The ongoing push to make major tech company data centers more energy efficient has paid off with three major firms gaining recognition last week with LEED certifications. They were awarded to a Facebook facility in Oregon, a Yahoo! site in Nebraska and a QTS data center located in Atlanta, Georgia.
QTS (Quality Technology Services) a leading provider of data center facilities and managed services, earned LEED-Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its 990,000-square-foot data center campus in Georgia.
According to reports, the firm has been working to reduce and offset power at its Atlanta Metro Data Center in the last four years, since it purchased the property. In that time, the company has installed a rainwater capture system as part of the site's cooling infrastructure and improved power usage effectiveness by 11.4 percent since January 2010.
Most recently, the company hosted an EDF Climate Corps fellow who teamed up with the data center's operations and engineering departments to identify additional ways in which the center could improve efficiency. As a result, the company plans to invest $10 million to carry out those recommendations.
Facebook also received LEED-Gold certification recently for its Prineville, Oregon data center which was designed specifically to slash energy use. The firm said its 147,000-square-foot facility uses 52 percent less energy than other similarly-sized data centers built to code.
The facility's checklist of green systems includes:
' A sophisticated outside air evaporative cooling system, eliminating the need for cooling towers and chillers.
' Custom servers that use 38% less energy.
' An on-site electrical substation that slashes energy lost during conversion and delivery to 7.5%, compared to the usual loss of 21% to 27%.
' 27% of the building's construction materials were made of recycled products and 30% were locally sourced.
' 91% of the wood used in the center's construction was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
' 83% of construction waste was recycled.
' A rainwater harvesting systems supplies all of the facility's irrigation and toilet water.
' A solar power system produces about 204 megawatts of electricity for the center's offices, which are warmed by reusing heat from servers.