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Digital Realty Trust Datacentre for HSBC

September 2008 by Marc Jacob

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. announced that a datacentre it is building for HSBC has earned the first BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating in the United Kingdom under the Building Research Establishment’s prestigious environmental certification program. The ‘Excellent’ rating for bespoke design and procurement is the highest available rating through BREEAM certification. This certification – the first in the UK datacentre industry – recognises the energy efficiency and environmentally sound construction and operations practices of a new 10,000 square metre datacentre being built for HSBC, the global banking and financial services institution. The development site in the South of England was acquired by Digital Realty Trust in April 2007 and the datacentre facility is being developed by Digital Realty Trust to support HSBC’s global computing infrastructure. Digital Realty Trust partnered with CHt Data Solutions of the Laing O’Rourke Group to construct the facility.

BREEAM is a leading environmental assessment method for buildings in the UK. This recognition for the HSBC datacentre has followed two years of assessments on sustainability initiatives, innovative design and project management. Digital Realty Trust and HSBC estimate significant energy savings and resultant reduction in power cost and CO2 emissions from this datacentre.

“We are very proud of this datacentre and proud that it has been recognised as the first to meet the very high environmental standards of the BREEAM Excellent rating. The collaboration between HSBC, Digital Realty Trust and the Laing O’Rourke Group has been excellent on this important project, and we believe this facility sets a new standard for datacentres in Europe,” said Bernard Geoghegan, Senior Vice President of Digital Realty Trust Europe. “This is the latest in a long list of industry firsts that Digital Realty Trust has achieved for energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in the datacentre field. We were the first company to achieve LEED Gold certification for a datacentre in the United States, the first company to adopt the Green Grid’s PUE energy efficiency measurement protocol, and the first company to publicly publish energy efficiency data about its facilities. We continue to be a leader in educating datacentre professionals about best practices that achieve dramatic energy savings and cost savings for their companies.”

The building initially consisted of a pad foundation arrangement requiring extensive excavation and transport of virgin material. Re-use of the existing ground slab from a previous building became a possibility soon after project commencement, offering significant recycled aggregate benefits. Fill material produced on site could be utilised in conjunction with the existing slab, thereby reducing waste, material usage and costs. Materials for the project were responsibly sourced both on site via fill recycling and from audited suppliers. Tracing the project supply chain back to materials source and ensuring those suppliers held ISO14001 certification, secured additional BREEAM points.

Digital Realty Trust has built custom datacentres for numerous global companies, including financial services companies that have very specific, complex datacentre requirements for the high-volume, low-latency computing systems. Digital Realty Trust manages all build-to-suit datacentre projects using its proprietary Gating Process? which ensures delivery of custom datacentre projects through the timely, efficient coordination of all processes involved in design and construction while optimising costs. Unlike traditional development methods for build-to-suit projects, Digital Realty Trust’s Gating Process? provides customers with transparency and inputs at key stages of the project — from scope and schematic through commissioning and completion – ensuring that the finished datacentre facility supports the unique needs of each organisation.

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