List of LEED Data Centers

Happy Earth Day 2008! We kick off our coverage with a look at the facilities that have been certified as green data centers under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard from the U.S. Green Buildings Council, 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.

LEED Certified Data Centers

The following data center facilities have been certified under the LEED standard:

  • Fannie Mae Urbana Technology Center: In 2005 this 247,000 square foot facility became the first data center to earn LEED certification. The FNMA Technology Center, located in Urbana, Md., is a mixed-use facility with both office and data center components, a trend seen in a number of LEED-certified data centers, as the office component makes it somewhat easier to meet the standards.
  • Highmark Data Center (Silver): This 87,000 square foot facility includes office space and 28,000 square feet of raised-floor technical space. The data center in West Hanover, Pa., which opened in November 2005, processes 500,000 claims per day. It was the second LEED data center, and the first to earn a LEED Silver certification.
  • The U.S. EPA National Computer Center (Silver): This facility in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park provides large-scale computing services for the EPA nationwide. NCC also supports regulatory program offices and administrative activities, as well as advanced supercomputing for scientific research in air quality protection and other environmental studies. A 2007 upgrade added solar panels on the roof.
  • Digital Realty Trust Chicago Project (Gold): This 20,000 square foot build-to-suit facility within Digital Realty’s 350 East Cermak Road carrier hotel became the first data center to be certified for LEED Gold status.
  • Monsanto Headquarters Data Center: The company spent $21 million building a green data center facility at its headquarters campus in Creve Coeur, Mo. You can check out a time lapse video of the data center construction.
  • Advanced Data Centers is building a 237,000 square foot data center at McClellan Park on McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, California. The USGBC has pre-certified the ADC facility for a LEED score of 50 points, above the 45 points required for LEED Platinum, the highest certification tier.

Proposed LEED Data Centers

The following facilities are under development, but are designed and engineered to achieve LEED certification:

  • Citigroup Frankfurt Data Center: The giant financial services company intends to achieve Gold-level LEED certification with this $232 million project.
  • Digital Realty Trust (DLR) expects two data centers currently under construction to achieve LEED status upon completion this year: a data center in Chicago with 54,000 square feet of raised-floor space and 6,750 kW of IT load, and a northern Virginia facility with 32,000 square feet of raised-floor space and 4,500 kW of IT load.
  • 365 Main, Newark, Calif. Data Center: 365 Main said its new data center in Newark, Calif. will be LEED-certified when it is completed later this year. Design and construction has begun on the 136,410-square-foot facility.
  • Power Loft@Innovation: Power Loft LLC expects its new data center in Manassas, Virginia to gain Silver LED certification. The project features advanced power management features (including DC power distribution) and will have a green roof and green screen exterior
  • Pelio & Associates, Santa Clara: The first phase of this project at 1500 Space Park Drive includes a retrofit of 50,800 square feet of existing structures on 7 acres of land. In Sept. 2007 Digital Realty Trust bought a 50 percent ownership interest with Pelio in this project.
  • The Los Angeles County Data Center: This $68 million facility expected to achieve LEED certification when it is completed, according to local officials. The project has been delayed by the presence of 150 feral cats at the development site at Rancho Los Amigos South Campus in Downey.

Have we missed any LEED data center projects? If so, please send us an e-mail with information about the project and we will add them to the list.

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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.


  1. Joel D

    It is my understanding that there is no such thing as a LEED certification that is specific to data centers - the only reason any of these facilities were able to get a LEED rating is because of their included office space, not really any thing to do with the data center.

  2. Joel: You're correct in that there is no specific LEED certification for data centers; these are data centers that have been certified under the broader LEED standard. A close reading of the story shows that we noted that several of these facilities include both office and data center components, "a trend seen in a number of LEED-certified data centers, as the office component makes it somewhat easier to meet the standards."