Digital Realty Trust (DLR) has confirmed that its data center at 1525 Comstock in Santa Clara, Calif. has earned Platinum certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program from the U.S. Green Building Council.
This is the second LEED Platinum certification that Digital Realty Trust has earned for its properties in Santa Clara, as we noted in our Nov. 24 feature on the company's Space Park campus.
Digital Realty now has eight LEED-certified facilities in the United States, with 12 additional facilities currently going through the LEED certification process. The company, which is the world's largest operator of data center properties, also earned the first BREEAM Excellent environment rating in the data center industry for one of its facilities in the United Kingdom.
"Digital Realty Trust continues to be at the forefront of industry efforts to make datacenters more energy efficient and sustainable," Jim Smith, CTO of Digital Realty Trust. "We have achieved more green certifications for our facilities than any other company in the datacenter industry, and we continue to apply our expertise in energy-efficient design and operations to the benefit of our customers."
The energy efficiency of Digital Realty’s Santa Clara properties is driven by a design optimized to use fresh air in its cooling system, rather than relying on energy-intensive chillers and refrigerated water. This “free cooling” (also known as air economization) can be used for about 65 percent of the year in Silicon Valley.
"Most datacenter companies approach being green by focusing on issues such as PUE," Smith added. "Digital Realty Trust takes a more comprehensive approach by ensuring the sustainability of construction practices, the re-use of existing buildings and energy efficient design principles to complement our facilities' low PUE ratings."
Where LEED certification was once seen as a difficult hurdle for mission-critical sites, companies like Digital Realty are demonstrating the ability to build data centers to the very highest levels of the specification, and do so with remarkable speed. The two LEED Platinum facilities at the Santa Clara campus were completed in less than eight months, far less than the 18 to 24 months typically required for an enterprise data center project.