Case Study

Joint Research Center (JRC)

By August 21, 2019 June 28th, 2021 No Comments


The Joint Research Center (JRC) is the European Commission’s in-house science service located in Ispra, Italy. The JRC was expanding and asked GIGA to build a data center that was on the cutting edge in terms of performance and efficiency. The challenge was figuring out a way to put it in an ancient concrete warehouse. Thanks to our modular technology and creative team of experts, there’s now a data center at the foot of the Alps that is the envy of a whole continent.

Modular Data Center - Joint Research Centre (JRC)


  • The generations-old, concrete-walled warehouse greatly limited our modification options. Constraints included lack of space and lack of power.
  • Due to the lack of available power at the building, additional power had to be brought through distribution to the site.
  • Extremely high efficiency goals were set – a targeted PUE of 1.25, meaning the power to support the data center infrastructure would need to be just 25% of the total power that the IT equipment consumed. Usually this is one for one, or a PUE of 2.0.
  • Location was near the Swiss border at the foothills of the Italian Alps.
  • Situated nearby Lake Maggoire, Italy.


  • Our second-generation modular data center design allowed the data center to be built right on the concrete floor.
  • Utilizing modular skid-mounted electrical and mechanical infrastructure, we overcame the power limitations and eliminated centralized power rooms.
  • We took advantage of the times when cooler outside air temperatures allowed using outside air to provide free cooling.
  • When temperatures rose, we took advantage of the plentiful water supply from Lake Maggiore for inlet server supply. In hotter periods, our adiabatic cooling units were used.
  • The facility beat the ambitious efficiency goals, delivering a PUE of 1.15.
  • The enclosure’s modular design has the flexibility to accommodate any of the JRC’s future growth in rack capacity needs.