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Equinix

Flex Data Center Program

The world’s largest data center co-location provider, Equinix retained Brightworks to oversee the LEED design and certification for a data center reference design to be built on four new data centers around the U.S.

The world’s largest data center co-location provider, Equinix helps companies accelerate business performance by connecting them to their customers and partners inside the world’s most networked data centers.

LEED for Co-Location Providers

Providers of co-location data centers can encounter significant challenges when pursuing LEED certification for their properties. In particular, obtaining minimum energy savings required by LEED can prove elusive to co-location providers. (Co-location providers have no control over the hardware installed by their customers; in some cases have no information about that hardware due to customer confidentiality restrictions; or have no information about the energy performance of that hardware. Yet, customers’ servers account for the vast majority of the energy used within co-location data centers.)

Brightworks has successfully helped co-location clients navigate this challenge before, negotiating a unique and privileged compliance path with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) for collocation data centers.

Equinix’s Next Major Initiative

Following successful partnerships with Brightworks on Equinix data centers in Dallas, New York, San Jose, and Seattle, Equinix retained Brightworks to manage the LEED program for its next major initiative: the design of a LEED certifiable data center prototype design and its implementation on four sites in California, Illinois, and Virginia. The prototype design promises to streamline the simultaneous realization of the four newest data centers within Equinix’s portfolio of over 100 data centers throughout the world.

Brightworks is managing the LEED compliance of the reference design, identifying site-specific opportunities, and anticipating potential challenges within the large-scale design and construction program.

Finding Savings in Streamlining and Opportunities in Variation

While the data center template will reduce significant variation between the facilities realized on each site, it will not eliminate variation. Each site in California, Illinois, and Virginia will require slight modifications to the prototype design to reflect local conditions. For this reason, Brightworks began the project by distinguishing opportunities for replicable sustainability strategies at each site from project aspects requiring unique approaches to achieve certification. Particular attention is being paid to mechanical cooling efficiency for each climate, as well as site-specific circumstances of community resources, parking, public transit, and other elements covered in the LEED rating system.

After its work on the prototype design, Brightworks began the task of managing the LEED certification processes for the four individual sites being constructed from the reference design.

Site 1: Asburn, Virginia
This 1.1-million-square-foot facility is the newest at Equinix’s DC-area center, a major communications gateway to Europe and the largest Internet peering point in North America.

Site 2: Elk Grove Village, Illinois
This data center will serve the financial sector in Chicago, home to three major financial and futures exchanges: the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Site 3: San Jose, California
This 510,000-square-foot data center is part of Equinix’s SV data center complex, which serves the highest concentration of technology companies with the largest peering hubs in the world.

Site 4: San Jose, California
Like Equinix’s SV10 data center, of which this 650,000-square-foot facility is part, Equinix Silicon Valley customers can interconnect with customers and partners in their digital supply chain from this advanced facility.

At a Glance

  • Targeting LEED Silver
  • Asburn, Virginia
  • Elk Grove Village, Illinois
  • San Jose, California
  • equinix.com
  • sp-arch.com
  • “Global businesses are increasingly realizing that interconnection is essential to deliver a rich, ubiquitous user experience, with the agility and actionable insight to enable new business models and enhanced productivity. This will be even more apparent as businesses locate their data closer to the edge to support the Internet of Things. Our focus on continually expanding our global interconnection platform means that wherever you grow, we’ll be there.”

    Steve Smith

    President and CEO
    Equinix