Environmental Practices

January 11, 2010 at 5:19pm
Environmental Practices Fact Sheet

Facebook’s Prineville Data Center, the first built and owned by the company, will be a leader in the data center industry in terms of reduced environmental impact and energy use. Facebook is committed to operating sustainably and has vigorously pursued new technologies to meet that commitment. The data center will also be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

Energy Use

The Prineville Data Center will be one of the most energy efficient facilities of its kind in the world.

Energy use in the data centers is measured in terms of power usage effectiveness (“PUE”), which is determined by dividing the amount of power entering a data center by the power used to run the computers in it. A typical data center has an average PUE of 1.8. This means that for every 1.8 watts that go through the utility meter, one watt is delivered to the computer infrastructure.

Facebook’s Prineville Data Center will use a number of technologies to achieve a power usage effectiveness ratio of 1.15.

The new, energy-efficiency technologies Facebook will utilize here include:

• Evaporative cooling system – This system uses evaporation of water to achieve cooling as opposed to the more traditional chiller systems that requires more energy intensive equipment. It is anticipated this facility will use this process approximately 60% to 70% of the year. For other times, outside air economizer mode will be used.

• Airside economizer – The facility will be cooled by simply bringing in colder air from the outside. During low humidity times of the year, the evaporative cooling system will be used to meet server humidity range requirements.

• Re-use of server heat – A portion of the excess heat created by the computer servers will be captured and re-used to heat office space in the facility during the colder months.

• Proprietary Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Technology – All data centers must have an uninterruptible power supply to bridge the gap between a power outage and the ability of backup generators to kick-in. The Prineville Data Center will use a new, patent-pending system for UPS that reduces electricity usage by up to 12 percent.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification

The Prineville Data Center is being designed to achieve the USBGC LEED Gold level certification. In addition to the industry-leading energy efficiency designed into the facility, the data center will also feature:

• Use of rainwater to maintain landscaping and for gray water use in the facility.

• Use of low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) finish materials.

• Use of Energy Star Compliant appliances.

• Use of low water consumption technologies such as automated faucets and low flush toilets.