Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies
Siting the Data Center
- Electrical mix: As discussed in Chapter 2, "Measuring Green Data Centers," some energy sources spawn much more carbon dioxide when used to produce electricity than others. Deciding to locate your Data Center in a region where electricity has a lower carbon emissions factor is an excellent way to make the facility greener before design work begins. (You can find more information about electrical mix in Chapter 4, "Powering Your Way to a Greener Data Center.")
- Weather: Some Data Center energy-efficiency measures can be implemented only with the cooperation of Mother Nature. For instance, air side economizers that use outside air to chill a Data Center (discussed in Chapter 5, "Cooling Your Way to a Greener Data Center") are more practical to use in regions where it's cold much of the year rather than in areas where it's usually warm or mild.
- Building codes: Are the green measures that you intend to include in your building allowed by the regional building codes? If they aren't, can you either do without that efficiency or else invest the time and effort to negotiate for a variance for your project?
- Work-force proximity: Although not a Data Center design issue per se, the distance that employees commute to reach your facility affects how much carbon dioxide they generate every day. It's for this reason that some environmental building assessment systems award points for features that promote alternative transportation, such as close proximity to public transit or installing bicycle storage units.
- Property zoning: Is construction of a Data Center allowed at the location?
- Natural disasters: Is the region prone to earthquakes, ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, landslides, fire, or other severe events?
- Pollution: How is the air quality at the location? Is there any risk of IT equipment exposure to dust, industrial byproducts, or other contaminants?
- Interference: Are there any nearby sources of electromagnetic interference (also called radio frequency interference) such as telecommunication signal facilities or airports?
- Vibration: Are there any nearby sources of vibration such as railroads, major roads, or construction?
- Political climate: Is the region politically stable or do conditions exist that might jeopardize the safety of employees or operation of a Data Center?
- Flight paths: Is the property within the flight path of an airport, increasing the possibility of a plane crashing onto the site?