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Citi Achieves First LEED Platinum Data Center

citileeddatacenterCiti’s newly completed 230,000-square foot data center in Frankfurt, Germany, is the first to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The financial services company says the new data center consumes 30 percent of the power required for a conventional data center.

The data center’s energy-efficient design was combined with a new energy-efficient virtualized technology, in a modular design, that optimized energy use and reduced the total amount of cabling by 250 km. Citi says 10 percent of its North American IT environment is virtualized, which saves the company about $1 million per year. This has helped the company reduce energy consumption by 73 percent and avoid about 300 tons of annual CO2 emissions.

According to consulting firm McKinsey, the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 could come from information and communications products and technologies including data centers and computing and telecommunications networks. A new Siemens AG survey indicates that if companies don’t start looking at energy-efficient data centers, 70 percent of the world’s data centers will experience system disruptions by 2011 and worldwide brownouts over the next five years.

Citi is addressing some of these concerns by incorporating key design features into its new data centers that help reduce power use. For example, the Frankfurt data center includes an enhanced CRAC unit design that reduces power consumption from 9.3 kW to 3.3 kW per unit and an advanced cooling tower design that cuts power consumption from 74 kW to 22 kW. Other key savings include a free cooling rate of 63 percent, a reduction of 11,750 t/a in overall CO2 emissions, and a water savings of 50M liters annually thanks to a reverse osmosis water treatment system for cooling.

The building design also considered water consumption use and waste recycling. For example, water efficient fixtures reduce potable water use by 41 percent. The building also uses harvested rainwater for 100 percent of its irrigation needs. During construction, 100 percent of the waste was diverted from the landfill, and recycled content of the materials reached 27 percent with local sourcing of materials exceeding 40 percent, says the company.

Citi says the sustainable design was achieved with no increased cost over conventional data centers and without sacrificing reliability and resilience of the systems.

Citi also has LEED certified data centers in Singapore and Georgetown, Texas; two Citi office parks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and a 15-story skyscraper in the New York City Borough of Queens.

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