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Hardware Thread, Partition wall for server room in Technical; Hello All, We're having a clearout of our server room (the one with the rack sunk through the floor), hoping ...
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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Partition wall for server room

    Hello All,

    We're having a clearout of our server room (the one with the rack sunk through the floor), hoping to clear up some space. We're considering then partitioning the room in to two sections, one half to be air-conditioned and hold the server rack, the other part for an office / storeroom. How do I go about building a partition wall for a server room - is there anything special I need to consider, or can I just nip down to Wikes, buy some timber and plasterboard and get on with it? Do I need to put sound / heat insulation inside the wall? Are there any fire regulations I need to comply with?

    --
    David Hicks

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    creese's Avatar
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    If you have never built one good luck.

    It is an easy enough job if you know what you are doing and check walls, floors & ceilings for cables and pipes. Some 4"x2", plaster board and some loft insulation in the spaces. Filler and tape for the joints and some paint. Don't forget the nails and screws.

    Wickes will probably have a leaflet.

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    dhicks (24th September 2010)

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    They had to get our LEA to do mine. £3k for a few bits of timber a few plaster boards a bag of nails and a couple of days of cutting and hammering.

    And people wonder where all the money actually goes in schools.

    Good luck building your own, I hope your head realises the thousands you save your school by DIY'ing!!!

    Butuz

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    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    They had to get our LEA to do mine. £3k for a few bits of timber a few plaster boards a bag of nails and a couple of days of cutting and hammering.

    And people wonder where all the money actually goes in schools.

    Good luck building your own, I hope your head realises the thousands you save your school by DIY'ing!!!

    Butuz
    3K ????? Did they use the gold plated plasterboard? I'm going back into the building trade.

    I'm about to build one when refurbish my bathroom, I wouldn't believe I was saving a couple of grand even with the door and window in it.

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    The school caretaker built the partition for our server room. As you say a few bits of timber, some plasterboard and some nails. They did also get it plastered to finish it off .

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    Worth insulating it so your nice air con room stays colder when the room next door heats up - no point wasting energy.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Thermal insulation would be good, as would using 2 layers of plasterboard. This will help with noise attenuation. You should probably have the inside at least skimmed to reduce the surface fire spread risk, but I don't think you need it to be formally fire-proof although with 2 sheets a side, and if you use a fire door, it could be.

    Beware that plasterboard isn't 8x4 sheets! I've been bitten in the past by not realising that it comes in 1200x2400mm sheets. For timber use CLS 2",x3". It is better quality than the banana shaped stuff that B&Q sell as PAR.

    BTW Creese four inch by 2 inch plasterboard isn't going to go very far!
    Last edited by Andrew_C; 24th September 2010 at 01:58 PM.

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    dhicks (24th September 2010), torledo (25th September 2010)

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    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    BTW Creese four inch by 2 inch plasterboard isn't going to go very far!
    That's why i put " 4"x2", plasterboard....." Note the comma. 4"x2" is timber 4 inches by 2 inches, with metric lengths, commonly known as fourbetwo in the trade, a trade where I am qualified unlike the one I am in.

    Personally I wouldn't consider using 3"x2" for a partion of any decent size, unless you like wobbly walls.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    You should probably have the inside at least skimmed to reduce the surface fire spread risk
    What's "skimmed", what exactly am I skimming, and how do I go about it? Does this involve spraying the inside of the server room with something, or is this something to do with plastering?

    --
    David Hicks

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    buzzard's Avatar
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    3"x2" is a standard stud wall (50x75mm timber) infill with acoustic rockwool NOT Thermal (ie not loft insulation). board with 12.5mm Plasterbard preferably Duplex (foil backed) which prevents moisture crossing the wall. the skim (plastering to most people!) and the two layers of 12.5mm plasterboard would give you a 30min fire wall (needs to extend above any false ceiling. This I believe would be notifiable to Building Control to ensure it's safe as it's in a public building. Thats why a contractor would charge the £3,000. I've done a fair bit of construction work and I tend to do things like this in house due to cost issues but would always recommend it being done correctly. If you're no plasterer and there's no need for the 30min fire wall then buy T/E (tapered Edge) plasterboard and you just fill the joint and paint!

    Oh and agree with Andrew C dont buy the PAR (planed all Round) wood from B&Q, best go to a timber merchent (most will take a school PO) and ask for PSE (Planned Square Edge) or CLS (Canadian Lumber Size) timber, it should be C16 Strength graded if it's decent wood!
    Last edited by buzzard; 24th September 2010 at 03:26 PM.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Sorry Creese, I did miss the comma.

    Skimmed = thin coat of plaster. May well not be necessary.

    One thing I don't think we've mentioned, is that if the existing room has fire detection in it, this will need extending into the new partitioned section.

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    dhicks (25th September 2010)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    One thing to take into consideration is the wall height if you have drop ceilings. The wall should go all the way up to the roof/hard ceiling rather stopping at the drop ceiling. This prevents large amounts oh heat and sound leakage and also helps to suppress fire for a little longer if the worst occours.

    I would definatly use insulation if just to help deaden the sound. The draft strips for the bottom of doors can also help by plugging the gap that bit more and deadening a little more of the noise.

    Edit: the recommended slightly thicker beams are also good for adding to damping, the last thing you want is a wall resonating with your server fans or failing if someone leans on it a bit hard.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 25th September 2010 at 10:57 AM.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    One thing I don't think we've mentioned, is that if the existing room has fire detection in it, this will need extending into the new partitioned section.
    I'll check, but I'd be surprised if the room has a fire detector in. I was thinking, though, would a marine-style automatic fire extinguisher be suitible for a server room? You can get ones designed for engine rooms that set off if they get above a certain heat, has anyone used one of those in a server room before? I suppose I'd better also see about lighting - we'd have to get an electricican in to install new switches for two rooms, of course, but I guess that means I would have to leave conduits in the walls for them to run wires down?

    The other option (that I thought of as I was opening my nice new slide-door wardrobe last night) is to simply build a sliding-door partition at one end of the room. This whole partition really only needs to be big enough to fit a 19"-wide rack and an air-conditioner in, so basically a walk-in wardrobe might be just the thing. Rack access would be nice and easy (just slide the door away to get at the rack) and it wouldn't need separate lighting and so on. I'd just have to find a sliding door solid enough to keep the cold air in the cupboard and stop a decent amount of noise.

    --
    David Hicks
    Last edited by dhicks; 25th September 2010 at 01:27 PM.

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    buzzard's Avatar
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    I'd build it big enough so you can easily have access to all sides of the racks, a load of CO2 extinguisers in and one by the door (or just in your door!) You shoudl have fire detection equipment ion each room if it's a pubilc building. I'm not sure which you'd need for a server room as a heat detector might well go off!!! (well might serve a purpose if the aircon stops!!)

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