Telia Helsinki Data Center

Telia Helsinki Data Center – Every Engineer’s Daydream

Photo: Telia Finland Oyj

The Telia Helsinki Data Center is the biggest open data center ever constructed in Finland with a maximum of 24 MW IT capacity. Granlund executed the detail design and the site commissioning of the new data center.

Located in the rocky soil of Helsinki, the Telia Helsinki Data Center is a unique place. It is the biggest open data center both in Finland and in the Nordics, and besides Telia itself, it is used by Telia’s customers and partners. Telia’s data center provides wide range of services from consumer services to telecom and IT services for different businesses.

“There’s a huge demand for this kind of data center already now, let alone in the future. The Helsinki Data Center ensures IT’s production capability and efficiency and meets future demands, like the needs brought by 5G”, tells Juha Ekman from Telia Finland, Project Leader for the HDC building project.

Data centers consume a vast amount of energy. In Telia’s data center, special attention has been paid to environmental impact, which is also verified by external certifications such as CEEDA. The Helsinki Data Center also has a highly efficient heat recovery system.

“The design of the facility enables all the reuse of heat from ICT production. As the capacity increases, heat can be captured and recycled to the district heating network around Helsinki. Since Telia buy carbon neutral electricity in theory, the data center works as a carbon sink through energy reuse”, says Granlund’s Project Leader Jari Innanen.

The hybrid open data center was a result of teamwork

Granlund was involved in the project from the beginning, both in the design and in the commissioning of the data center. The design included all technical systems from HVAC, electrical and building automation design to security systems and information networks. The design was executed together with Royal Haskoning DHV which is Dutch Engineering company.

“The commissioning phase of the project was every engineer's daydream. We got the opportunity to do the commissioning of a large-scale facility and build something that had not been done before. The data center uses the latest technologies, and, in addition, the part of coordinating all the aspects from different participants was really challenging and interesting for our commission team”, Jari Innanen describes.

Telia's aim to make a multi-purpose hybrid data center set the bar high for everyone participating in the project. On some occasions, the wheel had to be reinvented because that exact wheel didn’t exist yet. No one had the complete solution, and that had an impact on the whole project. Everyone had to work more as a team and think about the bigger picture, not just stare at their own role.

“We set up a solution mechanism during the project to keep the table clean from problems. Whenever a problem occurred, we gathered together a team that we knew would have the solution. This required a strong commitment from everyone, but it was the key to a successful outcome”, says Juha Ekman.

Everyone had to work more as a team and think about the bigger picture, not just stare at their own role.

Long-waited addition to the Finnish market

The Telia Helsinki Data Center was completed on schedule in the spring of 2018, and it even exceeded the quality standards. The functionality and continuity of digital services require that the production is reliable and safe. Telia's data center focuses on security, both physically and in terms of cyber threats. As environmental responsibility, security is demonstrated by certificates: they are indicators that ensure that the HDC meets the high standards.

“Data center operations have started as planned. We have both our own and customer production running there. Feedback has been really clear: this kind of data center is a very welcome addition to the Finnish market”, says Juha Ekman.

Granlund’s Jari Innanen is very pleased to have been involved in the project. “We were able to learn in an extensive project and be part of building the process. We had a committed customer and a committed team, so the result was really good.”

Telia wanted to invest in the commissioning phase of the project, and Granlund's contribution earns praise from Ekman. “Granlund's whole team put their hearts and souls into the work without looking at the watch.”

Data center on a video

This data center was a project of the Granlund's Mission Critical team.

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