Achieving Data Center Energy Efficiency Through The LEED Initiative

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Achieving Data Center Energy Efficiency Through The LEED Initiative

Energy and water are two of the most basic as well as highly consumed utilities in any kind of building and infrastructure. People use them on a daily and regular basis, thereby making their operations a lot easier, convenient as well as efficient.

Aside from normal office and home infrastructures, data centers have noted to be one of the most common facilities that utilize great amount of electricity and water (operations, cooling).

In attempt to step up in conserving the resources of the environment and implementing data center energy efficiency, different initiatives such as the LEED or the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design have been implemented by organizations in order to help in battling with the increasing as well as uncontrolled consumption of these utilities.

The LEED Initiative

LEED has become a mainstream buzzword when it comes to developing as well as designing buildings and infrastructures in order to achieve a green and environment-friendly concept. Its inception started in the year 2010 by the General Service Administration mandating buildings to be renovated and fully designed in a way that it offers venue to conserve the natural resources and utilities.

This idea has been originally rooted from the US Green Building Coalition, who first conceptualized the LEED initiative. Such idea gained members with staggering number of around 50 million to 1 billion nowadays, thus coining it as the most widely recognized concept for green building.

The fundamental extract of LEED is to provide third-parties with a verification for buildings and communities to have a design for their buildings that is suitable for improving performance across all metrics that most matter.

These LEED metrics include energy saving, water consumption efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, stewardship of resources, improved indoor environment and its quality as well as the sustainability to potential sensitive impacts.

The application of this concept is very flexible to all sorts of building types, whether residential or commercial ones.

To guarantee that its elements would accommodate a lot of specifics of each building, its components made sure that it incorporated the building’s life cycle starting from the design, construction, operations and maintenance up to tenant out and significant retrofitting as well.

With this, you can simply imagine its benefits exceeding from just the simple footprint and the neighborhood of the infrastructure.

The Traditional Concept

Data centers are typically hungry beasts that consume over 300 watts of power on its operations. Heat generation is a normal occurrence, which is why maximum cooling technology must be ensured in order to guarantee the seamless and smooth operations of these machines.

Storing these machines in a traditionally designed concept for data center rooms would equate to a mouthful of uncontrolled expenses in terms of energy consumption since the very basic idea of this building is to only provide a housing element to the equipment and do not necessarily provide an avenue to conserve utilities for the overall benefit of operations.

While it is true that you could actually boost up its features by adding add-ons and whatnot, this would still demand you to generate a huge amount of money for the extra equipment needed.

The Undeniable Advantages of LEED for Data Centers

When it comes to data center energy efficiency, LEED concept offers a lot of benefits and compelling advantages to its clients.

Ensuring that a data center is in compliance with the LEED standards, any client could experience and achieve maximum benefits, especially in terms of cutting down the costs for energy and water consumption.

These range from:
  • Having real-time power monitoring and analytics during operations, which cannot be simply achieved when compared to traditionally built data center facilities.
  • Chilled water storage system that automatically improves chillers efficiency by converting approximately 10,400 kWh of electricity from peak to off-peak hours in a regular basis. Aside from this, chillers could also be turned off more than 75% of the time as its features allow it to have economizer operation that is enabled through water storage.
  • One could also have a cold air containment pods that have an element of variable speed fans that can be controlled to specifically match with the exact airflow of the server requirements. With this, power in data center is distributed on a higher voltage enabling an increased efficiency through the reduction of power loss.
  • The construction processes of infrastructures as well can be managed with LEED as it has features that help in diverting construction wastes to landfills and to recycled materials.
  • Since LEED is flexible, it can also be customized in a way that it would fit to the specific designs of data centers that demand for unique management and operation requirements.

The Process of Incorporating LEED to Data Centers

Whether you are managing a data center or any type of building, a process must be completed in order to apply for the LEED certification. And for potential clients, one should know the basic standardized scoring model used for judging buildings.

These are:

  • Sustainable site
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Water efficiency
  • Materials and Resources
  • Innovation and Design Process
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

To be able to have the LEED standards and certification, clients must know and accomplish the following:

  • Information on LEED certification processes
  • LEED documents such as checklists and reference guides. These are available and applicable to new commercial constructions or any major renovation projects, existing building operations, commercial interior projects, homes, neighborhood development as well as core and shell products.
  • A list of LEED-certified projects
  • An inventory or directory of LEED-accredited professionals
  • Information on LEED trainings and workshops
  • A calendar of green building industry conferences

Quick Tips and Steps for Getting LEED Certification

There are only basic principles when talking about acquiring this certification and relieve you from the frustrating excessive consumption of energy for your data center operations.

To gain such and eventually experience data center energy efficiency and its incredible benefits, one must set out clear and environmental targets, set a reasonable and adequate budget and sticking up to it, sticking with your goals that are inclined with LEED, wisely engineer your life cycle building value and, of course, only employ LEED-accredited professionals in order to address your related needs.

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