Integrated Expertise for Data Centers

5 June 2024

Starching's know-how in a continuously growing sector

The ongoing digital transition is generating an ever-increasing volume of digital data, driving the demand for facilities to store it. Consequently, the data center sector is rapidly expanding, an area where Starching is highly active, leveraging its decades of expertise. Starching holds a 33% stake in Maestrale S.r.l. (with Redesco projects S.r.l. for structures and Ariatta systems engineering S.r.l. for systems), a company that operates both in Italy and internationally in this sector, closing 2023 with a revenue of approximately 10 million euros. This partnership aims to maintain closely interconnected yet distinctly specialized brands, showcasing to clients an integrated competence capable of creating value.

Starching designed the renowned Green Data Center for Eni in Ferrera Erbognone (Pavia), inaugurated in 2013, a facility that was state-of-the-art a decade ago. This digital processing center handles both management computing and seismic simulation processing (High Performance Computing). It houses 5,200 square meters of data rooms arranged in six independent sections, accompanied by 35,000 square meters of system service areas and around 1,200 square meters of office space dedicated to data center management. The total complex spans approximately 45,000 square meters.

Paolo Colombo, Starching’s Director of Commercial Activities, explains that the sector’s growth is driven by the underdeveloped state of Italian infrastructure, necessitating improvements and increased data allocation, which cannot all be situated in the United States. Contrary to what one might superficially think, this is not a trivial matter, considering these are the places where “our videos, emails, and social media messages are stored.”

Transitioning from virtual to real, it is important to remember that a data center is a structure with its own functional architecture. Thus, for clients, Colombo notes, “the container is important. The infrastructure supporting the servers must ensure business continuity; the servers must operate continuously, even in the event of a blackout.” This necessitates preventing overheating, highlighting the importance of the container. In the Eni Green Data Center, given suitable atmospheric conditions, the architectural form alone can provide the airflow necessary to cool the servers, maintaining an operating temperature between 18 and 26 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 20%-70%. This “passive” cooling helps reduce electricity consumption.

Great attention is also given to urban planning regulations and the ability to create innovative systems, with constant monitoring of consumption. Also In this specific sector, Starching’s strength lies in its team’s expertise, able to address client concerns and guide all involved disciplines holistically. From pre-feasibility to construction and utilizing BIM as an orienting method, a guarantee for the entire project process.




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