Emerson Data Center
St. Louis, MO
Year Completed: 2009
Size: 35,000 SQ FT
Certifications: LEED Gold Certified
Awards: 2009 Beyond Green Award, Sustainable Buildings Industry Council
This project began as a consolidation of 62 world-wide data centers into 4 strategically-placed facilities. This is a mission critical facility – it cannot lose power & cooling capabilities or cease operation. The building is essentially an industrial shelter for computer equipment and houses a small IT staff.
From inception the owner expected this facility to represent the leading edge in energy efficiency and sustainability. Strategies for this included mounting a 100kW photo-voltaic array to the building’s roof away from shadows and adjacent trees, as well as locating the building’s mechanical condensers atop the roof instead of the adjacent yard. The former solution provides 13.6% of the building’s day-one power needs; the latter conserved 12,000 s.f. of green space and 2 miles of copper piping and reduced mechanical noise. The building’s energy-efficient design equates to a 33% process energy savings.
The mission-critical building requirements inspired a performance-driven steel structure with enhanced seismic capability. Hurricane-resistant glazing protects the interior equipment, and an eight-foot overhang provides shading and day-lighting where most data centers lack fenestration. The offices for the building’s small staff are oriented perpendicular to the building’s main drive, and give a human scale to the entry elevation.