Roof of the computer center in Mainz with topping-out tree, flags of DCG, JGU and Germany, and 2 men on the roof reading something aloud

Topping-out ceremony for future-oriented data center on the JGU campus

Ceremonial milestone in the construction of the new data center for Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
News | 23.01.2024

After just nine months, the first milestone has been reached: the shell of the data center for Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has been completed. The first milestone in the construction work was celebrated with a topping-out ceremony ceremony attended by guests from the worlds of politics, education and business. The Minister of Construction and Finance of Rhineland-Palatinate, Doris Ahnen, Secretary of Science Denis Alt and the President of JGU, Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch, attended. All those involved in the Data Center Group project were also among those celebrating.

Secure and sustainable for teaching and research

The new data center will provide space for the university's entire IT infrastructure. It will house the data and applications for academic operations and research at the university. It also houses systems that are required for the services offered as part of the Rhineland-Palatinate Data Center Alliance (RARP). 
The university's new data center was designed according to the highest security and availability standards in order to guarantee maximum performance. Depending on the area, it meets the criteria of availability classes VK2 and VK3 in accordance with DIN EN 50600.
Security is a top priority in order to prevent failures and protect the university's data. Battery storage, emergency power generators, early fire detection and gas extinguishing systems guarantee maximum reliability. At the same time, four protection zones define access to the building in order to make sensitive personal data and research results inaccessible to third parties.
The data center was also built according to the latest sustainability standards. For example, a large part of the data center's cooling can be implemented in a closed water circuit without chillers in order to save resources. A corresponding interface is provided to extract the waste heat generated in the data center so that the heat can be reused. Photovoltaic modules on the roof generate additional energy to reduce the amount of externally supplied electricity. With a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of ≤ 1.15, the data center is one of the most energy-efficient data centers in Germany.

A project according to plan

With the building shell completely finished, the steel platforms on the roof have already been pre-installed, on which the recoolers for hot and cold water cooling have already been mounted. Parts of the water pipes, the drainage channels and the retention structure have also been implemented.
"The project has gone perfectly so far. We have overcome all the time, technical and construction challenges. From the colleagues on site to the headquarters in Wallmenroth - I am proud of what has been achieved so far and am optimistic about the next steps in the project," says Ralf Siefen, CEO of the Data Center Group, summing up the interim results.

The next steps

After the topping-out ceremony, the construction work goes straight into the next phase. The work on the first floor is now underway: The plant construction with the routes for cooling, ventilation and electronics. The greening of the roof can now also begin.
"We are motivated to tackle the next tasks. The entire team and our partners on site are working hand in hand as a strong team, so we are optimistic that we will be able to complete the project on schedule," says Tim Klein, Project Manager at the Data Center Group.
The data center is scheduled to be completed in around two years. It is scheduled to go into operation in mid-2025.

Facts & Figures:

  • Total area of the building: 1,870 square meters
  • Construction costs: 24 million euros
  • Power usage effectiveness (PUE): ≤ 1.15
  • 2 data center areas: Enterprise (availability class 3 / VK3) and High Performance Computing (availability class 2 / VK2) in accordance with DIN EN 50600 
  • 32 server racks in the Enterprise area and 112 server racks in the HPC area 
  • Maximum IT load: 3,600 kW
  • Photovoltaics
  • Green roof

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