Financial Constraints Changing Data Center Design

WSJ has an article on how the world of architecture has changed.

The Sky's No Longer the Limit

Rem Koolhaas reflects on the global slowdown's effect on ambitious projects; the aftermath of a fire


ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands -- Rem Koolhaas's massive, doughnut-shaped CCTV building in Beijing survived unscathed in February when a fire engulfed a nearby tower belonging to the same complex. But the event signaled the ending of an architectural era.

"I don't even know about the word 'downturn,' " said Mr. Koolhaas in his office in Rotterdam recently, reflecting on the global economic slowdown that has stopped the architecture world dead in its tracks. "It's seems simply the end to a period."

All around the world, major architectural projects are under threat. In November, construction stopped on the Russia Tower, a 600-meter-high Moscow building designed by the London firm Norman Foster & Partners. Meanwhile, another Norman Foster Moscow project, called Crystal Island, featuring a 450-meter-high, funnel-shaped skyscraper, has also been put on hold.

The ideas in the article apply to data center construction.

"A reappraisal is going on in the architecture world," said Cecil Balmond, the London-based engineer who has worked closely with Mr. Koolhaas for over two decades. "In a time of plenty, there is a bravado and a push to make more and more sensational [architectural] statements." In the current climate, he noted, "a very spectacular iconic project might now get the pause button."

How many data center projects do you know have been put on hold?

How many projects were a superset of stakeholder requirements, and energy efficiency was not the top issue?  Many projects moving forward now are ones that were designed to be more efficient than the legacy data center services, so the projects are a cost reduction in the long term.

The green data centers are getting built and the inefficient ones are put on hold.