A Information to Inexperienced Supplies in Data Centers

Selecting sustainable supplies when constructing a knowledge middle is (actually, partly) the inspiration for knowledge middle sustainability. Inexperienced supplies received’t assure that your facility makes use of vitality and water sustainably throughout day-to-day operations, however they may cut back the carbon influence of developing the power itself.

However which “inexperienced” supplies can be found when constructing a knowledge middle, and what must you contemplate when evaluating totally different choices for knowledge middle sustainability?

To reply these questions, right here’s a information to utilizing inexperienced supplies in knowledge facilities, primarily based on totally different phases of information middle building.

Data Center Foundations: Select Low-Carbon Concrete

The foundations of most knowledge middle constructions take the type of concrete slabs, which additionally function the bottom flooring of the power.

Since concrete manufacturing accounts for as a lot as 9% of complete world CO2 emissions, discovering methods to scale back the carbon footprint of information middle foundations is one necessary step towards sustainability.

Presently, there aren’t any actual options to concrete as a constructing materials for knowledge middle foundations most often, since different supplies could be both too weak or exorbitantly costly. However “low-carbon” concrete is an choice that’s actively being explored by hyperscalers together with Fb and Microsoft.

Associated:Data Center Sustainability: Inexperienced Options for the Future

Data Center Framing: Contemplate Recycled Metal or Plant-Primarily based Designs

Bigger knowledge facilities are usually framed utilizing metal, whose span power makes it preferrred for developing buildings with giant open areas – precisely the kind of facility you’d need to host a server room.

However metal manufacturing additionally contributes considerably to carbon emissions, with about 8% of complete world CO2 attributable to the metal trade.

One solution to mitigate the sustainability influence of metal when constructing knowledge facilities is to decide on recycled metal. Recycled metal isn’t carbon-free, because the recycling course of is vitality-intensive. However it’s extra sustainable than manufacturing new metal from supplies mined from the earth.

Another is to think about plant-based framing supplies for knowledge facilities – an method being explored by knowledge middle operators like Vertiv. Conventional picket studs are one choice, and engineered wooden supplies like glulam might help to construct stronger or bigger amenities.

Data Center Insulation: Use Recycled or Extremely Environment friendly Supplies

Insulation is one other knowledge middle building materials the place inexperienced choices abound – comparable to insulation derived from crops like hemp, sheep’s wool, and recycled paper.

Associated:Data Center Sustainability Predictions, Hopes, and Questions for 2024

An necessary issue to remember when insulating a knowledge middle, nevertheless, is the long-term sustainability of the power shall be formed by how environment friendly the insulation is. Ideally, you’ll select an insulation materials that’s sustainable itself, and that additionally delivers a superb R-value and air infiltration mitigation.

In the long term, a much less sustainable insulation materials, like spray foam, could also be fascinating whether it is simpler at decreasing the vitality consumption related to ongoing knowledge middle operations.

Data Center Roofing: Stability Inexperienced Supplies with Power Effectivity

Alongside related strains, when selecting knowledge middle roofing, you’ll need to contemplate not simply how “inexperienced” the roofing materials itself is, but additionally what its implications are for ongoing vitality use.

As an example, whereas rubberized roofing is a comparatively inexperienced materials, it enhances sustainable operations when it’s tinted or painted white. White roofing reduces the vitality absorbed from daylight, which in flip decreases the quantity of electrical energy consumed by HVAC methods that cool a knowledge middle.

Roofing design, too, can influence general sustainability. For extra particulars, take a look at our information to knowledge middle roofs.

Extra Ideas for Constructing a Inexperienced Data Center

Past selecting inexperienced supplies for key knowledge middle constructing elements, different suggestions for enhancing the sustainability of a brand new knowledge middle embody:

  • Supply supplies domestically the place potential to scale back the carbon emissions triggered by transportation.

  • Contemplate developing a multi-story knowledge middle, which will increase capability relative to the scale of foundations and roofs.