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
Richard Hayward of Legrand asks whether technology could help developers meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.
Thomas Heatherwick's ambitious steel structure begins construction.
The principles, practice and formwork of one of the most important components of modern architecture.
New report claims that inappropriate standards and regulations are holding back the use of composites.
The global smart homes and smart light commercial market will grow fastest in the UK.
Have a look at our article explaining the different types of construction contractor.
Futurist Thomas Frey explores the concept of Disposable Housing - could it be a reality sooner than we imagine?
ICE to host new exhibition offering a window onto the civil engineering achievements beneath our feet.
Do you know all the various types of defects in brickwork?
US museum reveals plans for an installation made entirely of paper tubes.
Review of a book looking at how contemporary architecture found its expression within neoliberal capitalism.
The Great Mosque of Djenne, the largest mud-brick building in the world.
Amanda Clack, RICS President offers recommendations to government on Brexit and the construction skills shortage.
Why do so many women leave engineering? Probably not for the reason you’re thinking.