Earth Day

Protecting data and the environment

In 1970, American Senator Gaylord Nelson introduced the world’s first ever Earth Day, paving the way for an influx of environmental activism worldwide. This inauguration pioneered new government statutes and industrial movements meant to inspire change in business conduct and policies with respect to sustainability and environmental impact.

Historically, data centres have been criticized for their energy consumption. In fact, according to estimates by environmental editor John Vidal of The Guardian, the power-hungry communications industry could consume one fifth of the world’s electricity by the year 2025. Due to their heavy reliance on power and a need to deliver continuous uptime to end users, it’s no surprise that data facilities get a reputation for unsustainability.

At Urbacon Data Centre Solutions, however, the environment is one of our top priorities. This means applying innovative and sustainable design and construction strategies at every level, starting with our people. Many of our staff members have earned the LEED® Accredited Professional designation or are working towards one and our industry-leading data centres are prime examples of our commitment to sustainability.

When we were hired to design and build a new state-of-the-art data centre for Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) in the country’s national capital region, we developed an 82,000 SF facility with a rainwater collection system, a transformer-free power distribution system, a passive free air-cooling system, and an industry-leading power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.26.

This focus on green and energy-efficient building design resulted in a LEED® Gold certified facility ranked in the top two per cent of North American green data centres. By incorporating these sustainable systems into the data centre’s design, UDCS has successfully reduced the facility’s carbon emissions by 12,000 tons annually, saved 18 million gallons of water per year, cut its use of copper wiring by 26 tons, and recovered approximately 17 million kilowatt hours of annual power usage.

UDCS applies the same sustainable methodologies in the design, build, operation and maintenance of our own facilities. Among other environmentally-friendly attributes, our data centre facilities feature low power usage effectiveness ratings, dedicated outdoor air systems for cooling, and systems eliminating the need for water usage.

Our firm is constantly imagining new ways to surpass the status quo and set ourselves apart from our competitors. When it comes to the environment, our focus on healthier and more sustainable buildings is one of many areas that gives us that competitive edge. From diverting construction materials away from landfills to employing the world’s most innovative and environmentally-friendly design practices, our data centre clients receive the most reliable and sustainable sensitive information storage on the market.

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