Sunday, November 9, 2008

Clayco Named Construction Manager for New Supercomputer Facility

Clayco Inc. was recently named construction manager for a new 90,000-square-foot computing facility for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the National Center for Super Computing Applications (NCSA).

Located in Champaign, the NCSA Petascale Computing Facility (PCF) will house a new supercomputer currently in development, known as Blue Waters. This IBM system's enhanced computing power will enable scientists and researchers across the United States to make extraordinary leaps in scientific discovery.

The PCF will feature a command center, system administration center and office space for 50 staff members. It will also contain a 20,000-square-foot machine room with a six-foot raised floor large enough to house Blue Waters, as well as other systems. Current plans also call for 24 MW electrical capacity and 5,400 tons of water cooling capacity from the University's chilled water distribution loop.

"Clayco's experience in data center design and construction will allow us to work in harmony with the innovative computer architecture and the needs of the scientists," said Scott Murnick, project director at Clayco and on the NCSA Petascale Computing Facility project. "We are excited for the challenge to drive the creation of a facility that embraces the requirements of operating an unprecedented research infrastructure while offering strategies for a system with the least impact on the environment."

Energy efficiency and sustainability are pivotal to the design and construction of this project. The PCF will achieve LEED certification, with LEED Silver certification as the goal.

Environmental efforts include building three on-site cooling towers to provide water that has been naturally chilled by the cold outdoor air, rather than electrically cooled and eliminating the installation of an Uninterruptible Power Supply to minimize floor spaced required and increase energy efficiency. Since Illinois is ranked among the top states in tornado frequency, the building is also designed to withstand an F3 tornado and winds of 165 mph.

Clayco added Nova as a team member. "We just finished a Mission Critical project with Nova in Chicago. This is a winning combination," said Steve Street, project executive. Nova is a Mission Critical Contractor based in New York, New York.

Clayco's project team includes Steve Street, project executive; Frank Baum, project estimator; Chad Derus, project manager; Frank Wiza, project superintendent; Scott Murnick, project director; and Kevin McKenna, Regional Vice President. The architect is EYP Mission Critical Facilities and the interior designer is M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates. The civil engineer is the Terra Technologies, Inc., the structural engineer is Rubinos and Mesia Engineers, Inc., and the mechanical engineer is Schirmer Engineering Corporation.

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