Syska Hennessy Forms Green Critical Facilities Committee (Green CF)
November 21, 2006

By Staff
Appeared in The Data Center Journal

Designing “Green” has become the new buzz word in the critical facility industry. The “Green Grid” group and efforts through the EPA has data center professionals thinking a step ahead of the consumer knowing that energy conservation will be the next frontier in data center construction and design.

The following is a news release issued by Syska Hennessy:

We know that Critical Facilities are an essential part of modern business operations. Although these facilities are a small part of the total construction in the United States, their inherent inefficiencies and environmental impact has a very large effect on our natural environment and the Owner’s total operating cost.

Being industry leaders in the design and construction of Critical Facilities and Sustainable and High Performance Building Technology, we recognize the need to integrate these practices and look beyond traditional design. We are pleased to introduce our Green Critical Facilities Committee (Green CF) that will incorporate the best features of Sustainability into our Critical Facilities practice.

Critical Facilities in general are energy intensive and cost our clients vast sums to operate. Since the IT equipment often accounts for only 30% of the total energy consumption, it is important to understand how the building systems interact and consume the remaining 70%. Green CF’s focus is to understand how to reduce energy consumption without sacrificing reliability.

Our philosophy is to incorporate best practices into every critical facility we design and build. Green CF has developed these key principles to guide us:

  1. Sustainability must be an integral part of the design. A Green Critical Facility is not a critical facility with some added “green” bells and whistles.

  2. We will produce designs that maintain or improve reliability, reduce operating costs and increase environmental responsibility. Reliability and sustainability need not be at odds with each other, but reliability is always paramount.

  3. We will focus on proven technology that can be implemented today and explore developing technologies that hold promise for tomorrow.

  4. We do not believe that “one size fits all” energy solutions are cost effective. We intend to “regionalize” designs that take advantage of different utility costs and environmental conditions. What is cost effective in New York may not be cost effective in Idaho, where electricity costs 1/3 as much. Likewise, what is cost effective in a humid climate like the Gulf Coast may not be cost effective in an arid climate like Phoenix.

  5. In determining what is cost effective, we will consider the Owner’s total cost of ownership, the value of environmental stewardship and branding needs balanced with initial design and construction budgets.

  6. We will work together in project teams that include the Owner’s staff, authorities having jurisdiction, vendors and other consultants as well as our Critical Facilities and Sustainability staff. We will involve members of our 50+ LEED® Accredited Professionals in each team.

  7. We will use predictive tools during the design to optimize overall performance and energy efficiency. One example is Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modeling that is used to optimize airflow in critical spaces. Another example is specialized energy modeling software to analyze the performance of a building.

  8. We will involve our Facilities Management professionals to help us optimize the design for increased operational efficiency over the critical facility’s lifespan. These features must be considered during the original design planning, even if the facility is built out in phases.

We are excited about the benefits of integrating Critical Facilities and Sustainability. Syska’s Green CF Committee formation ensures you will have the advantage of knowing about the latest design innovations in reliability and sustainability for your projects.