The Cloud…Covered!

The construction challenges of cloud and data centers continue to change and evolve with the ever-increasing use of and reliance on the facilities. Today sees an increasing focus on efficiency, reliability and reduced downtime, while build schedules continue to tighten. Perceived rate of obsolescence also continues to be an important consideration.

Designers, architects and construction companies are using a variety of methods to tackle these challenges including using modern materials, and agile or modular designs. One of the contemporary products being adopted is the GRP composite channel access covers made by Fibrelite, which offer many unique benefits.

To meet new challenges, a number of designers and construction companies are turning to contemporary materials like the GRP composite channel access covers made by Fibrelite, which offer many unique benefits.

The Unique Challenges of Data Centre Construction

Internal design is key to data centre construction as it supports the extensive infrastructure, servers and cabling required whilst enabling fast maintenance, (concurrent in the case of Tier 3 and 4) and scalability. Infrastructure normally includes UPS, power distribution, cooling systems, fire systems and security systems, many of which have redundancies (up to 2N+1 for Tier 4 facilities).

As the use of data centres has increased, their requirements have evolved significantly. In recent years, this has led to an increasing need for efficiency, reliability and reduced downtime risk, which has seen an increasing focus on value over cost.

Perceived rate of obsolescence is also an important consideration, and wherever possible, facilities must be adequately future-proofed. The designers and construction companies building today’s facilities are tackling this challenge by adopting agile designs, using modern, expandable materials, and following a modular approach.

Composite Access Covers Simplify Construction and Maintenance

One contemporary product being adopted to increase the efficiency of data centre construction and maintenance is bespoke modular GRP composite infrastructure/cable trench access covers. These are made by Fibrelite and to date, have been adopted by data centres throughout Europe, Asia and America, and specified by some of the world’s largest brands. For the last 30 years, Fibrelite’s lightweight composite manhole covers have also been specified by many leading oil companies around the globe for use on their petrol stations. Locally, this includes BP, Esso, Total, and many more (to be localised). In fact, Fibrelite created the world’s first composite manhole cover, back in 1980. If you have a car, you will have walked over a Fibrelite cover many times when refuelling.

The designers and construction companies building today’s data centres are adopting Fibrelite trench/channel access covers to cover and provide access to channels housing underground infrastructure and fibreoptic cabling. Traditionally, these covers were made from concrete or metal.  However, Fibrelite’s innovative modular GRP covers are far lighter and allow safe fast manual removal, even when heavier load ratings are required (e.g. channels running between buildings with vehicle traffic). Fibrelite covers are available in load ratings up to F900/90 tonnes, are impervious to corrosion and have a unique anti-skid walking surface.

In many instances where these covers are adopted, companies choose to specify a bespoke option, custom-manufactured to the exact size, colour, load rating and fittings (e.g. securing systems) sometimes as a retrofit replacement for previously installed concrete or metal covers.

“In environments like data centres and cloud facilities where efficiency and flexibility are vital, it’s important to simplify every process possible. We’re impressed at how the level to which data centres are adopting our composite covers for just such a purpose”

Jo Stott

Marketing Director – Fibrelite

Fibrelite GRP composite covers (pictured) are approximately 1/3 the weight of traditional materials

Fibrelite: Over 30 Years of Composite Expertise

Fibrelite, the global leader in the manufacture and development of GRP manhole and trench covers draws their expertise from over 30 years of working with and being specified by the majority of the world’s leading oil companies including locally BP, Esso, Total, and many more. Look down on any petrol station forecourt, and odds are, you’ll see one of their covers. They actually invented the world’s first composite access cover back in 1980 for Esso UK (ExxonMobil) to solve manual handling injuries; and their covers are now specified in myriad industries globally.

Fibrelite is proud to design and manufacture in the UK for the UK, enabling a rapid design to delivery process.

Since 2013, Fibrelite has been a part of OPW (a Dover company) allowing the company to offer an unprecedented portfolio of complementary best-in-class products.

For more details on how and where Fibrelite covers are being adopted, check out their case studies here


Notes for Editor:

Full quality images can be found on our MyNewsdesk Service

Featured In

Construction UK

Premier Construction

Composites UK

About Fibrelite

Fibrelite is a global manufacturer of highly-engineered glass reinforced plastic (GRP) composite access covers capable of taking up to 90 tonne loads whilst still being light enough to be lifted by hand and is renowned for its high quality technical support and service.

Initially developed almost 40 years ago and now industry standard for petrol station forecourts, Fibrelite covers are increasingly specified for both new and retrofit work in a variety of industries in more than 80 countries around the world.  To find out more, please visit

For more information, please contact Aaron McConkey ( +44 (0) 1756 799773)

Fibrelite; Snaygill Industrial Estate; Keighley Road; Skipton; North Yorkshire BD23 2QR