Raised Floor Office Space for Rackspace

Rackspace Managed Hosting has some interesting designs for its new headquarters facility, which will be housed in a former shopping mall in San Antonio. Computerworld has some details of the company’s plans for the retrofit of the former Windsor Park Mall, which will require $100 million in investment as the managed hosting company expands to add 4,000 employees.

Rackspace is focusing on energy efficiency in its design, which includes an unusual wrinkle – both the office space and data center space will feature raised floors. An excerpt:

By using raised floors throughout for the HVAC systems, office workers will be able to adjust the temperature of the air that comes up from the floor vent on a cubicle-by-cubicle basis, Smith said. Overhead ducts require larger fans and water pumps and, consequently, use more energy. Building a new office and data center facility from scratch would have cost about $200 per square foot, but Rackspace believes its approach will cost about 50% less. While the cost of installing an HVAC system in a raised floor has higher upfront costs, Smith said the company expects ongoing operational cost savings of more than 30% compared with an overhead duct system.

The 1.2 million square foot facility will include 95,000 square feet of data center space, which will include heat containment systems to separate the hot and cold aisles and an extensive sensor system to monitor temperatures throughout the data center – which may allow Rackspace to use a higher set point for its cooling system. Read more at Computerworld.

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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.