A great deal of energy is consumed by the data centers needed to power the world’s technology businesses. Players in this industry have come to realize the benefits of green building design for data centers- Facebook and Microsoft are just a few of the names you’re likely familiar with. In fact, the green data center market is expected to double by 2016 as businesses actively search for ways to cut back energy use and improve efficiency in this area.
So what is a green data center? Green data centers maximize energy efficiency while minimizing environmental impact. Green building design in Vancouver for data centers integrates energy efficient strategies and green technologies to enhance the construction and operation of such a facility.
What’s different about a green data center?
- They work to minimize the ecological footprint of the facility.
- Environmentally friendly building materials are utilized, such as low-emission floor and wall coverings.
- Sustainable landscaping is used to reduce the energy consumption and waste of the facility.
- Alternative energy technologies are used to provide some or all of the facility’s power, including solar thermal heating, photovoltaics and alternative heating and cooling systems.
Why is green building design important for data centers?
For data centers, green building design in Vancouver offers many benefits. Large data centers consume enormous amounts of electricity to power operations- the techniques used when designing a green data center can offset this energy use by providing alternative power sources or methods which reduce the initial amount of power needed. Less utility power needed means less overhead, which reduces a facility’s operating costs- the total amount of savings will vary based on the measures implemented. By increasing efficiency and lowering consumption, green data centers have a much smaller carbon footprint compared to traditional data center construction.
Below are some of the strategies which may be used in green building design in Vancouver for data centers:
- Exterior building materials- Materials are chosen based on their environmental impact as well as their ability to resist weather conditions and keep indoor conditions ideal. Salvaged and recycled materials may be used in green building design to lessen the environmental impact of the structure itself.
- Data center configuration- Housing equipment in the interior of a facility as opposed to against exterior walls where they may be affected by outdoor temperatures, creating the need for excess cooling. Close-coupled cooling may also be used to reduce cooling need, by locating cooling systems near heat-emitting equipment within the data center.
- Alternative energy generation- In order to provide power for the data center’s needs, alternative energy technology such as photovoltaic panels can be integrated to convert solar energy to electricity for use inside the facility.