General Motors’ Enterprise Data Center in Warren, Michigan has received Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, or otherwise known as LEED certification.
According to the Green Building Council, less than five percent of data centers in the U.S. achieve LEED certification, yet this marks GM’s fifth LEED certified facility.
The state-of-the-art IT center began operations in May of this year. At the same time, GM is constructing another IT center in Milford, Michigan.
GM toured facilities from major technological and electrical companies to identify the best practices for achieving greater efficiency. One of the Warren buildings innovations is a clean back-up power system. GM switched from a space hogging, battery based system to one powered by mechanical flywheels and a diesel engine. The diesel back-up system, which is used in less than 2 percent of data centers globally, reduces emissions, fuel consumption and noise pollution. The system allows for the removal of a football field sized room full of batteries.
Aisles of technology equipment utilize in-row cooling to reduce the electricity consumption needed to cool the machines. GM takes advantage of Michigan’s cooler climate in winter months, pumping water outside to cool it naturally, essentially eliminating the need for the servers cooling system three quarters of the year.
GM is also distributing power at higher voltages, eliminating energy-draining transformers that generate heat to convert power to the appropriate voltage. As a result, the facility reduced power loss by 17 percent.
GM uses LEED design and construction practices when constructing or upgrading facilities and all of its North American construction sites adhere to GM Green Construction practices.