Specialist Security Protects the Construction of Data Centres that Serve the World

A global social media giant opened new data centres late last year in County Meath, Ireland. One of just six such data centres across the world, they handle the data of their 2.5 billion users globally.

With bases across Europe, site security specialists VPS Group were selected by the international building contractor Mace, to help protect and secure the construction of the massive data centres. Built on a 250-acre site, they deployed their award-winning VPS Smart Towers, state-of-the-art CCTV towers that are purpose-built to cope with the dynamics of ever-changing building sites. 

Work on the huge data centre started in April 2016 and features two 2,300sq m (25,500sq ft) buildings currently housing eight data halls, linked by an administration building. A third data hall is currently under construction and two further blocks are going through the planning process. It is estimated to have cost €300m and at one stage was the largest building project in Ireland.

Comprising day and night cameras, sensors and alarm systems, networked to an on-site monitoring station run by their partners, Provincial, the 20 towers covered the site 24/7, and were independently powered by hydrogen cylinders, with zero emissions, apart from water.

“Theft of equipment, plant and fuel from construction sites is a major problem all over the world, with Ireland experiencing a 35% rise last year, with the value of stolen goods reaching almost €8 million” Says Eoin Foley, VPS Group’s Ireland Managing Director. “The VPS Smart Towers are fully loaded, that combine leading technologies, but they have two outstanding features.

“One is their flexibility and their wireless connectivity which enables them to be moved around the site easily, without any cabling. For a dynamic construction environment that is critical, as the works areas will change almost daily, so that the Smart Towers will often be moved two or three times a week. And secondly, the hydrogen cylinders, with zero emissions apart from water, is an additional environmental benefit, and dovetails well with the primary client’s zero carbon commitment, as the data centre itself is fuelled by renewable energy.”

Advanced camera technology wirelessly transmits live and recorded images over any mobile, WiFi or satellite network. 24/7 monitoring combined with siren warnings to create an extremely effective deterrent – as soon as an alarm is triggered, the on-site security operations centre can identify the exact location and send out a patrol immediately.

The VPS Smart Towers incorporate vandal-proof pan-tilt zoom (PTZ) and fixed cameras, supplemented with infra-red illuminators, a variety of movement detectors; digital recorders, and a public address system can also be fitted.

The unique combination of technologies and expertise has helped to prevent trespassers and crime on the site, and have won VPS Group several of Security and Excellence awards, including for Customer Care Initiative, Best Use of Technology, and Innovation of the Year. They are currently hold the Transport Technology Business of the Year Award.


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BDC 318 : Jul 2024