EXPERT OPINION current sustainability objectives into account . Existing operational facilities can be uneconomical to modify to support current environmental aspirations . Owners and operators need to designin sustainability objectives for their data centre while also ensuring the as-built and as-operated facility delivers on those objectives now and in the future . There are various factors to consider including space , power usage , cooling capabilities and building management . If managed intently , the long-term environmental benefits can be substantial .
Challenges as facilities age
As new capabilities and improvements arise to support more efficient operations , data centres built just a few years ago could now be considered ‘ outdated ’ from an operational standpoint as innovation continues to disrupt the industry . From expansion at the Edge and cloud diversification to improved energy efficiency and boosted sustainability , data centres are continuously being transformed . This means that older data centres require more attention and closer operational management . Data centre operators of older facilities should pay closer attention to improvements or changes that can be made following the design stage , years into the facility ’ s operational lifespan , if they want to continue operating at optimal efficiency .
At the very least , day-to-day operations should adhere to original design standards to ensure that the facility operates in the way it was intended to . If not , this can reduce the operational , and more specifically , sustainability capabilities of the facility . For example , less than 15 % of carbon footprint control is in the design phase and the rest is controlled over the lifespan of the facility . There are various factors that contribute to this .
For instance , data centres are designed to support a certain volume of inputs and equipment , but operational requirements are often changed – sometimes without full assessment of all potential impacts . Typically for day-one operations , these
Niall Killeen , Global Director , Building Commissioning , CAI www . intelligentdatacentres . com