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Calculating the Future: GE Unveils Platinum LEED®-Certified Data Center – a Sustainable Investment Supporting Global Business Growth

August 18, 2011 No Comments

Source: BusinessWire

  • GE Appliances & Lighting unveils first LEED®-Platinum data center in Kentucky.1
  • GE’s data center is 34 percent better in terms of energy savings than a typical code-compliant building.2
  • Of all LEED-certified buildings globally, only 6 percent have achieved Platinum certification.
  • GE’s data center supports more than $1 billion in job-creating business investments.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(NYSE:GE) – GE Appliances & Lighting today announced the opening of a revolutionary new data center at its Louisville, Ky., Appliance Park headquarters. GE approached the design, construction and operation of this facility with the intent of reducing data center energy consumption and lowering environmental impact, while providing tremendous computing power to support major product and infrastructure investments now and well into the future.

“Gartner urges action on data center emissions”
Of all LEED-certified buildings globally, only 6 percent have achieved Platinum certification, and GE’s new facility is the first LEED-Platinum data center in all of Kentucky.3 GE’s environmental achievement is made even more impressive considering data center emissions worldwide are growing faster than many other types of carbon emissions.4 In fact, a McKinsey & Company study estimates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from data centers will quadruple to exceed emissions from the airline industry by 2020,5 due to the rapid growth in global demand for computing power.

“GE is joining an elite group of LEED-Platinum data centers around the world,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “Given the amount of energy data centers consume, achieving LEED Platinum will help GE reduce its environmental footprint, while moving the industry forward in its effort to reduce the global environmental impact of IT operations.”

GE’s data center is a high-efficiency computing machine

  • GE’s data center is 34 percent better in terms of energy savings than a typical code-compliant building.6
  • In addition to installing innovative, high-efficiency cooling systems, GE is installing high-density servers to pack more computing power per square foot, reducing the size of the data center floor by half compared to the data center it replaces. This means that less energy is needed to cool the space.
  • GE is reducing water consumption inside the building by 42 percent compared to the industry baseline7 by installing ultra low-flow fixtures. Outside the building, GE is reducing water consumption by 100 percent8.
  • GE has offset 35 percent of the data center’s predicted annual energy consumption through the purchase of off-site renewable energy9.

“As GE invests in the business and creates more manufacturing jobs in the U.S., our new high-efficiency data center will help us manage energy costs so we can compete in a global marketplace,” said Alan Kocsi, chief information officer, GE Appliances & Lighting. “GE’s new data center will also provide the high-density computing necessary to support global business growth and significant manufacturing-revitalization efforts that will provide customers with innovative technologies, high-quality products, and better customer service.”

Greener from the get-go: Rather than building the new data center from scratch, GE revitalized an existing building for the new data center; in fact, GE maintained 98.3 percent of the walls, floors and roof of unutilized factory space.

GE also received LEED credit for:

  • Sourcing 50.7 percent of construction materials regionally.10
  • Building with 30.2 percent recycled materials.
  • Diverting 85.4 percent of on-site generated construction waste from the landfill (i.e. recycling).11

An investment in future growth and customer service: GE invested in the first commercial UNIVAC computer in the early 1950s when Appliance Park opened, and it is now with that same pioneering spirit that GE is preparing for future growth. Exceeding industry standards for computing power, GE’s data center houses servers designed to operate at 18 to 24 kilowatts (kW) per cabinet, compared to the industry average of 4 to 7 kW per cabinet.12 This sheer computing “horsepower” provides GE with the flexibility to meet ever-changing customer demands.

Helping revitalize the U.S. manufacturing base: The new data center will also support business investments across the appliances and lighting product portfolios. Specifically, the new center supports GE Appliances’ $1 billion investment to upgrade all of its major appliance product lines and create Manufacturing Centers of Excellence, which combined will create 1,300 U.S. jobs by 2014. The new data center will operate information systems that enable technology and manufacturing teams to run state-of-the-art factories and:

  • Implement Lean manufacturing processes that improve operational efficiencies to drive down cost.
  • Improve customer service through increased fill rates and better billing systems.
  • Enhance product quality and innovation.

GE provides technology for data center: GE Appliances & Lighting leveraged cutting-edge data center technologies from GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions and Digital Energy businesses, including Digital Energy’s uninterruptable power supply (UPS) units with eBoost™ technology. eBoost technology enables data centers to achieve up to 99 percent UPS efficiency, without sacrificing reliability. Industrial Solutions provided Entellysis™ low-voltage switchgear and power-quality systems.

For high-resolution images; broadcast-quality footage and interviews (b-roll); and additional details on GE’s data center and Platinum-LEED certification, please visit: http://pressroom.geconsumerproducts.com/pr/ge/calculating-the-future-ge-unveils-213599.aspx.

About LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED green building certification system is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

About U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. www.usgbc.org.

About GE Appliances & Lighting

GE Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential use. Technology innovation and the company’s ecomagination(SM) initiative enable GE Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, Cafe™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit www.ge.com.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or check out our website for more information

Friend GE Appliances on Facebook to view how-to videos, learn about new GE appliances and join in the discussion with other GE appliance owners. Join today and follow @GE_Appliances on Twitter or just locate detailed information about our products at www.geappliances.com.

1 Compared to the ASHRAE 90.1 building code for energy efficiency.

2 U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) and Green Building Certification institute (www.gbci.org).

3 U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) and Green Building Certification institute (www.gbci.org).

4 Gartner Research cited in CNET article: “Gartner urges action on data center emissions,” http://news.cnet.com/Gartner-urges-action-on-data-center-emissions/2100-1022_3-6212965.html. 2007.

5 Compared to 2008 levels. McKinsey & Company. “Data Centers. How to Cut Carbon Emissions and Costs.” http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/bto/pointofview/pdf/BT_Data_Center.pdf. 2008.

6 Compared to the ASHRAE 90.1 building code for energy efficiency.

7 Baseline established in Energy Policy Act of 1992.

8 No permanent irrigation system was installed, reducing water consumption by 100% for landscaping purposes. Data for LEED analyzed and independently verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

9 GE is matching 35 percent of the data center’s predicted annual energy consumption with renewable-energy certificates to help offset emissions. Green-e accredited Tradable Renewable Certificates (RECs) equal to 35 percent of predicted annual energy consumption over a two-year period.

10 This includes materials and/or products extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.

11 All LEED-qualifying data were analyzed and independently verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

12 Sources: Chris Johnston, Chief Engineer-Critical Facilities, Syska Hennessy Group; supported by data from the Data Center User Group (2009) http://www.liebert.com/information_pages/NewsRelease.aspx?id=2976; supported by data from Computer World Magazine http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9144466/Data_center_density_hits_the_wall (2010).

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6834083&lang=en

Contacts

GE Appliances & Lighting
Kim Freeman, 502-452-7819
Global PR Manager
Kim_Freeman@ge.com

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