Vantage Data Centers Latest to Land LEED Platinum Certification

Vantage Data Centers Latest to Land LEED Platinum Certification

Last month, I got a chance to tour Vantage Data Centers' facility in Santa Clara, Calif., which at the time claimed to be one of the world's greenest computing facilities.

Today, the company can back up that claim: Vantage is announcing that it has earned LEED Platinum certification for its 60,000-square-foot data center.

The news means that the company's V3 facility is one of a very small number of data centers to earn LEED Platinum -- Vantage vice president Patrick Davis told me in July that there are about seven (now eight or nine) LEED Platinum-certified data centers in the world. That puts Vantage in a sweet spot when customers start specifying LEED certification in data center RFPs -- something Davis said was happening with increasing frequency.

And Vantage aims to take a bigger slice of that pie in the coming months: It is currently at work on two more data centers at its Santa Clara location, both of which are being designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification when they become operational.

Vantage has achieved a 1.29 power usage effectiveness ratio (PUE) for the V3 data center, and is able to use free outside air cooling for 80 percent of the year -- a surprisingly large amount of time for the relatively hot climate of Silicon Valley. Being that energy-efficient, and designing it with free cooling in mind, means that Vantage saves $3 million per year in operating expenses.

In its press release announcing the certification, Vantage quotes U.S. Green Building Council President Rick Fedrizzi as saying: "Vantage Data Centers' LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership. The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Vantage serves as a prime example of what we hope to accomplish."

That's a telling quote, given the news out of Kentucky last week, when General Electric earned LEED Platinum for its data center in Louisville. That facility, which was built to support its new smart lighting and appliance technologies, has a PUE of 1.63 and brings the tally of LEED-Platinum data centers up to as many as nine.

And if Vantage's Patrick Davis is right, demand for highly efficient and LEED-certified data centers continues to grow at its current rate, we're going to see many more compute facilities bearing the LEED stamp in the near future.