Data center to be an energy miser

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Premier Technical Services (PTS) will break ground this spring on a 36,000-square-foot facility in Page County that will set a new standard for energy efficiency in data centers.

The company decided to build its $16.5 million continuity-of-operations and data center to gold certification standards under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The center — which also will serve as PTS headquarters and contain a conference and telework center — will be the country’s first commercial data center to gain LEED certification. Most data centers tend to be energy hogs.

PTS provides technology sales, work-force solutions and systems engineering to commercial and government customers. President Dave Tong says that several customers have signed letters of intent to use space in the data center.

“As companies and government organizations are getting more and more environmentally friendly in how they operate, this allows them to be able to say, ‘We’ve moved our operations into a facility that’s not only green, it’s LEED certified,’” he says.

The new building, expected to be completed by late 2009, will include standard LEED requirements, such as natural lighting, recycled materials, indoor air-quality management systems and proper stormwater management. To further reduce power consumption, PTS is investigating wind power as well as cutting-edge solar technologies, such as solar paint and solar film.

In another data-center first, the PTS facility is being built in a modular, “Lego-like” fashion, which provides additional efficiencies. “Instead of building one huge 100,000-square-foot data center that you have to cool and light in its entirety, we’ll increase our use of the building as demand requires it, so we’ll only have to increase the electrical need, the air-conditioning need and the lighting need as our customer base grows,” Tong says.

As a result of these energy-efficiency steps, the PTS facility will use 20 percent less energy than a similar-sized existing data center, Tong says. Those savings will be passed on to customers.

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