Project Case Study

West Cambridge Data Centre

University Information Services (UIS) has taken ownership of its new two storey data centre on the West Cambridge Site, which officially opened on 19th March 2015. This has enabled many of the University’s disparate machine rooms to be brought together into one industry-leading energy efficient, secure, fully managed facility.


Rather than attempting to refurbish its existing diverse data storage infrastructures, the University and Cambridge Assessment formed a partnership and invested £20M in a bespoke world-class facility to support business operations, teaching and learning, and research communities for years to come.

The West Cambridge Data Centre will serve the current and future needs of UIS and the institutions for whom it manages IT infrastructure, the High Performance Computing Service (HPCS) supporting the University’s research activities, and the administrative needs of Cambridge Assessment, that manages the University’s three examination boards. Cambridge University Press also share the Cambridge Assessment Data Hall.

What we did

AFS installed a bespoke system to protect the computer systems and data in this building.

Detection comprised Notifier ID3000 control panels and a combination of Notifier Opal optical detectors in non critical areas with Notifier VIEW high sensitivity Laser detection installed in the return air path within the computer rooms to ensure the faster possible detection of a fire at the incipient stage.

On detection of a fire, Argonite carbon neutral suppression gas is released into the room, with each room reaching design concentration within one minute.

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West Cambridge Data Centre: World Class Data Facility
Detection: Notifier High Sensitivity Laser Point Detection
Suppression: Multi-Bank Inert Gas System