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Digital Realty Trust Adopts Green Standards

Wholesale data center provider Digital Realty Trust ( is adopting the newly announced Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method Bespoke ( data center standards for all future construction of its data centers.

This ensures environmental sustainability, reduced running costs and increased long term building value, according to the company's Tuesday announcement.

"Adopting the BREEAM standards right at the beginning of the initial design stages will not only build in reduced running costs because the building's insulation and cooling will be optimised, but in the longer term the value of the building can be expected to be higher than a comparable building which is not BREEAM accredited," Digital Realty Trust chief technology officer Jim Smith said in a statement

BREEAM Bespoke was first developed in 2000 by sustainability consultancy, training, testing and certification group BRE Trust ( to cover buildings not included in mainstream environmental assessments.

According to BRE Global director of sustainability Paul Gibbon, interest in assessments for specialist building types, especially data centers is rising. "Over the first 12 months of the data center scheme, we will be refining it with feedback from actual assessments and in time this 'scheme' will become part of the standard suite for BREEAM," he said in a statement. He also noted that a specific assessment framework for data centers reduces the cost of assessments and provides a ready-made set of criteria developers, designers and clients can use to assess their buildings.

An early BREEAM assessment was actually carried out for a Digital Realty Trust facility built for a major financial institute. Completed in September 2008, the facility scored an "Excellent" rating, using a unique heat recovery system which results in energy savings of up to 83 percent compared to conventional gas fired boilers. It also uses a building automation system, which responds to atmospheric changes, making the most of low ambient temperatures.

Smith said, "The BREEAM certification process has tremendous value for the data center industry and we are adopting its guidelines as best practices for the way we design, build and operate data centers around the world. This is the latest in a long list of industry firsts that Digital Realty Trust has achieved for energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in the data center field, and we are very proud to be leading the way in green data centers."

Digital Realty Trust has taken a lead in the industry in a variety of green data center initiatives, building the first LEED Gold certified data center, and being the first company to report PUE energy efficiency data about its data centers, as well as becoming the first real estate company to contribute as a member of The Green Grid.

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