BCA and IDA Launch New Green Mark for Data Centres
The new Green Mark for Data Centres was launched today by Ms Grace Fu, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Environment and Water Resources and Foreign Affairs at the opening of the International Green Building Conference and BEX Asia, which are anchor events of the Singapore Green Building Week. The new dedicated green building rating system for data centres is jointly developed by Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).
As Singapore’s commercial data centre space is projected to increase by 50 per cent from 2010 to 2015, it is important to look at how green and sustainable data centres are, given their heavy use of energy. It is estimated that a typical large data centre in Singapore consumes energy equivalent to 10,000 households. Energy cost for data centres is also currently estimated to make up 50 per cent of operating costs. There is thus potential for significant savings for data centres if they were to go green.
The scheme covers both data centres that may occupy a purpose-built data centre building or are part of a larger building. It assesses data centres based on five key criteria - energy efficiency, water efficiency, sustainable construction & management, indoor environment quality as well as other green features. Based on the combined scoring, the data centres will be awarded Green Mark Platinum, GoldPLUS, Gold or Certified status.
Data centre operators are embracing the new Green Mark scheme. The pilot project saw three data centres being awarded Green Mark ratings – Credit Suisse Regional Data Centre (Platinum), Equinix SG2 Data Centre (GoldPLUS) and Singapore Tourism Board Data Centre (Gold).
Rated Platinum, Credit Suisse Regional Data Centre’s winning features include an efficient air-conditioning system, the use of energy efficient IT equipment and virtualisation technology to reduce overall IT equipment power demand. Such features enabled the data centre with 10,000 square feet of net IT space to achieve energy savings of 3.85 million kilowatt hours annually. This translates to annual cost savings of $1 million. A typical similar size data centre in Singapore consumes an average of 18.1 million kWh annually.
On the latest addition to the BCA Green Mark scheme, Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA said, “While the original BCA Green Mark scheme started off with a focus on building owners, we are now shifting our attention to occupants. Placing greater emphasis on users will help instill in them a sustainability mindset and allow them to play a greater role in Singapore’s green building movement.”
IDA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ronnie Tay said, “Companies are looking to host their strategic IT operations and data centres in Singapore, which offers a secure and resilient infocomm infrastructure, a thriving and vibrant infocomm industry and highly skilled infocomm manpower. As the demand for data centre increases, there is a need to ensure the sustainable development of data centres. To this end, the Green Mark for Data Centre scheme aims to encourage better management and improved energy efficiency of data centres in Singapore.”
The BCA-IDA Green Mark for Data Centres is the result of a two-year collaborative effort between BCA and IDA, with supporting partners from Energy Research Institute @ Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N) and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (LBNL) in US. It is an extension of the successful BCA Green Mark for buildings scheme launched in 2005.