LEED Platinum for Digital Realty/Nvidia Site

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greendcA new data center built by Digital Realty Trust for graphics chipmaking specialist Nvidia will be one of the most energy efficient facilities in the world. Digital Realty (DLR) said today that it has been awarded a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for a new Silicon Valley data center that will be occupied by Nvidia (NVDA). The Platinum award is the highest level of certification available through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)program, a voluntary rating system for energy efficient buildings.

The Nvidia data center is just the second active data center in the U.S. to complete LEED Platinum certification, joining the American College Testing facility in Iowa City. A Citigroup data center in Germany has earned Platinum status, while Advanced Data Centers in Sacramento has been pre-certified for Platinum status.

“Achieving LEED platinum certification means that attention has been paid to every aspect of the building’s design and construction, including the operating energy efficiency of the finished data center, as well as often overlooked, key issues such as building materials, materials re-use and construction practices,” said Jim Smith, CTO of Digital Realty Trust. “Through a LEED program in conjunction with a PUE-optimized datacenter, we have been able to repeatedly meet sustainable and effective corporate green strategies.”

The Nvidia facility will use air-side economization, which enables the facility to use 100 percent outside air for cooling. Based on historical weather data for Silicon Valley, the data center will be able to take advantage of this feature more than 65 percent of each year. At full load, this should produce an estimated 3.5 million kilowatt hours of annual energy savings worth more than $250,000 annually at today’s energy prices.

Digital Realty said the site achieved a peak power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.31 during the commissioning process. The site also supports real-time PUE monitoring, allowing users to monitor PUE in 15-minute increments and identify trends in PUE metrics over time.

“Operating our data centers efficiently is a critical focus of NVIDIA’s IT strategy which supports our overall environmental goals,” said Ranga Jayaraman, chief information officer, NVIDIA. “Digital Realty Trust’s leadership in building and operating highly energy efficient data centers will enable us to better track the performance of our operations and drive continuous improvements to more quickly achieve our environmental goals.”

Digital Realty Trust also earned LEED-CI Gold certification for its 1500 Space Park property in Santa Clara in June, and has multiple projects in process for LEED certification.

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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