Energy‐Efficient High‐Tech Buildings - Final Project Report

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Energy‐Efficient High‐Tech Buildings - Final Project Report. (PDF file, 32 pages, 369 kb).


Publication Number: CEC-500-2013-062
Report Date: DECEMBER 2008



This project focused on research and demonstrations of energy efficiency strategies for improving the energy performance of laboratories, cleanrooms, and data centers. Key results included proposed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria for use with cleanrooms or data centers; data center modular cooling system comparisons; cross‐cutting efficiency strategies for high‐tech buildings; collaboration on direct current power use; alternative cooling demonstrations for data centers; and collaboration with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group on data center demonstrations.

An industry committee assembled for each building type developed Proposed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria. The criteria emphasized energy and water use credits and deemphasized other sustainability credits.

Evaluations of modular cooling systems for data centers involved significant commitment from industry partners who supplied the systems for evaluation and hosted the installation in an operating data center. The study concluded that these systems perform better than standard practice.

Industry collaboration to promote the use of direct current power distribution in data centers continued following a demonstration in a prior California Energy Commission research project. This led to developing and commercializing standard direct current power connectors for use with information technology equipment and general agreement on distribution voltage. An alternative cooling technology for use in data centers was demonstrated. This complex system involves spraying a di‐electric fluid directly on components; however, significant energy savings were achieved compared to standard practice.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group jointly encouraged data center demonstration projects, which culminated in a data center “Summit” hosted by Silicon Valley Leadership Group where new or underutilized technologies were demonstrated.

One of the project’s key recommendations is that the California Energy Commission Energy Research and Development program continues research on high‐tech buildings and forms a high‐tech center to continue research and development for high‐tech buildings