Ever heard of Advanced Data Centers out of San Francisco? Well, you're about to, since the corporate hosting services company apparently is the first company to earn a Platinum Pre-Certification for a data center under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program for rating green buildings.
LEED focuses on setting forth green best practices and metrics in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The facility in question is located in McClellan Park near Sacramento, Calif., and it was part of a project to redevelop an old airforce base. Here's more about the location of the new data center.
When it comes online in the spring, the data center will carry a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1, compared with the usual metrics of 1.8 to 2.0. Because of its efficiency, the project stands to save its owner from $1.8 million to $2 million in energy costs. The rating measures the amount of energy it takes to cool a data center vis a vis the electricity it takes to run the equipment within.
Bob Seese, chief data center architect with Advanced Data Centers, says took a herculean team effort in order to earn the points necessary to be designated as a Platinum facility, as well as particular attention to detail. "We knew we liked the LEED approach and we were hopeful that we would achieve the Silver level," Seese says. Ironically, reaching Platinum wasn't initially discussed, but when the company's team thought it was a possibility, they pulled together to achieve it. Here's more about LEED, as well as a plan to adapt the guidelines by early next year.
Seese says key factors contributing to the rating include the following:
- The site selection: Sacramento Municipal Utility District apparently has some of the lowest power costs in California at a price of 7.7 centers per kilowatt-hour. - The decision to invest in its own substation: Advanced Data Centers owns a 45 megawatt substation. - A program to capture 100 percent of the rainwater run-off water from the building and use for applications throughout the site, such as landscaping, cooling tower back-up and some bathroom fixtures. - The use of free cooling: The facility can use outside air about 75 percent of the time for cooling purposes. - A decision to recycle more than 95 percent of the debris used from the site demolition. This was no mean feat, Seese says, as the contractors discovered that the accounting requirements were incredibly onerous. - The use of non-toxic chemicals when it comes to finishes, adhesives and facilities maintenance. - Provisions for the use of daylight for ambient lighting.