Digital Realty Trust gets LEED Gold,transforming a 90 old print plant to a Green Data Center

ComputerWorld reports on Digital Realty Trust achieving LEED Gold certification for Data Center upgrade.

Upgrading older hardware with energy-efficient components is an arguably green business choice: By extending the life of your machines rather than trading them in for brand-new ones, you reduce the world's e-waste pile -- while saving yourself some cash. Digital Realty Trust Inc., which owns, acquires and manages technology-related real estate worldwide, took that philosophy a step further. The company transformed part of a 90-year-old printing plant in Chicago into the world's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold-certified data center.

"This project shatters the myth that LEED certification can only be achieved within newer facilities," says Jim Smith, vice president of engineering at Digital Realty.

And, passes on a best practice on monitoring the data center.

Measurements are key

Features of this project include sophisticated tools for measuring energy consumption. "These are not expensive, but they provide critical data that let you understand what is happening in the data center. Every data center should have this, particularly since it is such a small investment and provides such valuable information," Smith said. "Step 1 for energy-efficient operations is always to have a way to measure."

There are also tools outside the facility to monitor the air temperature. "The equipment makes sure the air is clean and helps us improve performance of the ventilation system and improve indoor air quality," he said.