By Philip Beale

New tenants will place great value on the ability to plug their corporate network into a purpose-built facility. This innovation saves time and does away with costly fit-out work.

When moving into a new office tenants need server rooms and sometimes mini data centres. The conversion of normal office space to accommodate IT equipment can be time consuming and inflexible when finished, especially in multi-tenant buildings.

Is there an alternative? Yes. Landlords can often provide some basement space separately for each tenant that is suitable for active IT systems.

This can result in:

  • Lower fitout cost
  • Faster fitout time
  • Better engineered space

It also means:

  • Prime office space is not wasted on equipment
  • Floor loading issues are eliminated
  • Greater flexibility if the tenant takes an extra floor
  • Less dilapidation work / delay at end of lease

With quality office rents at a premium the cost of converting expensive floor space to accommodate tenant IT equipment must be questioned.

The IT/AV team at Cundall are currently helping leading UK developers and landlords to use lower value basement plant areas to provide IT Co Lo (colocation) areas dedicated to specific occupiers.

With travel patterns changing towards public transport and cycling, an increasing number of basement car parking bays stand empty. Our Director of Transportation recently wrote about car parking bays and what else they could be used for. Lower ground areas can present ideal locations for comms rooms and even small data centres. Incoming power supplies and cooling plant are generally nearby.

From a business continuity standpoint, power and cooling systems can be focussed upon critical systems concentrated on one area, rather than dispersed across many floors.

For many landlords, the business case looks compelling. Rental income from IT equipment space should generate much greater income than car parking, bike racks or gyms.

New incoming tenants will place great value on the option to quickly plug & play their corporate enterprise networking systems into a purpose-built facility. This does away with the need to incur time consuming and costly space conversation and costly fit out work.

Unlike traditional fit-out in office areas there are fewer technical challenges and the resulting pressure to compromise integrity.

Services required to support data racks are more easily installed in a building basement, in particular; cabling routes, air conditioning plant, UPS housing/battery floor loadings, wall penetrations/fire rating, fire detection and suppression systems.

In a lower ground area the incoming telecommunication services from carrier common access ducts should be terminated directly adjacent to the data server equipment. Such an approach reduces the complexity of routing high speed carrier and ISP services throughout the building riser network.

The potential to support live systems in a properly designed equipment room appeals to many IT service delivery and network managers. If a problem occurs support staff only need travel to the building basement by elevator. Equally IT contractor and maintenance staff don’t need to encroach upon the client office workspace to attend to systems maintenance.

If you would like any more information, please contact Phil Beale,

Image: © ChrisDag


Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Phil – Good blog piece and relevant to a lot of our clients. Some data, such as multimedia content & models require the speed and bandwidth only a LAN can provide. Not everything can live in an off-site data centre….yet.


  2. Multi tenant building or any building with many floors, should have facilities like elevators. Other than that basic needs like, electricity supply, proper water supply and better cleaning conditions should be given importance. Thanks for sharing this information! I would like to know more about this!
    Elevator cab interiors West Palm Beach

    Liked by 1 person


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IT and Audiovisual, Philip Beale, Workplace


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