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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

Gemma Brady - Placement with Cundall Johnston and Partners

Cundall Johnston and Partners

Energy efficiency of data centres is the focus of DTC student Gemma Brady's PhD research, and the work placement that was completed gave her a great introduction to this topic area ahead of starting the project. Gemma spent six weeks working for an international multidisciplinary engineering consultancy (Cundall Johnston & Partners). Based in their London office, Gemma worked within the Critical Systems team who operate within the larger company wide Building Services section of their company. This team is concerned with the design of data centres and works on both the mechanical and electrical elements whilst other teams in the office provide the designs for the building.

Whilst working for Cundall, Gemma became involved with their work on one particular data centre which was still in the design stage. As part of the design process, Cundall were required to produce an energy efficiency report which would be submitted to the BRE in order to gain credits in the BREEAM scheme, with an ultimate aim of achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating. In order to gain a certain set of credits in the scheme, Cundall were required to produce a report of evidence for the energy efficiency of the data centre. This was the first time they had submitted such work to the BRE so Gemma's role was to plan out how best to present the report. Gemma gathered information about the project and produced the report with the help of engineers within the company. The work involved interpreting and understanding their energy efficiency calculation tool and presenting the results from it in the report.

Whilst working at Cundall, Gemma had the chance to go on a site visit to a data centre that was under construction. This was a valuable insight and Gemma was given a tour around the site to see the layout of the mechanical system that was being installed and tested at the time. It was fascinating to see inside this centre especially as it is a high security site and there will be very limited access to the centre once it is up and running.