Data center providers committed to green building practices and operating high-performance, environmentally sustainable facilities earn major “cool points” with LEED certification.
Facebook, Yahoo! and other high-profile tech companies are LEEDing the way and setting the example for smaller, boutique data centers by obtaining a voluntary LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
What is LEED for data centers?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), developed in 2000 and growing in notoriety over the past five years, provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas.
- Human and environmental health
- Sustainable site development
- Water, energy and atmosphere efficiencies
- Material selection
- Indoor environmental quality
- Innovation in design
Energy efficiency is number one
Energy efficiency is the number one consideration for colocation companies as power demands increase. LEED certification encourages this trend and results in a win-win for both data center and environment.
As FIBERTOWN works to LEED-certify our colocation data centers in Houston and Bryan/College Station, we’ve seen some interesting measures to generate improvements in energy and cooling efficiencies.
• A sophisticated outside air evaporative cooling system that eliminates the need for cooling towers and chillers.
• 91 percent of the wood used was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
• 83 percent of construction waste was recycled, diverting about 530 tons of waste from landfills.
• A rainwater harvesting systems supplies all the water needed for irrigation and flushing toilets.
• A solar power system produces about 204 megawatts of electricity for offices, which are warmed by reusing heat from the data center servers.
Engaged the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps Program, a summer fellowship program that places specially-trained MBA and MPA students in organizations to help drive energy efficiency, to further reduce QTS’ carbon footprint.
GE’s appliances and lighting division has opened its new, LEED platinum certified data center at its Louisville, Ky., appliance park headquarters. GE says that the data center is 34 percent better in terms of energy savings than a typical code-compliant building, and that 35 percent of its energy use is offset through the purchase of renewable energy. It is the only LEED platinum data center in the state.
What green initiatives for LEED can you share?