Does LEED certification mean a data center is Green? Time Warner's Charlotte Data Center observed

I found this headline on Time Warner's new Charlotte, NC data center.

Time Warner Cable to Build Two Green Data Centers in Charlotte

  • By Justin Lee, July 11, 2011

An illustration of Time Warner Cable's planned data center in Charlotte

Related Topics: Green Hosting, Cloud Computing, Data Centers, Leed, Time Warner

(WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- Media and telecommunications giant Time Warner Cable ( announced on Monday it will invest more than $101 million dollars to construct two new data centers in North Carolina over the next three years.

The statement is made the LEED certification supports TWC's green initiative.

The new data centers will support TWC's green initiative, with both buildings seeking LEED certification.

You look at DataCenterKnowledge's reporting of the TWC data center there is no mention of LEED as it is not news that a data center gets LEED certification.  Most likely some one in Time Warner's PR department chose to highlight that LEED certification means Time Warner has a green data center.

For you experienced data center people you know LEED certification is for the construction of the data center, not the operation or carbon source of energy.  And in general LEED certification does not necessarily mean your data center is green.

Consider these thoughts from ZDNET's blogger David Chernicoff.

Too many datacenter certifications?

By David Chernicoff | July 8, 2011, 11:49am PDT


Do we really need another player certifying green datacenters?

David Chernicoff

When the press release announcing that Internap network Services datacenter crossed my desk announcing that the facility was the first datacenter to achieve Green Globes certification, the first thing I had to do was figure out what that meant. What I found was an assessment and rating system developed in Canada and beginning to make an appearance in the US. According to the Green Globes website, the Green Building Initiative is the US group backing the Green Globes rating system.


Now certification for specialty facilities that can’t be certified using the LEED guidelines is a good idea. But competing head-to-head with LEED in certifying buildings that are notorious energy hogs, such as data centers, seems counterproductive. Especially when the prime selling point on the web site seems to be that GG certification is cheaper to obtain.  Selecting service providers is a complex enough process; having to then filter through a list of competing certifications seems simply to ad work to the process.  Time, and the marketplace, will have to be the judge.