General Electric (GE), one of the largest companies on the planet, has finished some green additions to it's data center in Louisville, Kentucky. GE has added a new Greenfield project to its existing manufacturing facility that has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status, the highest level of green certification possible under the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) environmental certification process.
The data center is now 34 percent more energy efficient than an average building of its size. Fifty percent of the construction materials used during the renovation come from local sources, and 30 percent came from recycled sources. GE also recycled most of the leftover waste from the construction project.
Several General Electric innovations were used to achieve the LEED Platinum status, including the company’s eBoost backup power supply which cuts down on energy costs and maintains uninterrupted access to electricity. The building also features raised floors for more efficient cooling of the data centers' servers.
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Data centers are typically some of the largest consumers of electricity due to all of the computers and servers required. In 2010 data centers consumed about 1.3 percent of all electricity use in the world and 2 percent of all electricity use in the United States. It is very rare for any building to achieve LEED Platinum status, especially for data centers.
The GE data center also utilizes a power efficiency metric (PUE), the standard measurement system used for data centers. Over time the PUE will give GE an accurate indication of how efficient the facility really is, as the LEED rating system focuses more on design and technological features rather than measuring results after a building goes operational.