GE's latest data center earns LEED Platinum rating

With its massive retrofit in Kentucky, GE has constructed an IT operations center that is 34 percent more energy-efficient than most buildings like it.

Platinum ratings under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building system are still pretty rare -- just 6 percent have them -- so it is notable that GE Appliances & Lighting has scored one for its new data center in Louisville, Ky.

The building is part of GE Appliance Park, which is the GE group's headquarters location in Kentucky. This retrofit is kind of fun because apparently this was one of the first sites back in the 1950s for one of the first commercial UNIVAC computers, so you can see that GE has a history of investing in technology innovation from an IT systems standpoint.

Among the factors that contributed to the rating:

  • The building is 34 percent more energy-efficient than others like it.
  • The new facility reduces the data center floor by half compared with the space that it replaces; this was made possible because of the high-density servers and cooling technology that it uses. The servers themselves use 18 to 24 kilowatts per cabinet, compared with 4 to 7 kilowatts per cabinet, so you can see what kind of density we are talking about.
  • The water consumption for the building was reduced by 42 percent, comparatively speaking
  • GE isn't using renewable energy directly on site, but it has offset approximately 35 percent of the facility's anticipated power consumption with renewable energy certificates
  • Approximately 50.7 percent of the construction materials for the site were sourced regionally
  • Slightly more than 30.2 percent of the building materials were recycled
  • GE managed to keep 85 percent of the construction waste out of landfills

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