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7 November 2014

BP Center for High Performance Computing Featured in The Architect’s Newspaper

The Architect’s Newspaper 
highlights HOK’s design for BP’s Center for High Performance Computing, which brings leading geologists and one of the world’s largest super computers together under one roof.

“Designed by a multidisciplinary team at HOK, which provided architecture, interior architecture, and MEP and structural engineering services, the three-story 110,000-square-foot facility houses, according to BP, the world’s largest super computer for commercial research. Its job, of course, is to compute and process geophysical data in the search for hydrocarbons. But the building is more than just a data center. It also accommodates workspace for some 120 geologists and researchers tasked with interpreting the super computer’s output.”

BP“‘I had designed a number of data centers before,’ said Peter Ruggiero, HOK design partner on the project. ‘Typically they’re only meant to house a few people. But this building had to house some of the brightest geologists in the world who need these dedicated servers to find the next sources of energy in the ground and they wanted them on the other side of the wall. So it’s more of a campus building about the work environment.’”

“Inside, the architects laid out fairly standard linear office space, which fit well within the cast-in-place concrete structure’s 30-foot column grid. A cascading stair provides access to the computing spaces, which are separated from the office program by a bright yellow wood panel wall. A service corridor surrounds the servers – on floors two and three with mechanical services on the first floor – creating a box within a box that provides a buffers space from the exterior.

“According to the firm, the building’s solar orientation and high performance electrical and cooling system deliver a power use effectiveness (a measure of the efficiency of a computer data center derived by dividing total facility energy by IT equipment energy) of 1.35, compared to a global average of approximately 1.85 according to a 2012 Uptime Institute survey.”

The Architect’s Newspaper