Cobalt Data Centre 2, Newcastle

Newcastle’s Cobalt Park is the UK’s largest business park

Project Details

  • Scheme & Version: Data Centres 2010
  • Stage: Interim
  • Location: Newcastle, UK
  • Score & Rating: 90.32 % Outstanding
  • Certificate Number: BREEAM-0038-8231
  • BREEAM Awards Winner 2013

Project Team

  • Client / Developer: Highbridge North Tyneside
  • Assessor Company: Cundall
  • Architect: Woods Bagot
  • Structural and building services engineer, sustainability consultant and Contractor: Bowmer & Kirkland
  • Cost consultant: EC Harris
  • Landscape architect: Waterman Group/One Associates
  • Ecological consultant: Waterman Group

About the Building

Cobalt Data Centre 2 is the latest addition to Newcastle’s Cobalt Park, the UK’s largest business park. The new building provides more than 11,700m2 of floorspace and continues the sustainability ethos that developer, Highbridge North Tyneside has adopted for the park. The first building developed on the park achieved BREEAM Excellent, and this new centre raises the bar with an ‘Outstanding’ rating. The next building on the site also targets BREEAM Outstanding.

Environmental Features

  • Air cooled data halls
  • Localised dedicated plant associated with each hall to reduce part load and centralised plant losses
  • Office and administration spaces facing onto an external courtyard to promote natural ventilation and controlled daylight penetration
  • Natural light to all usable spaces to reduce lighting loads
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • Air source heat pumps for heating and hot water
  • Use of construction materials with a very low environmental impact (Green Guide A-rated), and use of recycled aggregates
  • Responsibly sourced thermal insulation with low embodied impact relative to its thermal properties, specified to optimise energy demand and heat recovery
  • Rainwater harvesting from large data hall roofs to provide water for toilet flushing
  • Extensive site waste management plan (SWMP) covering several projects on the campus
  • Substantial enhancement in the ecological value of the site
  • Power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.16
  • A rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

‘At Cundall we recognise the need to deliver truly sustainable development. Cobalt Data Centre 2 had expert design input at the feasibility stage (which drove down the cooling load and Power Usage Effectiveness), an architect receptive to low carbon design principles and a client enthusiastic to achieve a highly sustainable outcome.

‘From concept the design team developed an integrated approach, which established a solid basis from which to achieve the BREEAM Data Centres 2010 “Outstanding” result. The client role has been a crucial success factor in the quality of the final product, as well as the full integration of BIM which has helped to develop, test and display the building design capabilities.’ Cundall – Assessor Company


‘Cobalt Data Centre 2 was designed to be extremely flexible, cost effective and also to meet the highest environmental standards. As we were very conscious of the carbon footprint of this building, special care was taken to ensure that it would operate optimally with low energy demands. We are delighted that with the assistance of our consultants we have been able to achieve an “Outstanding” BREEAM accreditation.’ – Client, Highbridge North Tyneside