Higher Education Facility

Project Overview

Heapy designed multiple Mechanical-Electrical system upgrades to the infrastructure within Indiana University’s Data Center. These projects included multiple capacity expansions for various Enterprise and Research Computing needs. Initially, this work began with modifications to support the relocation of their Research Supercomputer, “Big Red”, from a separate existing building. Most recently, Heapy has completed a project to replace this supercomputer with the new “Big Red II.”

The original Big Red was one of the most powerful university-owned computers in the US, and one of the 50 fastest supercomputers in the world. Part of a comprehensive strategy to build an advanced cyber infrastructure to support research at Indiana University, Big Red has a theoretical peak performance of more than 30 teraflops, and has achieved more than 21 teraflops on numerical computations.

Big Red II is the first announced system capable of at least 1 petaflop that is owned by and operated solely for the benefit of a single university.

The mechanical infrastructure upgrades included a large, built-up cooling distribution system to circulate cooling water to the high-density rack mounted cooling units. Racks are equipped with rack direct, high-density cooling units and utilize hot-aisle/cold-aisle cooling strategy. Heapy utilized CFD modeling of the data center rack layouts to ensure proper thermal and airflow performance of the high-density racks in the modified rack configuration.

The electrical infrastructure upgrade included new UPS systems based on both battery back-up and flywheel technology supporting dual cord power distribution for the rack systems.

Heapy also provided Commissioning Services for the new 82,700 SF Data Center. The Data Center was designed to withstand the strongest tornadoes, as well as a host of other potential disasters. Rising only a single story in height, the Data Center will capitalize on a low-slung, bunkered configuration to prevent the sort of destruction and system failure that university facilities have been fortunate enough to avoid thus far.

The new building replaced outdated facilities and provides more reliable protection from natural disaster. The three 10,000 SF machine rooms of the single-story data center houses crucial computing, networking, and storage equipment, providing a safe and stable hub for the digital IU Bloomington’s digital growth and expansion.

The data center’s bunkered design will withstand natural disasters—like the tornadoes that have struck the area in recent history—and it will protect valuable technological assets including the supercomputers Big Red and Quarry, and the Bloomington hub of Indiana’s statewide I-Light network. As a hub for the school’s most advanced technologies, not only will the new facility protect these assets, it will also offer the logistical space and flexibility to keep IU Bloomington competitive in research advancements and grants.

Heapy commissioned the following systems: Hot water heating system, Chilled water system, Central air handling units, Exhaust ventilation systems, VAV units, CRAC units, Automatic temperature control system, Power switchgear, Tier III redundant emergency power system and the Fire suppression system.

The Data Center construction project was $32.7 million.


85,000 SF


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