Best Practices Guide for Energy-Efficient Data Center Design

This guide from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory spans the categories of IT systems and their environmental conditions with a goal of making it easier for data center owners and operators to get the most compute power per watt.

From the introduction to the report:

Data center spaces can consume up to 100 to 200 times as much electricity as standard office spaces. With such large power consumption, they are prime targets for energy-efficient design measures that can save money and reduce electricity use. However, the critical nature of data center loads elevates many design criteria -- chiefly reliability and high power density capacity -- far above energy efficiency. Short design cycles often leave little time to fully assess efficient design opportunities or consider first cost versus life-cycle-cost issues. This can lead to designs that are simply scaled up versions of standard office space approaches or that reuse strategies and specifications that worked “good enough” in the past without regard for energy performance. This Best Practices Guide has been created to provide viable alternatives to inefficient data center building practices.