LEED BD+C: New Construction v2009
LEED Gold 2011
Considering the heavy energy consumption of data centers, utilities usage became a major focus in trying to minimize BendBroadband’s environmental footprint, while also reducing long-term operational costs.
To support an expanded business services portfolio designed to remain competitive in a world of ever-increasing IT business needs, BendBroadband required a new facility. The new data center, The Vault, was constructed in an existing shell space of a pre-engineered building structure, complemented by block wall construction and a fully developed site plan.
The scope of construction focused on taking an existing, 30,002-square-foot warehouse structure, and while completing significant site and structural upgrades, building out the interiors to create a new Tier III certified data center. Tier III classification is the second-highest of a four-tier certification by the Uptime Institute, which has established globally-accepted reliability guidelines for data centers. The building encompasses more than 23,000 square feet, including data halls, a network operations center, administrative space, functional space (including electrical and operations), and common areas (such as restrooms and utility support). This facility supports BendBroadband’s new services, including equipment co-location; hosted and on-demand storage, cloud computing, and managed services offerings; virtual leased IT environments; and application and disaster recovery hosting. The facility primarily maintains a “B” occupancy rating. Construction had to be completed within six months, introducing a number of unique challenges related to team composition, weather, and commissioning.
Design priorities included security; LEED certification; local and regional participation in design, construction, products, and labor; energy efficiency; and environmentally-friendly construction materials. The building features 27% recycled and 30% locally-sourced building materials. Energy efficiency measures include a 152-kilowatt photovoltaic array that offsets energy, particularly during peak hours, and daylight-sensitive lighting controls and LED lighting. All power consumed that is not produced by the photovoltaics is offset by renewable (hydro- and wind power) energy credits purchased through Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program. Whereas traditional data centers use uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) with battery storage, BendBroadband installed UPS units with no batteries utilizing flywheel technology, and therefore there is no battery-contained corrosive content in the building. Given the building’s location in the dry, high desert of Oregon, water efficiency was an important priority, exemplified by the project’s use of xeriscaping to eliminate the need for irrigation.
Committed to reducing data center dependency on the rarest regional resource – water – the project team felt it could be most innovative in cooling the data hall. Since cooling is the most expensive controllable cost in a co-location data center, this area also offered the single greatest opportunity to reduce ongoing operational costs and control power consumption. Alternatives to traditional evaporative cooling were considered and an air-to-air heat exchanger technology was ultimately selected. This technology significantly reduces water use, only needed in extreme conditions through the redundant direct expansion (DX) cooling backup module.
Much of the site was disturbed by new utilities, equipment areas, and loading dock construction. Pervious paving, vegetative filters, and bioswales were cost-effective solutions to reducing onsite stormwater runoff, an important design element that was heavily challenged by cost limitations and the goal to restore the site as best as possible to its native condition.
BendBroadband's intent to reduce its burden on the municipal water supply and wastewater systems influenced the project in such a way as to specify low-flow toilets and urinals, as well as sensor controlled bathroom and kitchen faucets. The result of these water savings strategies concluded in a 40% overall water reduction compared to a baseline model.
The site is located in the high desert of Central Oregon. Formerly a building used as a tarp and liner manufacturing facility, the building stands one story high on a property zoned for light industrial use and regulated by the City of Bend and the County of Deschutes. It is a pre-engineered metal building sitting on a relatively simple site, making the aspect of adaptive reuse ideal.