How To Test Your Servers and Data Centers For LEED Certification
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a system for rating the environmental impact of buildings. It is operated by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and since 1998 has certified over 50,000 projects in over 150 countries. There are at least three ways it could affect data centers:
A data center might be part of a LEED-certified building, or buildings;
A data center might be certified as a standalone facility;
Data centers might become part of a “holistic” building/data center certification project, as is already happening with some companies. This means that green features of the buildings such as daylight harvesting systems could be credited towards LEED certification for both the buildings and data centers.
The USGBC has four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The exact levels vary by country. Data centers can be LEED-certified under two different categories: New Construction (NC) and Existing Buildings (EB). The latter may be more relevant to current data centers because most new facilities are not yet certified.
There are several ways to test servers and data centers for LEED Certification. One of the best is with a Thermal Imaging Camera. A thermal imaging camera will detect leaks in air tightness, insulation deficiencies and power loss within a data center.
The United States Green Building Council has set forth guidelines for the reduction of carbon emission from buildings through energy efficiency. These guidelines are known as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
To receive LEED Certification, a building must meet certain criteria in the following categories:
Data center managers are constantly looking for ways to lower the costs of their facility as well as improve the energy efficiency of the data center. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed a certification program that is widely accepted in the industry and supported by many large companies. The program is called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and it’s an internationally-accepted green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The program has become so popular that even data centers are now being tested for LEED certification.
To test a data center’s compliance with LEED standards, data center managers need to conduct several tests:
1.Airflow Measurement – If you have any hot/cold aisle containment systems, measuring airflow at different points within the system will give you an idea if the system is working properly or if there are any leaks, which can compromise cooling efficiency. If air is leaking through seams or gaps in your rack doors, it will create “hot spots” within your server racks and make it difficult to maintain proper
Here at the Green Data Center, we occasionally get asked why data centers should be environmentally friendly, or what are the positive benefits of being environmentally friendly. Well, I think those questions can be answered in a variety of different ways. We could talk about cost savings, we could talk about future proofing your data center and making sure you are prepared for new environmental laws that may come in to effect years from now, or simply because it is the right thing to do!
Those all make sense to me as answers and I personally agree with them all. But I think we can go one step further, and that is to build your data center and test it for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (or LEED certification).
LEED is a rating system developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) that evaluates how environmentally friendly a building is (or will be). The USGBC provides a checklist that you should follow to ensure that your building qualifies for certification. This list contains items such as water efficiency, energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions, and sustainability.
I know what you’re thinking: “This guy has gone off the deep end!” or “Why not just go ahead and build LEED certified data centers.” Well there’s a lot
As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, companies and organizations are making a concentrated effort to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve energy. One way of accomplishing this is by following standards set forth in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
LEED certification ensures that certain building standards have been met and verified by a third party. These standards include energy efficiency, water conservation, greenhouse gas reduction, indoor environmental quality, sustainable materials and resources, as well as innovation in operations.
LEED focuses on a building’s design, construction, systems and operations. This means that LEED certification can apply to new construction projects as well as renovations of existing structures. A growing trend is the pursuit of LEED certification for data centers, which is governed by the Uptime Institute. It provides guidelines for the design and construction of data centers that implement green technology to minimize their carbon footprint while meeting ongoing operational demands.
What does it take for a data center to achieve LEED certification? There are several factors that contribute to its overall evaluation:
LEED is an abbreviation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a green building rating system that provides a framework for a variety of building types.
It was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998 to measure how well a building or community performs across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
The LEED rating system has become the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
There are four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The level of certification depends upon how many points are achieved in the various categories.
Green Data Centers and LEED Certification
A data center can be certified under one of two categories:
LEED EBOM: Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EBOM)
Applies to existing buildings where renovations/upgrades will be done but not a complete renovation
LEED NC: New Construction & Major Renovations (NC)
Applies to new data centers or major renovations/expansions to existing data centers
Depending on which category your data center falls under there are certain criteria
A green data center is a smart data center. Our data centers are designed to be among the most energy efficient facilities in the world. In fact, we were able to reduce our energy requirements by 26% with no impact on performance or availability.
We built our first LEED Platinum and Gold certified data centers in 2006 to help improve the energy efficiency of our business. Since then, we’ve continued to innovate and design for energy efficiency, earning us an ENERGY STAR rating for our efforts.
We want everything we build to be as efficient as possible when it comes to power and cooling, and we work with outside organizations including LEED, EPA ENERGY STAR and The Green Grid to make sure we’re meeting our goals.