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Cold Aisle Containment

Cold air falls and installing cold aisle containment provides a way to seal cold aisles in data centres and server rooms to prevent hot exaust air from IT server cabinets mixing with the cold air supplied to the front of the server cabinets. The containment system provides a way to consistently manage air temperatures and humidity, prevent hot spots within the room space, imrove the flow of heat through a server cabinet and reduce cooling system related electricity usage. With cold aisle containment in place data centre and IT managers can more accurately control the temperature of the cold air and do not to compensate from the level of temperature rise that can come from allowing cold and hot air paths to mix. A 1% reduction in the cooling system temperature setting can reduce operational costs up to 5%.

Cold Aisle Containment Pods from Server Room Environments

Cold aisle containment provides a way to efficiently manage and control airflow within server rooms, data centres (on-premises and Edge sites) and other IT environments to reduce cooling related energy cost and improve operational metrics.

  • A wide range of aisle containment solutions for all space sizes and budgets
  • Our bespoke design approach allows us to provide flexible and suitable cold aisle containment
  • Our aisle containment systems are suitable for new build and retrofit projects
  • Suitable for existing cabinet rows and space requirements to suit any cabinet width, depth, and height
  • Options include a selection of roof panels, infill panels and door types
  • Additional security measures including manual and electronic locking and access-controlled aisle doors
  • Additional systems available for environmental monitoring, thermal cabinet mapping and CFD analysis

Cold Aisle Installation

For retrofit sits, cold aisle containment can be easier to install than hot aisles. Provided the site has an underfloor or overhead cool air supply. The most common approach is to use clear ceiling panels over the top of server cabinets. Clear panels allow light into the space and panels can be selected based on their fire protection properties, especially where the aisle installation includes fire suppression. Where ceilings are not too high, vertical panels can be installed. These run to the top of the server cabinets to the ceiling void or panels. As with any containment system it is important to review the requirements for fire suppression and prevent airflow leakage.

Cold Aisle Containment Retrofit

One of the primary benefits of installing cold aisle containment is to improve cooling system efficiency and reduce electricity bills. Other benefits include improvement in operational metrics, including PUE, carbon related and sustainability emission metrics. Overheating also leads to equipment malfunction, reduced reliability and working life. Cold aisle containment can therefore extend the operational life of IT servers and secondary support systems.

The purpose of cold aisle containment is to enclose the cold aisle and prevent cold intake air and hot exhaust air from mixing. The containment raises the temperature of the returned air to the computer room air conditioning system and helps to improve cooling system efficiency. By managing the airflow, the data centre or server room’s temperature can be more effectively managed and controlled, typically reducing energy bills by 8-10% in the first year of installation. Further savings can be achieved through the use of natural air for free cooling. Cold aisle containment also helps to reduce the impact of warmer air inside server cabinets and helping prevent hot spots.

Cold Aisle Containment Features

Aisle containment systems from Server Room Environments use light weight polycarbonate fluted panels, providing good lift diffusion and easy removal for maintenance and server room cleaning. The system can be applied to any server cabinet installation, regardless of cabinet size, making it ideal for retrofits as well as new build sites. Fire suppression systems can be accommodated into designs and bespoke support brackets installed as required. Fire protection options include:

  • A fusible link release mechanism to allow the release of the panels at 58°C
  • A gas fire protection system with roof panels featuring a rubber seal to prevent gas leakage
  • An electronic roof release system that can be integrated into the existing fire suppression control system
  • Varius types of infill panels, either metal, Perspex (with a metal framework) or curtains
  • Self-closing aisle doors with the option to keep aisle entry at floor level clear of obstruction.
  • Top and bottom door guides to ensure smooth running while maintaining door rigidity when closed

The Benefits of Cold Aisle Containment

  • Cold air is directed straight into the server intakes, improving their efficiency and reducing the risk of failure
  • Cost savings of between 10% and 30% on current building cooling systems
  • Power savings on room hardware
  • Control of room temperatures, humidity, airflow and balancing
  • Improved U-space utilisation within server cabinets
  • A reduction in carbon related emissions
  • Typical payback within less than 12 months

Our Projects team provides a complete design, installation, and maintenance service for cold-aisle containment pods. Please contact us or complete our design enquiry form for a project review.


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