Data center facility meshes with modern office

RagingWire’s TX-1 facility in North Texas is a mixture of an office space and operations hub for a sophisticated data center.

By Freddy Padilla May 13, 2021

The internet cloud lives in data centers located around the world. These facilities offer space, power, cooling and security for millions of computers/servers that host the information we depend on. As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows exponentially year over year, data centers are becoming essential infrastructure that supports personal, social, professional and commercial activities by connecting people and devices to each other.

Although RagingWire has in-house design and construction teams, the company lacked the resources to design its TX-1 facility in North Texas. RagingWire’s decision to collaborate with the architecture, design and engineering firm Page resulted in a hybrid project delivery model since the client/owner participated in the process and served as construction general contractor. The delivery model worked at scale to improve design, quality and speed-to-market.

TX-1 is the first facility completed as part of a five building, one million-sq-ft and 80 MW IT load development, which is the total power required by servers, storage, network and other devices in the data center that must keep running if there is a loss of utility power. TX-1 also is the first data center to be designed as a showroom for media and investors.

The public-facing office is a unique component of the program and allowed the Page team to integrate not only workplace strategy but also the company’s identity into the design. The building is a two-story, approximately 40,000-sq-ft glass and steel frame structure that houses offices for RagingWire Data Center operations and client use.

The first building constructed includes site improvements, 16 MW capacity and an integrated two-story office. Each 16 MW white space consists of126,000 sq ft of raised floor area subdivided into 1MW vaults within a 201,000 sq-ft total data center building shell.

Visitors to RagingWire’s TX-1 are often prospective clients. A carefully choreographed sequence of spaces utilizes the sequence of interior spaces – from the secure lobby, through the lounge areas and conference center and continuing up the stairs for a view of the secure data vaults and power room – as the “sales pitch.”

The choreographed route appeals to the savvy guest as the spaces demonstrate RagingWire’s capability and credibility in providing secure cloud-based storage and physicality of “where the cloud lives.”

Concrete walls and back metal clad surfaces encompass the concentric layers of secure areas beyond the entry, as a physical manifestation of the secure nature being offered. In contrast, white, cloud-like amenities spaces with large-glazed expanses express a sense transparency and accessibility of the cloud.

Class A office space is uncommon at most data centers. RagingWire anticipated that clients would station their own IT teams at this facility, so TX-1 offers well-appointed common spaces and amenities typical of tech companies. Social, community and conferencing facilities occupy the window line and face a courtyard that provides tenants with secure access to the outdoors.

IT systems administration is a round-the-clock job. Recognizing that some tenants would occupy the facility overnight and on weekends, the design team incorporated comfortable lounge areas where tenants can relax and socialize.

The board room offers a panoramic view of a functioning vault that allows clients to view RagingWire’s typical configuration without entering the vault, preserving security. Essential power and cooling systems are lit or painted in company colors for easy identification. A cantilevered skywalk offers another view of the vault and adds surprise to the design.

The company relies on its patented 2N+N electrical infrastructure – systems that enable RagingWire to maintain and update the data center, even during an outage. As a result, it has had zero downtime over the last 10 years.

The design of RagingWire’s TX-1 facility also enhances the company’s identity and its mission with amenities that meet or exceed today’s tech industry expectations, such as a community conference room, a lounge, break room, fitness center and hotel-like rooms. The design weaves a series of private and semi-public spaces of varying size and accessible by controlled levels of security enhancing the identity of the company and its mission.

Author Bio: Freddy Padilla is principal/engineering director at Page.