• SPAWAR data center.

Project Details


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SPAWAR Data Center Design, JB Charleston NWS, SC

When SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic required a new data center to help consolidate more than 100 Navy data centers to increase effectiveness and efficiency and to reduce costs while still meeting the Navy’s security and operational requirements, NAVFAC Southeast selected RS&H to design the facility.

The new, state-of-the-art building houses a data processing room, a loading dock, and office areas with supporting facilities. The facility is a hub for SSC Atlantic employees working with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), server virtualization, cloud computing models, cybersecurity and defense, virtual storage, systems engineering and integration, and other innovations that drive today’s information technology environment. The new facility serves as a catalyst for the transformation of new, cutting-edge information sharing technologies that SSC Atlantic delivers to warfighters, prioritizing information delivery, and thus, saving lives.

The building is USGBC LEED Silver certified and is showing 41.7% EPact energy consumption savings. Using an integrated design approach, the team designed the facility to achieve 13% LEED energy cost savings. Water use reduction is 61% for flush fixtures due to a rainwater harvesting system. Thirty-five percent of the building’s materials are regionally sourced, and 21% are made of recycled content. Additionally, 75% of waste was diverted during construction.

The local soils are “liquefiable,” meaning that during a seismic event, there is the possibility of the foundation settling as much as six inches. RS&H designed the building and all critical site equipment foundations to be supported on a two-way slab on precast, prestressed piles, which extend below the liquefiable layer to the stiff soil below.

In addition to the soils, the access flooring requirement of the building made the foundation design increasingly complex because the foundation needed to support heavy data racks. To raise the flooring, the foundation was lowered by three feet below the exterior grade, which increased the potential for flooding. To reduce the flooding risk and avoid facility damage, the foundation was sloped from one end of the facility to the other, with different elevations for each row of piles. With the sloped foundation design, the facility did not experience any flooding from the 1,000-year flood in October 2015 and proved to be a sustainable and resilient building.