Northern California Greenfield Data Center

New construction; Northern California Greenfield Data Center; Morrison Hershfield


Northern California Greenfield Data Center Project Photo Rendering. Courtesy: Morrison HershfieldEngineering firm: Morrison Hershfield
2013 MEP Giants rank:
Northern California Greenfield Data Center
California, United States (confidential client)
Building type:
Data center
Project type:
New construction
Engineering services:
Code Compliance, Electrical/Power, HVAC, Lighting
Project timeline:
January 2012 to October 2014
Engineering services budget:
MEP budget:
$1.2 million


As with any project of this size, the engineers are faced with many challenges. A representative challenge, as well as a good example of Morrison Hershfield's ability to innovate in order to save its client's money, is the HVAC system for the data center. The client had strict standards for reliability that Morrison Hershfield needed to adhere to, but the client challenged the to be creative in order to provide a system that met the N+N reliability requirements but had a lower total cost of ownership than the traditional systems that would be deployed.


Morrison Hershfield's design incorporated chilled water CRAH units with EC fans. The CRAH EC fans’ energy consumption is reduced by 83% when operating at 50% speed as opposed to 100%. Morrison Hershfield developed a detailed sequence of operations which capitalized on the requirement of N+N CRAHs and the partial load efficiencies of the EC fans. The system will operate all units at 50% capacity. The design is incrementally scalable, and this simple approach to this system operation will save substantial energy costs over the life of this facility.

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