UZ and VUB build new data center in Zellik

UZ and VUB build new data center in Zellik
UZ and VUB build new data center in Zellik

VUB Rector Jan Danckaert and Minister of Education and Vlaamse Rand Ben Weyts have laid the foundation stone of the Uptime Tier III accredited data center at Green Energy Park. The first sustainable by design data center with double certification forms the cornerstone of the CO2-neutral multi-energy grid at the Research Park in Zellik.

In addition to the servers of the UZ Brussel and the VUB, there is also room in the data center for the latest generation supercomputers. Like educational, healthcare and government institutions, the data center targets various innovative national and international companies.

A sustainable CO2-neutral data center

According to the developers, the approximately 10,000 m² building spread over 9 floors is unique in Belgium. “The design is aimed at maximum energy efficiency. The energy used is 100% renewable, partly generated locally. In addition, the heat from the servers is recovered, rainwater is used for cooling and the building uses circular materials,” it sounds.

Jan Danckaert, VUB rector: “This is not only the foundation stone for the Datacenter, but also for the Green Energy Park. We are now also physically building a Research Park where scientists from the VUB and companies can work in the future. The VUB is happy that its servers can be located in the Datacenter. This gives us the digital infrastructure to spread science around the world and help people. This data center will be ready in 2023 and there is more than enough space for the new Flemish supercomputer.”

An additional advantage of this location is that the Flemish supercomputer can be housed in the middle of the companies in the Research Park. Companies that can also use it here, in addition to UZ Brussel and the VUB.

Tom Coolen, ICT director at UZ Brussel: “As a hospital, we are delighted with the start of the construction of this state-of-the-art data center. ICT is of great importance for the operation of the hospital and this new data center will allow us to take our IT infrastructure to a higher level, in terms of performance, security and continuity.”

Vice Minister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister of Education, Sport, Animal Welfare and Vlaamse Rand, Ben Weyts: “Projects like these in the Vlaamse Rand prove that we can fully commit to the digital future in a sustainable way. We are therefore pleased that the heat from the data center will heat the companies in the Research Park and the surrounding area in an innovative way in the future. I am convinced that this example project will inspire others. This state-of-the-art data center will also attract international attention.”

Companies at the Research Park are supported in their IT infrastructure through scalability and maximum connectivity without limitation. The heat recovered from the servers is used to heat future buildings at the Green Energy Park. The data center consumes as much energy as it returns and is the key to the ambition to achieve CO2 neutrality of the entire Green Energy Park by 2030.

Mayor of Asse, Koen Van Elsen: “The data center offers great added value for the companies in the Research Park. The Research Park will also attract new companies, thus creating more employment, also in the wider region around the Research Park. As a municipality, we can only applaud that.”

The construction and development of the data center is carried out by Ghelamco.

Michael Gheysens, Managing Director Ghelamco Belgium: “Green Energy Park offers us, as a Flemish and international company, a unique opportunity to combine and share knowledge with its pioneers VUB and UZ Brussel. This close collaboration is a lever for sustainable growth and transition of the science and innovation park of which the Uptime Institute’s Tier III data center will undoubtedly become an important cornerstone.”

Jimmy Van Moer, General Manager Green Energy Park vzw: “Today we take another step towards realizing our dream. Everyone can virtually follow the evolution of construction via the QR code and website that we make available here.”

Green Energy Park vzw

Green Energy Park vzw was founded in a collaboration between the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the University Hospital Brussels. As a strategic living lab, located in the Research Park of Zellik, Green Energy Park vzw encourages collaboration between companies, knowledge institutions, governments and end users by offering them unique testing grounds or living labs where they can test and refine their innovative developments in a realistic environment. With these living labs and its knowledge, expertise and training center, Green Energy Park vzw wants to bridge the gap between research and economy.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: VUB build data center Zellik

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