NEXTDC data centre duo accelerates data-driven design revolution

by Sophie Berrill
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data centre

Two NEXTDC colocation data centres in Melbourne are set to house Australia’s largest and most comprehensive cloud ecosystem. 

Designed by HDR and constructed by Kapitol Group, Merlot 3 (M3) Melbourne is the new 100,000-metre-squared data centre in West Footscray, while Merlot 2 (M2) Melbourne is a 16,000-metre-squared data centre in Tullamarine. 

Collectively, the centres will deliver 210 megawatts (MW) of critical IT infrastructure to enterprises and the government.

“Utilising a data-driven design methodology, we have succeeded in delivering two purpose-built facilities, using modular and adaptable solutions, that will accelerate industry growth,” says HDR project leader Sam Faigen.


With stage one of the 150MW masterplan now complete, M3 operates as a colocation facility for retail, enterprise and hyperscale customers, fitted out with administrative offices, collaboration spaces and highly-adaptable data halls.

Strategically located close to major electricity substations, the campus is situated 10 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD and resides at the junction between large industrial developments and low-scale residential dwellings.

Engineered to Uptime Institute’s Tier IV resilient standards by Arup, M3 has achieved an excellent Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) and an industry-leading target PUE of 1.29, according to HDR. Planning consultants, Urbis and project managers, Newbridge also played a role across the design and construction process.


NEXTDC M3. Image: supplied.


At the same time, sister facility M2 is a 60MW campus and contemporary workspace strategically located near Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport and its surrounding transport and telecommunications network. Fitted out with commercial office space, meeting rooms, training spaces, an auditorium and customer amenities, the campus has been designed to be future proof, and transform and scale into a network of interconnected data halls on demand.



“With the ever-increasing digitisation of work, life and play, data centres are becoming fundamental infrastructure in our built environment,” says HDR’s national director of education and science Graeme Spencer. 

“By thoughtfully integrating deeply technical, data-driven processes, while still maintaining focus on community well-being, we have conceived two resilient, sustainable and high-performance campuses that enable digital transformation.” 

“The Australian digital economy is growing rapidly, accelerating the need for interconnected cloud services, sovereign-secured, and sustainable solutions enabled by Tier IV-certified facilities to assure business resilience,” says NEXTDC CEO and managing director Craig Scroggie. 

“As a market leader, NEXTDC is responding to market demand by expanding our digital infrastructure platform.”

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