With multiple challenges facing the data center industry in the years ahead, it is important to be with the right partners.

At RED Engineering Design, we’re proud of the work we do and wanted to share some of our latest updates with you, including our policies on sustainability and equality, as well as introducing two new key members of the team who will help us achieve our vision.

Founded in 2004, RED Engineering Design is a global company of specialist building services and ICT engineers and has led the drive towards the zero-carbon goal for over a decade by providing step-change low-carbon solutions. In simple terms, RED applies technical expertise to enable the world’s digital infrastructure and help clients realize ambitious plans for zero-carbon built environments, whilst covering the entire life cycle of building projects.

With a rich nineteen-year history of outstanding client delivery, RED’s reputation for having best-in-class technical capability is centered on talent, being a great place to work, and having an absolute commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

RED has a track record of offering a wide variety of services including:

  • MEP
  • Sustainability
  • ICT
  • Health and safety
  • Process engineering
  • Lead design consultants

To businesses across multiple verticals including:

  • Technology
  • Commercial
  • Lifestyle
  • Warehouse logistics
  • Public sector
  • Life sciences
  • Industrial

RED growth

Following a sustained period of growth, RED now has over 850 employees, operates on projects across 75 countries, and has EMEA and APAC office locations which now include London (UK Head Office) Bicester, Guildford, Newcastle, Dublin, Cork, Berlin, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Clark.

RED sustainability

Government bodies are in a constant state of flux as they react to advances in environmental policy, physical climate change, and supply chain constraints.

As society makes strides towards a sustainable future, the urgency of the final goal has become much greater and RED’s mission is to accelerate sustainable transformation with outcomes such as zero carbon, drawing on extensive experience in green hydrogen, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass /biofuel.

Today, RED has reached a point on the path towards zero carbon far beyond that envisaged when it was founded in 2004.

RED equality, diversity, and inclusion

When looking to improve our commitment to equality and diversity, we first had to identify the issues at play. Our core findings were that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects are rarely encouraged to women at an early level, despite girls performing better in academic subjects than boys at this critical age and so, as an industry, we need to be opening the door to more women and making the sector appeal to them.

Women in RED

WiRED is RED’s internal network celebrating women in RED, which forms part of the IDEA initiative. RED’s IDEA began in 2019 to promote an Inclusive, Diverse, Ethical, and Accessible workplace for all employees.

Our WiRED members are committed to driving RED’s mission; to encourage, inspire and lead by example, and RED’s mission is to empower women to lead courageously and achieve career success by cultivating a community of belonging, connection, and growth.

At RED, we want to inspire young women within the industry with an interest in STEM subjects, and those at a much younger age, to learn more about the opportunities available in construction and engineering.

In March, associate mechanical engineer, Alina Sabanska, represented RED as a keynote speaker in ‘The Big Debate’, on how data centers become more diverse.

Our WiRED team regularly visits schools in the UK and internationally and has already delivered critical engagement sessions in 2023, tackling key topics such as STEM, sustainability, and graduate recruitment.

Most recently, RED attended the STEM in the Park event, hosted in Crawley on 20th May 2023 in its newly developed partnership with the Gatwick STEM Team. Key representatives from various disciplines across the RED organization spent time engaging with young people and families from the local community, providing valuable insights into the engineering industry and the rewarding careers available to those interested in STEM subjects.

RED vision

As RED Engineering Design matures as an organization and embarks on the next phase of its evolution, the company is on course to exceed 1,000 employees in its 20th year and is now announcing pivotal developments to its current structure.

To enhance its focus on serving clients in both the data center vertical market and the built environment as a whole, RED is excited to confirm the newly created roles of chief operating officer and managing director – technology sector.

Mark Smith, chief operating officer

Mark Smith will take on the newly established global role of chief operating officer and will focus primarily on driving the efficiency of operations across our business, whilst further facilitating growth and ensuring quality assurance for RED on a global scale.

An accredited tier designer and chartered engineer, in 2020 Mark was awarded Fellowships of both the IET and CIBSE. Mark has 35 years of experience as a building services engineer and project director and has worked on a large number of data center and mission-critical projects, as well as award-winning projects across the UK and Europe, in the commercial, industrial, retail, educational, sports, and healthcare sectors.

RED’s chief operating officer will also oversee numerous transversal operating activities that are essential to the business, including health, safety and security, quality and compliance, R&D, digital engineering, and real estate.

In addition to supporting the expansion of RED’s prominent technology sector, Mark will continue to support RED’s built environment division which he brought together two years ago to bring focus, create further expansion opportunities and diversify our business into new sectors. The built environment division currently supports over 250 staff across EMEA and provides services including:

  • Sustainability
  • Certification
  • Commissioning management
  • Site services
  • Traditional design

To a variety of sectors including:

  • Commercial premises
  • Retail
  • Hotels
  • Venues
  • Residential
  • Aviation
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Warehouses
  • Logistics
  • Life sciences
  • Industrial sectors

As well as additional specialisms in ICT infrastructure design and energy transition.

Mark’s view: The built environment

Mark believes that the company’s unrivaled experience in designing fast-paced and technically complex buildings has enabled RED to further diversify its business; bringing class-leading processes and systems to traditional building services design and putting RED at the head of the class in each sector.

With the creation of an energy transition services team two years ago, RED has built on its experience in delivering low-energy, innovative, sustainable solutions and is now bringing this thinking to campus scale. Having previously designed many district heating and cooling networks and connections to technology buildings, today we have a number of live and recently completed projects – designing at-scale, micro-grids, and off-grid utility solutions, that many of our competitors are only just starting to imagine.

From high-performance buildings to multiple land-use developments, RED applies leading-edge tools to solve complex, systemic challenges and provide for a more sustainable connected world.

Lee Prescott, EMEA managing director – technology

Lee Prescott will assume the role of managing director for the technology sector and will continue to lead the teams serving the data center vertical market in the UK, Ireland, and Europe.

With significant international experience delivering projects in the UK, major European cities, and the UAE, Lee has a strong appreciation for differing business cultures, local codes, and delivery strategies.

With over 25 years in the building services industry, Lee has extensive design and project management experience across sectors, including significant expertise in data centers as well as highly serviced offices, call centers, and retail.

Lee’s award-winning data center portfolio spans a range of project sizes and types and includes large-scale chilled water cooled sites with innovative low energy/high availability solutions, up to 240MW campus facilities with evaporative cooling, complete replacement of cooling infrastructure at a live site, without service interruption as well as technology upgrades and enhancements for numerous facilities.

Lee and the wider technology team will ensure the continuation of RED’s high-quality project delivery and effective management and will focus initially on leading tech sector expansion in Germany, and then in other countries in the future.

Lee’s view: Future-proofing data centers

Lee believes that the data center industry is at a key turning point requiring a more holistic approach to energy efficiency and low carbon impact. Targeting PUE has made great strides over the years in reducing data centers’ carbon emissions, but the next appreciable step-changes will come from “bigger picture”, collaborative thinking.

Data centers need to become a part of a wider ecosystem acting as “prosumers” contributing waste heat to communities and industry, and contributing to power grid stabilization. As the industry responds to increasing demands on power availability, data centers will drive flexible microgrid solutions with a focus on sustainable energy production.

Amongst the range of future low-carbon energy solutions being developed, now is also the time to seriously review whether nuclear will play a role in the next chapter. Small modular reactors and microreactor capacities align well with hyperscale data centers and campus sites.

If the challenges associated (perceived or real) with the technology can be overcome, this may represent a credible zero-carbon solution. One thing is for sure, RED and the wider industry will keep rising to the challenge and keep innovating as it continues to grow and mature.