Citi Frankfurt Center is LEED Platinum

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The new Citi Data Center in Frankfurt features a "green wall" featuring plants that are irrigated with recycled water.

The new Citi Data Center in Frankfurt features a "green wall" lined with plants that are irrigated with recycled water. The facility has earned a LEED Platinum rating.

The newly completed Citi Data Center in Frankfurt has earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the highest rating. The company says the 230,000 square foot Frankfurt facility is the first data center to achieve Platinum rating. One other facility, Advanced Data Centers in Sacramento, has been pre-certified for LEED platinum status.

The Frankfurt project is the third Citigroup facility to gain LEED certification, following data centers in Texas and Singapore. The company’s Austin data center gained LEED Gold status last year.

The facilities are among a small but growing number of LEED-certified data centers. The LEED standard was designed for commercial office buildings, but a coalition of data center industry groups has released a draft of an energy-efficiency standard to expand the program with customized specs for data centers.

“Citi is committed to ensuring that sustainability lies at the heart of all our major projects and a major new data center was no different,” said John Killey, Head of Citi Realty Services EMEA. “For this project, a balanced approach was adopted that recognized Citi’s commitment to a sustainable approach for the building without compromise to its operation and reliability.”

“The energy-efficient design of the data center, coupled with extensive use of new, energy-efficient virtualized technology, housed in innovative modular cabinets, has optimized energy use and reduced the data cabling needs,” said Stephen Ellis, Head of Technology Infrastructure EMEA for Citi.

Notable energy efficiency features of the Frankfurt data center include:

  • A design optimized for use of fresh air “free cooling,’ which Citi estimates it will be able to use for 65 percent of the year.
  • Use of reverse osmosis water treatment to reduce sediment buildup in cooling towers, which is expected to save 50 million liters per water per year (see our coverage of efforts to reduce data centers’ water usage).
  • The facility uses water-efficient fixtures to reduced potable water use by 41 percent, and uses harvested rainwater for all its irrigation needs
  • A vegetated “green roof” area has been installed on 72 percent of the total roof area.
  • A vertical “green wall’ is covered with vegetation, and is irrigated with harvested rainwater.
  • 100% of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill, and operational waste is segregated for recycling
  • Recycled materiels were used in 27 percent of the materials specified, with local sourcing of materials exceeding 40%.
  • Inside the IT space, the data center makes extensive use of virtualization, with equipment deployed in a modular design optimized for energy efficiency. The layout also reduced the total amount of cabling required by 250 kilometers.

The LEED score was compiled using version 2.2 of the LEED standard. See our list of LEED data centers for more.

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.

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