California data center achieves Green Globes certification

The Internap Network Servides data center has achieved Green Globes certification, which is the first of its kind for a public data center in the United States.


Internap Network Services Corp., a provider of IT Infrastructure services, announced that its Santa Clara, Calif., colocation facility has achieved Green Globes certification, following a rigorous review process by the Green Buildings Initiative (GBI). This marks the first Green Globes certification of a public data center in the U.S. as well as the first non-governmental building in California.

A green building guidance and assessment program, Green Globes helps commercial building owners advance environmental performance and sustainability. Internap’s Santa Clara data center received the Green Globes “New Construction” certification, which evaluates, quantifies, and improves the environmental performance of both new construction and major renovation projects. Working with interior and exterior renovations to the existing building, Internap adhered to standards related to consuming fewer fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse emissions, conserving water, reducing other forms of pollution, minimizing impact on the land surrounding the building and offering a better working environment for occupants.

“Internap’s Santa Clara data center highlights the success that is possible in the design and construction of an environmentally sustainable commercial building,” said Joe Pinelli, vice president and general manager of Green Globes at GBI. “The unique requirements of data centers – specifically the tremendous energy usage – typically make them a difficult fit for sustainability programs, but this project achieved excellent results and was a shining example of how to attack that problem. Internap’s team should be proud of the manner in which it approached the overall design and construction for efficient use of energy and resources, a healthy environment for its employees and fiscal prudence for the company itself.”

The Green Globes certification process included a comprehensive online assessment and intensive site visit and evaluation by an independent, third-party evaluator. Specific highlights that contributed to Internap’s Green Globes certification include:

Use of reclaimed water: Internap’s Santa Clara colocation facility is the first commercial data center in California to use reclaimed rather than potable water to help cool the building. This approach will save 76,300 gallons per day and 27,849,500 gallons per year, the equivalent of 46.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools of potable water saved annually.

Reuse of building materials: As part of the facility rebuild, Internap reused more than 99% of the exterior structural components, nearly eliminating the diversion of waste to landfills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by removing manufacturing and delivery processes. Additionally, Internap was able to avoid sending nearly 85% of its overall construction waste to landfills, greatly reducing the building’s impact on the environment.

Energy efficiency: The Energy Star Target Finder tool showed a nearly 50% reduction in energy use at Internap’s facility compared to similar building types, a significant finding given the high energy demands of data centers. The building utilizes high-efficiency lighting and controls that greatly decrease power consumption relative to similar facilities, reducing environmental and economic impacts associated with excessive energy use.

Green power: The building’s office area will supplement its electrical load with green power for the office for a period of two years. The use of green power purchases help to reduce the strain of power companies and the greenhouse gas emissions caused by power plants.

Additionally, Internap designed the facility to include environmentally-conscious transportation features, including carpool parking stalls to encourage commuters to rideshare, reducing air pollution and oil consumption. Internap has also developed an educational outreach program to explain and promote the green facility design for occupants and visitors.

“Everybody wins when you increase energy efficiency, so it’s incumbent upon us to explore all possible opportunities. Working with the Green Buildings Initiative helped us to do that, holding us accountable to the highest standards and validating our efforts,” said Randy Ortiz, director of data center design and engineering at Internap. “Our success in attaining the Green Globes certification at our Santa Clara data center will provide an important template for achieving environmental sustainability at all of our new facilities moving forward.”

In addition to the Green Globes, Internap is working toward LEED and Energy Star environmental building rating systems at select, company-owned data centers. Internap is also committed to supporting renewable energy and recently purchased over 400,000 kWh of renewal energy credits for the Santa Clara colocation facility. This purchase helps avoid 487,585 pounds of CO2.

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Consulting-Specifying Engineer,

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