Architecture and Design

MCI Data Switch Facility/Data Center “The Zipper Building” – Fort Worth, Texas

Renovation of approximately 34,300 square feet on the first floor of a historic building in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Many of the design challenges for this project stemmed from the existing “land-locked” condition of the existing building, including the fact that issues such as engine generators, electrical transformers and handicapped accessibility had to be achieved within the footprint of the existing building. Additionally, only minimal changes could occur to the exterior of the building due to its historical significance. As the structural system of the existing building was inadequate to support the requirements of the renovation and the new extremely heavy loads of the new equipment, an extensive new structural steel flooring system was designed and installed. Equipment planned for the roof and the extensive grillage system was as if a new floor was added to the building itself. The new spaces consisted of 16,000 square feet of technical floor space, 1,900 square feet of technical support space and administrative office functions and 16,400 square feet of building support space that included battery rooms, generators, storage and circulation. Each of these areas had its own particular programming requirements and required specific attention with regard to their relationship to each other within a building that could accommodate little outwardly visible change. This facility maintains 24/7 operations with redundancies in the mechanical and electrical systems as well as extensive security and alarming/monitoring systems.