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Breaking Ground On One Of The UK’s Greenest Data Centres

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Our new UK data centre was designed from the ground up to be green. From minimizing landfill and the impact on the environment during the upcoming construction, to using cutting edge technologies like “indirect outside air” cooling, to achieving BREEAM certification; the 130,000-square-foot Crawley, West Sussex-based data centre illustrates our mission to be good stewards of the environment and reinforces our focus on energy conservation.

Once completed, it will be one of the greenest data centres in the UK.

For us, the environmental impact and energy conservation of our data centres are just as important, if not more so, as the design densities and other metrics that are typically used. As we break ground today, I wanted to shine a light on some of the things we’re doing to make sure we’re delivering hosting and cloud services to you from a data centre that is as energy efficient as possible.

First, this data centre is designed to maximize operational efficiency and offer Open Compute compatibility and scalability. With our partner Digital Realty, we’ve combined our expertise to design and develop a highly energy efficient data centre that provides competitive cost per kilowatt. There’s also room for growth, as the design allows for expansion into additional buildings through several phases.

Throughout the design process, we considered everything from the amount of water and energy used during operations, the removal of surplus items such as raised floor and the installation sun pipes to bring natural light into internal spaces, to the little things that make a difference to Rackspace, like using more efficient LED lighting and low VOC paint.

This new data centre is also the first in the UK to use “indirect outside air” cooling technology at a large scale and without mechanical cooling. This means we can cut the energy required to run the data centre by 80 percent. This is a testament to the commitment of both Rackspace and Digital Realty to the new ASHRAE thermal guidelines and demonstrates our leadership in meeting stringent energy and sustainability targets.

The data centre will be the first building on a 15-acre campus and will comprise four data suites of up to 3 megawatts (MW).  The initial capacity is targeted to come online in the first half of 2015.

The completed project will be a game changer for our industry. It will be one of the greenest data centres in the UK, and we consider that a huge achievement.

The data centre will be available to all of our customers, but we anticipate most of you will come from the UK and Europe, where there is growing demand for cloud and hosting services, and Rackspace’s award-winning Fanatical Support.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Gary Boyd.

Gary Boyd is Senior Director of Project Engineering at Rackspace, responsible for the design and construction of Rackspace's Data Centers and network infrastructure.
He joined Rackspace in March of 2005 at our United Kingdom location, making the trip across the pond in 2011 to truly make our Data Centers world class on a global scale.

Prior to joining Rackspace, Gary spent five years at NetBenefit Group plc, a UK web hosting and domain name registrar. Gary studied at Brunel University, London, successfully gaining an MBA. Previous experience included leading expeditions in Southeast Asia for a UK leading youth development charity, Raleigh International. Gary served in the British Royal Marines and Royal Navy for 12 years.

Gary is an enthusiastic skier, kids permitting, and enjoys running.


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  • http://girifox.com/ Giri Fox

    That’s really cool. I liked to know it’s designed with Open Compute in mind.

  • TonyB

    Interesting – How do you contol Relative Humidity?

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