LEED Platinum Data Center

ACT’s new data center project kicked off with an assessment and feasibility study. Three options were considered in the assessment: upgrade the existing building which included an extensive review of the infrastructure and routing spaces available, build a new external facility, or build a new data center within the existing facility. The detailed report determined construction of a brand-new facility to be the best option. 

The new facility included a 4,000-sf raised floor data center and was designed with N+1 redundancy for the UPS system and the cooling system. The design provided an initial 50 watts/square foot for cooling and reliable UPS power. The modular design provided the infrastructure for the systems to be easily expanded and provide a full capacity of 100 watts/square foot by simply adding modules to the system. A semi-hardened facility was built for resistance to failure as a result of weather-related disasters or power outages. A geothermal bore field was designed for base heat rejection and improved energy efficiency and operating reliability is increased as the system is not exposed to the elements and potential weather–related events. 

The HVAC system was designed with pressure vessels isolated from the rest of the building. The design also included exterior dry coolers located in a protected courtyard area. These serve as back up to the geothermal system and provide waterside economizer to assist with cooling and winter energy savings. IMEG also designed a clean agent fire suppression system for the raised floor area and a double interlocked, pre-action sprinkler system for the remainder of the facility. This system reduces the chance of accidental water damage to critical equipment. 

IMEG provided Fundamental Commissioning to meet EAp1, as well as mechanical, electrical, and technology design for this LEED Platinum project, the first data center in the U.S. to achieve this distinction. IMEG commissioned the HVAC and electrical systems, including generator. This project targeted a 20% reduction in energy cost compared to the state required energy code. This 20% reduction was achieved in part by using a geothermal loop for the office and data center cooling. The project implemented Measurement and Verification to track energy use and determine performance of the system in relation to the actual computer activity. 

ACT, Inc.
Iowa City, IA
Services Provided

Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, Commissioning, Building Certification