Redeveloping land for data centre boom

Our engineering and environmental teams helped gain planning consent for Langley Business Park in west of London, while increasing site value and addressing local development objectives.
Coordinating environmental and engineering teams
Investment companies have interests in various assets, including industrial estates. Creating the greatest value from them is vital for business survival in increasingly turbulent times. The process for looking at different options for these assets includes design development and optioneering to assess what will bring the most value to all stakeholders.
Effective coordination between environmental and engineering teams is vital and enables technical issues to be addressed quickly and efficiently, which Ramboll achieved on this project.
Redeveloping a business park
The Langley Business Park is an aging industrial site near Sough, to the west of London. [Time] In 2020 Ramboll was engaged to assess options for its redevelopment, and our services helped to gain planning permission and increase the value of the site.
Initially our clients, Aspire Development Management and Columbia Threadneedle, were looking at a residential-led, mixed-use development or redevelopment for industrial use. Ramboll was engaged to assist with an optioneering study and our environmental input was key to shaping the parameters of the proposed redevelopment. Our multidisciplinary approach enabled iterative design development, with engineering solutions and assumptions on options feeding directly into environmental assessments. It became clear through these studies that a site incorporating a data centre, affordable housing and the potential for a district heating network would satisfy local development and sustainability objectives, as well as maximising value for the client.
Achieving planning consent
Outline planning consent was unanimously granted in September 2020. The plans include a new Tier 4 data centre accompanied by a mix of commercial space and up to 60 residential units, as well as an energy centre.
Outline planning consent means that the developer will have the flexibility to pursue their own requirements within the boundaries of the approved plans, while – crucially – shortening their time-to-build and begin operations.
District heating potential
The UK government has committed to phasing-out gas-fired boilers in residential homes by 2025, and so forward-thinking, sustainable, low-carbon energy schemes will be necessary in the years to come.
Ramboll’s experience in district heating enabled the incorporation into the design of the Langley project of an energy centre with wider community benefit, with the potential to use waste heat from the data centre in a low-carbon district heating system that could heat 5,000 homes and the local hospital

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