Green Data Center Tip, Security and Green Monitoring

Just got off the phone with a IT reporter and he was asking about Security and Green IT.

Found this article.

How To Design Green AND Secure Buildings

The secure and the environmentally-friendly almost always conflict when designing a building. But experts at an "intelligent building" seminar demonstrated how security features can actually help make a structure green

» Comments

By Bill Brenner, Senior Editor

March 05, 2009 — CSO

Put a security guy in a room with an environmentalist and ask them to design a building. Wait five minutes and you'll hear fists pounding tables, chairs hitting walls and a steady flow of profanity.

The problem? Green features are often seen as a vulnerability to the security professional while security features are often considered ugly and wasteful to the designer who wants to make a structure green.

But it doesn't have to be this way, according to a group of experts who gathered in Woburn, Mass., Wednesday for a seminar on intelligent building design. A main focus of the event -- hosted by integrated building management systems vendor TAC -- was to demonstrate how the secure and the green can exist in the same space and even compliment one another.

The key tip was to have one system that can monitor security and energy factors.

"Security performs a lot of the functionality that building automation does to control energy consumption, such as turning lights off and on, controlling thermostats and notifying you when a door or window has been left open," he said. "The same technology used for access control and security can also be used to measure and conserve energy."

Environmentally-friendly access control
For example, he said, surveillance cameras installed to monitor who is coming in and out of a room can also be used to measure light levels and notify building managers if a light is burning too brightly or if something has been left on. Access control can be used to keep tabs on energy consumption just as easily as it can be used to limit an employee's access to certain IT systems and corridors, Hess said.

How many people design one system to do security and environmental monitoring? 

To drive home the point, seminar organizers began the track of security presentations with an overview of new buildings planned for the University of Massachusetts' Amherst campus. The university's $640 million capital improvement plan for new research buildings and other structures are full of green features. But when pressed by attendees, UMass facilities planner Thomas Huf admitted the plans were lacking in terms of security controls.

"We don't have a central security design at this point," Huf said.