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Green architecture – Citigroup Data Center in Frankfurt

By Damir Beciri
7 August 2009

citigroup-data-center-in-frankfurt-1Citi’s new Data Centre in Frankfurt has been awarded LEED Platinum, it’s the first data centre in the world to achieve a platinum rating and the first building in Germany to achieve LEED accreditation. The data centre plant topology, unit sizes and operating parameters have been selected to exceed reliability criteria and to enhance the operational energy efficiency. Sustainability, conservation of resources and security standards (Tier IV) were main goals in design of this building and designers from leading sustainable architecture and engineering firm Arup Associates managed to be up to the challenge.

The new building sets new standards in sustainable design, set to bring about dramatic changes in the way that energy-hungry data centers are designed and built in the future. Incorporating a raft of environmental measures that achieve maximum sustainability with no compromise to operation or reliability, the building proves that this energy hungry building sector can be built to perform at optimum levels of energy efficiency and environmental consciousness.

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From an aesthetic perspective, the design of the complex is a combination of intelligently designed inhabited spaces and extensive green planes. However, the most radical green innovations are mostly hidden. The Frankfurt Centre will use only 30% of the power required for services that a conventional data centre would utilize, only 40% of the heating energy. This included a reduction of energy use for the infrastructure of the data center of 72% and a reduction of water consumption of 30% through the usage of innovative reverse osmosis treatment saves almost 36 million liters of water per year.

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Citigroup’s new data center outwardly showcases its green credentials through the extensive use of recycled and locally sourced materials and alternating green facades (a green wall on one side of the complex and a fenestrated window panel on the other). Whereas the green wall serves to insulate the building’s interior, the fenestrated window offers natural lighting while providing the opportunity for natural ventilation.

The facility is topped off by a vegetated green roof that actively keeps the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter while absorbing rainwater. Plant topology was carefully selected to enhance the operational energy efficiency of the building.

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