So, IBM has raised its own bar as far as green data centers go, earning a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for its new facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. This is IBM's first LEED Gold recognition. The company has also said that the new data center is the most efficient among the 400 that it manages around the world.
According to the requisite press release issued by the organization, here are some of the factors that contributed to the certification. Not all of them is technology related, of course.
- Reuse of about 95 percent of an existing building shell of a 100,000 square-foot-building. The company recycled 90 percent of the materials that it wound up taking out along the way. Once stripped, the building's carbon footprint was cut in half.
- Installation of a rainwater collection system that catches about 3.5 million gallons per year off the roof; this creates a non-potable supply that can be used throughout the facility.
- A reflective roof design that helps minimize indoor climate control needs, along with the installation of an airside economizer that free-cools the data center for about half the year. Sensors keep tabs on the humidity and temperature to determine when the alternate cooling system should kick in. According to IBM, that design helps shave annual energy costs by 15 percent.