Data Centre Sustainability
Improvements in the operational sustainability of data centres using ever more efficient data centre hardware and Mechanical and Electrical infrastructure are a continued feature in the industry’s drive to reduce energy consumption and Carbon Emissions.
Prefabricated data centres provide organisations with additional sustainable, environmental, and economic benefits.
Prefabricated data centres use the same physical energy-efficient systems as conventional “bricks and mortar” data centres. But, the efficient nature of their Off-Site construction provides additional benefits to organisations looking to further reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and the capital and operational cost of their data centre infrastructure.
Off-Site construction solutions are seen as a significant step in providing more sustainable construction techniques “using technology and modern construction methods (MMC) to promote innovation and efficiency and support sustainable industry, prompt payment, social value, and net-zero carbon initiatives”. @CCS
The UK Government has recognised the benefit of prefabricated buildings, including Data Centres, Telecoms Cabins, Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities and other technical enclosures, and facilities for other uses within the Residential, Healthcare, Defence, Justice and Education sectors. So they will be introducing a new framework in 2023 named – RM6184 “Off Site Construction Solutions” to assist organisations in procuring sustainable buildings.
What is a Prefabricated Data Centre?
A prefabricated data centre is a building or enclosure manufactured off-site, pre-engineered, and delivered to pre-prepared foundations, fully populated, with physical data centre equipment, Power, Cooling, Electrical Distribution, Rack Infrastructure, Fire Suppression, Lighting Systems, Access Control and CCTV.
How Green are Prefabricated Data Centres?
The sustainable benefits of Off-Site construction are significant, providing many environmental, commercial, and operational benefits, assisting organisations with their net-zero carbon initiatives across all three GHG (Green House Gas) defined Carbon Emission scopes.
- Reduction in Construction Energy use
The construction of a modular, prefabricated data centre or other technical enclosure within a modern production facility means that much less energy is consumed because factories are far more efficient in managing and controlling energy and emissions than traditional “On Site” construction.
Factory-produced, prefabricated buildings require fewer people in their construction, with much less time spent on site, so “On Site” energy costs such as power for Plant, Tools, Lighting, Transport, and Accommodation of workers are significantly reduced.
- Reduction in Waste Materials
The use of pre-engineered, off the shelf components, in the manufacture of prefabricated buildings means practically zero waste. In addition, once the prefabricated buildings arrive on site, they are directly installed in a prepared location, causing little or no ‘construction site’ waste.
- Quality & Efficiency
The integrated nature of design and manufacture within a modern, factory-controlled environment provides greater efficiencies and improved quality assurance over traditional “On-Site” construction.
- Significant Cost Savings
Prefabricated data centres and technical buildings typically cost in the region of 40% less when compared to traditional on-site construction of equivalent size.
- Reduction in Transportation Emissions
Travel and transport emissions are reduced as fabrication of the data centre or technical building is entirely constructed Off-Site at a single location by locally employed personnel, decreasing travel distance compared to travel to multiple traditional construction sites. Further significant reductions in transportation emissions are achieved as the building is delivered in a single delivery rather than multiple deliveries of commodities and components for “On-Site” construction/assembly. Other environmental impacts such as noise and pollution are also drastically reduced.
- Social Value
Off-Site construction of prefabricated data centres and other technical buildings provides a range of Social Value benefits.
Safer Working Conditions
Personnel working within the controlled environment of a modern production factory are less exposed to the sort of risks associated with “On-Site” construction, such as working at height, working in outdoor conditions, and working close to heavy moving plant equipment.
Production facilities, sometimes located in areas of high unemployment, provide work for individuals with the required skillsets and those wishing to train up, all within a growing commercial sector.
“On-Site” construction disturbs local communities with extra traffic (usually HGVs), excessive noise, dust, and general disruption. Prefabricated Off-Site construction removes all of those elements. It reduces time on site to a fraction of that seen for traditional “On-Site” construction, ensuring minimal disruption to local communities during the delivery of new infrastructure.
- Adapt, Re-Use and Recycle.
Prefabricated data centres and other technical buildings are modular in their construction so that they can be easily added to, as business or operational requirements develop – ‘pay as you grow’ economics.
Should an organisation wish to re-purpose the technical building, then the modular nature of the plant equipment used within the building means that it can be easily removed.
Should an organisation wish to re-use their prefabricated building elsewhere, it can be unhooked from local services, loaded onto transport and re-used at another location. The infrastructure within the data centre is also modular. So if an organisation no longer requires the data centre, significant pieces of plant such as Cooling, UPS, and Equipment racks can be removed and re-used elsewhere.
The core components and materials used to construct prefabricated data centres and technical buildings can all be recycled at the end of the life of the facility.
Why work with Workspace Technology Ltd
Workspace Technology’s newly opened prefabricated technical building manufacturing facility is the only one of its type in the UK. Located centrally in the West Midlands, it provides modern factory production of custom data centres, telecoms cabins, power pods and SCIFs (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities).
Workspace Technology’s complete in-house provision includes full technical project design and build operations, site preparation, production of the prefabricated technical facility, transportation and offloading, site commissioning and 24/7/365 expert support, maintenance, and service contracts.
Contact us at Sales@workspace-technology.com or call 0121 354 4894Return to Knowledge Hub