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Strategic Design Advice for Data Centres

The Strategic Design Advice programme for Data Centres provides building design advice to reduce data centre carbon emissions, based on best practices for data centre energy efficiency and use of appropriate tools and measures.

The Strategic Design Advice programme is for data centre owners, designers and operators who are planning a new facility or looking to refurbish or carry out significant alterations to their data centre.

The service enables data centre developers to maximise the flow of natural air to keep components cool, use local renewable energy sources where viable and reuse the heat generated.

By providing specialist advice around the design of the IT architecture as well as the associated building and engineering services the Strategic Design Advice service helps to reduce the capital and revenue spend of data centres, whilst reducing their carbon footprint.

For more information about the Carbon Trust design advice, please send us an enquiry. Continue reading for a case study related to the Carbon Trust data centre advice.

The service has been piloted in the design of multi-billion pound data storage and processing facility, The Lockerbie Data Centre, Scotland, where it is expected to help reduce operating costs by around 50%, compared with modern data centres of a similar size. The facility's low carbon design is also expected to emit over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 less than a conventional data centre of the same size.

David King, project director, Lockerbie Data Centre, said: "With the cost of electricity rising and growing client concern over the size of their carbon footprints, increasing the energy efficiency of data centres was a fundamental design consideration. We have employed the Carbon Trust's design advice to significantly reduce energy use, and to put wasted heat to good use – by providing low carbon heating to other commercial spaces being built on the site."

The 272,000m² data centre will be built to accommodate up to 50,000 server racks, with a peak power demand of 300 megawatts. The complete facility will comprise forty 6,800 square metre data centre building modules – the first of which will be completed in December 2011.

David King added: "When complete, each of the data centre's forty modules will use the same energy as two modern data centres of the same size, creating savings of around £2.1m per annum per module, or £85m per annum across the whole development."

As well as cutting energy bills by a half, the low carbon design should also allow the data centre to cut its required purchase of carbon allowance units under the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) from 2.8m units per annum to 1.4m units per annum.

The Lockerbie facility is designed to use natural cooling from its Scottish location to help save energy, and to harvest waste heat for reuse in an adjacent eco business park, and new horticultural businesses on site. Much of the energy demand will be provided by a nearby biomass plant and wind farms, so the data centre will rely on traditional forms of power only when the renewable electricity generation levels are reduced.

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