Lab Building

Network Appliance Location: Research Triangle Park, North Carolina Square Footage: 120,000 Construction Cost: $60,000,000

Project Description

CRB provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection design services for the Mission Critical Data Center and laboratory facility. The building is served from four (4) 2,800-ton chillers serving 3.4 million cfm in airflow, and is supplied by 18 utility transformers. CRB also designed for

additional future generators and UPS systems.

In October 2009, NetApp showcased a new, highly energy efficient dynamic data center at its RTP Technology Center to accolades from the IT press and local and national government officials including the EPA's EnergyStar Technical Development manager.

Working with CRB Consulting Engineers, NetApp used new and advanced technologies such as Higher supply air temperatures; Airside economization (using cooler outside air for part of the year); Modulating fans in pressure controlled rooms; Cold aisle containment (separates cold and hot air streams); overhead air distribution to eliminate ductwork and reduce fan energy usage.

By implementing these and other new technologies and practices, CRB helped NetApp meet its goals for sustainability and reduced power consumption of 1.2 PUE (the average PUE for data centers is 2.0).
STATE-OF-THE-ART ENERGY EFFICIENCYThe innovations listed below along with other new technologies earned the NetApp facility a prestigious EPA ENERGY STAR rating for superior energy efficiency.

The EPA gave the facility a rating of 95, which places it in the top 5% in terms of energy performance for similar facilities nationwide.

Using a higher temperature threshold for supply air (74° F instead of 55° to 60° F) results in dramatically reduced cooling costs.

  • Using outside air for cooling means free cooling for about eight months of the year.
  • Modulating fan speeds, run on NetApp's proprietary technology, control the supply of air to pressure-controlled rooms and regulate air volume to avoid oversupplying air and wasting energy.
  • Separating cold and hot air streams using cold aisle containment technology protects supply air temperatures from hot air returning from the server racks.
  • Overhead air distribution takes advantage of cold/hot air buoyancy, eliminates ductwork, and reduces the energy needed for fans.

Storage Efficiency and Cloud Computing TechnologyIn addition to its energy-efficient facility design, CRB designed NetApp's new dynamic data center to leverage the latest virtualization solutions, making it possible for NetApp to build a private cloud environment, providing virtual access for NetApp engineering labs around the world.

The dynamic data center also serves as a model for co-location clients interested in building energy-efficient dynamic data centers and cloud environments for their enterprise users.
THE BOTTOM LINEBeyond the inherent value of the data center and its ground-breaking GDL facility, the estimated $7.3 million in annual energy savings means the facility will pay for itself in just over 8 years. And even beyond the energy cost savings, NetApp will realize environmental benefits including a reduction in CO2 output by 93,000 tons a year, which is equivalent to removing 15,400 cars from the road.
BUILDING STATISTICSAnnual Energy Savings (in U.S. Dollars): $7.3 Million 

Years to 100% ROI from Energy Savings alone: 8.2

back to top