An EU-funded research project has launched a free online tool to help design energy efficient and renewable data centres.
Data centres house networks of computer servers to store, process or distribute large amounts of data. They are generally large users of energy and the industry as a whole is keen to reduce the impact they have.
The RenewIT tool is designed to help operators, designers and stakeholders maximise the sustainability of new data centre sites by comparing more than 60 European locations by electricity costs, access to renewable power and other factors. It can help select the best location, cooling concept or energy efficiency measures, and the results can be compared to a conventional data centre or with another facility.
Financial services company ING has used RenewIT to demonstrate how they could improve the efficiency of one of their zero carbon data centres by adding a biogas fuel cell and raising the operating temperature of the facility.
Jo Harris, Sustainable Construction Group Manager at BSRIA, said: “It allows data centre operators to replicate the advantages and expenses of on-site and grid renewables, predicts productivity gains from technologies such as free cooling and the finer aspects of workload management can also be calculated.”
The tool is for use in the EU, but there is potential for it to be extended to North America and Asia in the future.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.
Report launched outlining steps for a national infrastructure system that is efficient, sustainable, and delivers until 2050.
A review of Justin Bere's concise and well-presented introductory guide to Passive House.
This article describes in detail the tender process for a typical commercial construction contract.
What is energy storage, what are the different types and what is its future?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a state-of-the-art concert hall in Beijing.
Take a look at BIG's designs for two twisting towers in New York City.
'The filing cabinet' which was labelled one of the best British buildings of the 21st century.