Exclusive: Arup To Design Apple Data Centre In Ireland

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Global engineering and design firm behind Apple’s £600 million County Galway data centre build

Apple’s proposed Irish data centre will be designed and engineered by Arup, a multinational structural planning and consultancy firm.

Information obtained by TechWeekEurope reveals that Arup, which also offers project management and planning services, will coordinate the County Galway build from its Cork offices.

Arup has previously been behind numerous data centre builds, including Citi Bank’s Frankfurt data centre and HSBC’s Hong Kong Tier IV data centre.

The firm’s Irish division, with offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick, has been responsible for the design of buildings such as Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 and Cork County Hall. In London, the firm provided structural engineering for the London Eye, the Millennium Bridge and the HSBC Tower.

Neither Arup or Apple have responded to TechWeekEurope’s request for comment at the time of publishing.

“State of the art”

The Irish data centre will be one of two new data centres Apple is planning to build in Europe. Another “state of the art facility” is set to be built in Viborg, Denmark. The data centres are designed to store European users’ data and to power its online services, such as the App Store, iCloud, Siri and iMessage across Europe. Apple is spending £1.25bn on the builds.

A mission statement on Arup’s website reads: “Arup in Ireland has been delivering landmark projects since our foundation in 1946, when Ove Arup teamed up with a local architect for the design of the Irish national bus company headquarters in Dublin, which represents outstanding importance in the history of Irish architecture.”

In April, planning application was filed for the 500-acre site in Athenry, County Galway, that includes a single storey data centre building that will be 263,000ft², along with a single-storey “logistics and administration building” which will cover 56,000ft². The site looks to be operational by 2017, creating about 300 jobs.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed data centre in Athenry

Apple said it will work with local partners to develop new types of renewable energy to provide power in the future for its facilities.

“We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives.

But according to the Irish Times, a group of local residents in Athenry is opposing its construction.

Residents say that the data centre will negatively impact a nearby primary school, as well as affect local wildlife.

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