Wholesale data center provider Vantage Data Centers announced today that the first project on its Santa Clara, Calif. campus, known as V3, has earned a Platinum certification from the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. Platinum is the highest level of LEED, a voluntary rating system for energy efficient buildings overseen by the US Green Building Council.
This places the Vantage site among only 11 data centers known to have attained the LEED Platinum standard, including a Louisville, Kentucky facility operated by GE Appliances and Lighting, which announced its certification on Friday.
First of Three Data Centers
The V3 data center is the first of three facilities Vantage is building in Santa Clara, and the company says it expects to earn LEED Platinum certification for all three buildings. V3 is a 60,000 square foot facility that has 40,000 square feet of data center space on a 30-inch raised floor, and is supported by 6 megawatts of provisioned power from Silicon Valley Power. Vantage says it expects V3 to operate at a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.20 when using fresh air economization to cool servers, and a PUE of 1.29 when using chillers.
Why does that matter? Vantage calculates that a 6MW data center like V3, at Santa Clara power rates, could save approximately $3 million per year in operating expenses compared to a legacy data center at a PUE of 2.0.
“Data center energy efficiency has become a significant business issue for enterprises and is a key driver in lowering total cost of ownership,” said Jim Trout, Vantage Data Centers’ CEO. “Vantage is setting a new efficiency standard for the wholesale data center industry.”
Yardsticks for Efficiency
LEED and PUE are two of the benchmarks being used by companies focused on lowering the power bills required to run their IT infrastructure. PUE is useful in tracking the operational efficiency of a data center, while LEED reflects the sustainable nature of design and construction. While many data center professionals cite PUE as having a greater impact on the bottom line, LEED is emerging as an important criteria for companies focused on corporate social responsibility.
“Vantage Data Centers’ LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Vantage serves as a prime example of what we hope to accomplish.”
The new facility opened its doors in February with tenants in place, less than nine months after Vantage came out of stealth mode with backing from Silver Lake Partners, a leading technology investment firm.
LEED Design Criteria
As part of the LEED certification effort, the project incorporated responsible site development practices, water-saving strategies, energy-saving design measures, efficient material selection and low-toxic building materials.
The lighting design at V3 is a 41 percent improvement over the minimum standard of the Title 24 Energy Code, while advanced lighting controls earned points in the Energy & Atmosphere category. Vantage was able to divert 91 percent of its construction waste and use 20 percent recycled content (post-consumer and one-half pre-consumer) in the construction project. The V3 data center also earned credits for addressing regional environmental concerns. A water-efficient landscape design has reduced the demand on the local water supply for irrigation.
Dowler Gromer Architects assisted in the building design, while Rosendin Electric and Therma Corporation performed the electrical and mechanical work, respectively. Civil engineers, Kier & Wright, worked with the landscape architect, Paul Reed & Associates, on the V3 site and master campus plan. Architectural Energy Corporation managed the sustainable design process and LEED certification coordination.