Digital Realty Center Earns LEED Gold Rating

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Digital Realty Trust (DLR) has earned LEED Gold Certification for a new data center in Chicago, which becomes the first facility to earn that level of certification as a green data center. The project is a 20,000 square foot build-to-suit data center for a Fortune Global 500 company located in Digital Realty Trust’s 350 East Cermak Road facility in Chicago.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program is the national benchmark for the design and construction of high performance green buildings. Buildings with advanced energy efficiency can earn Silver, Gold or Platinum certifications. The Highmark Data Center in Pennsylvania had previously earned a LEED Silver certification.

“This is an important milestone for Digital Realty Trust and for the entire datacenter industry,” said Michael F. Foust, CEO of Digital Realty Trust. “This facility establishes a new benchmark for energy efficient datacenters, and it reflects Digital Realty Trust’s continued leadership in implementing green datacenter initiatives that make sense for our corporate customers’ bottom line and for their commitment to the environment.”


The initial phase of the 350 E. Cermak Road facility was originally constructed in 1917 as an R.R. Donnelly printing plant facility.

“This project shatters the myth that LEED certification can only be achieved within newer facilities,” said Jim Smith, Vice President of Engineering at Digital Realty Trust. “We initiated this LEED certification more than 12 months ago – well before other datacenter companies started their certification processes – and our continued efforts in this area will keep us on the forefront of green datacenter initiatives in the industry.”

Digital Realty Trust said a number of additional facilities in its Turn-Key Datacenter program are currently undergoing LEED certification and are projected to receive Gold or Silver certifications, including:

  • A data center in Chicago with 54,000 square feet of raised-floor space and 6,750 kW of IT load
  • A northern Virginia facility with 32,000 square feet of raised-floor space and 4,500 kW of IT load
  • A facility in Santa Clara, California with 30,000 square feet of raised-floor space and 4,050 KW of IT load.

“LEED guidelines incorporate so many proven best practices for building engineering and construction,” Smith continued. “Following those best practices results in facilities that are very cost-effective from both a construction and operations point of view. Anything that makes datacenters more efficient is a good thing from a business point of view — both for our Digital Realty Trust and for our customers. We look forward to rolling out more LEED certified facilities in the near future.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.