic cooling enables us to make an extra step towards becoming an even greener data centre. EVINOVA had already been scaled to a PUE of 1.26, and adiabatic cooling will only make this more efficient.’

Adiabatic cooling will create an even greener data centre


The name EVINOVA stems from the Dutch words for such core values as excellent, safe/secure and innovative. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that as soon as the data centre was complete the company decided to initiate a certification process for ISO 9001, 14001 and 27001. Van der Leeden: ‘We're totally ready for it, because the data centre was built fully compliant. So now it's purely about getting the certification. The audits will be carried out before the end of the current year. The data centre has a Tier 3+ design as well as a number of unique properties such as its location significantly above Amsterdam Ordnance Datum, the high-quality technologies we employ, its scalability, the level of security and its environmentally friendly nature. These are great compliments people frequently offer without having to be asked. And so as far as I'm concerned the bottom line is that ICTroom has done sterling work here. Their design was very thorough. They delivered on time and fulfilled agreements. They're a good team and I'm in awe of what they've created here.’