Milwaukee Data Center achieves LEED Gold Certification

More than 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill.

July 2, 2014
CDR Staff
Green Building

Data Holdings LLC, a Milwaukee-based data center, has earned Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The 46,000 square-foot data center is Wisconsin's first LEED Gold data center and joins a small distinguished group of companies, including Facebook, GM and Equinix, with LEED Gold data center facilities, according to the company.

"This milestone, achieved by only a few in the data center industry, is a testimony to the value and integrity purposefully designed into this building," says Dan McGrath, a data center industry executive with more than 30 years' experience and CEO of NewAge Data Center Solutions, which operates the data center. "In today's best in class data centers, such as Data Holdings, it is imperative that technologies and practices to manage and protect data also minimize environmental impact and user and owner operational costs."

Data Holdings opened in May 2013. It was built using sustainable construction practices. The project diverted more than 75 percent of the on-site generated construction waste away from the landfill. More than 20 percent of the building's materials contain recycled content including carpet, porcelain tile and plastic laminate.

To enhance indoor air quality and occupant comfort, selecting low and no VOC (volatile organic compound) materials was a priority. The facility's notable environmental and business features include a high-efficiency chilling system with airside economizer technology that provides data center users with year-round free-cooling when the outside air temperature dips below 60 degrees. The free-cooling capability contributes to Data Holding's excellent Power Usage Effectiveness, or PUE, rating.

The data center utilizes high-efficiency technologies for a number of functional and equipment needs including uninterruptable power supply, electronically commutated motors, lighting, water heating, and plumbing fixtures. A white roof with a Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of 110 (compared to standard roofs which typically have a SRI of 20) that reduces heat gain tops Data Holdings while water efficient, native plantings surround the building. Additionally, a storm water management system captures more than 80,000 gallons of storm runoff, thereby reducing flow to the city's sewer system. A porous asphalt paved parking lot also helps manage storm water.

"For Data Holdings, LEED Gold Certification is another important differentiator that will appeal to data center users looking to store their valuable information with organizations that share their enterprise's values for both fiscal and environmental stewardship," says Ian Favill, who leads business development for Data Holdings.