The Leader Magazine

SEP-OCT 2015

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The building is also energy neutral. To achieve this, OVG partnered with the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) to fit an area of 4,100 square meters (44,132 square feet) on the school's rooftops with solar panels. The south fa├žade of The Edge is also fitted with solar panels on all surfaces that are not windows. Furthermore, an aquifer thermal energy storage (approximately 130 meters below the ground) generates all energy required for heating and cooling of the building. Iron Mountain's Underground Data Center: A story of Innovation, Adaptation and Reuse I ron Mountain is the global leader in document storage and information management. Through highly secure and efficient facilities, the company helps organizations lower storage cost, recover from disaster and better use their information assets. The National Underground, located 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pa. is Iron Mountain's flagship facility and has been transformed multiple times over the course of the past century. What today is a hig h ly secure, energ y ef f icient, net work connected and resilient data center was initially a limestone mine for U.S. Steel in 1902. After mining operations ceased in the early 1950s, the facility was first transformed into "bomb proof " underground bunkers designed for enterprises to continue operations in a disaster event. As the Cold War wound down in the 1970s, the facility was transformed again to store business records, computer backup tapes and original prints of film and media. Now this facility is going through another transformation, as bunkers are converted into energ y eff icient colocation space for Iron Mountain's data center customers. The mine's natural attributes make it uniquely attractive. It is located in a very low, seismic activity zone with a shale layer above the ceiling serving as a natural moisture barrier to keep the facility dry, and limestone walls absorbing heat to keep the facility cool. However, imagining transformative uses for the facility required innovative thinking and collaborative partnership between several internal and external teams. The Iron Mountain team had to creatively address problems ranging from the basic issues of air quality and lighting in an underground mine, to the more advanced questions of structural stability and energy efficiency. Iron Mountain's project to repurpose the mine varies substantially from traditional data center development. The project required studying a naturally occurring 40-acre-plus impoundment of underground water to determine its heat rejection capabilities. They learned that providing a closed loop geothermal cooling system using this underground aquifer would eliminate the need for above ground chillers, evaporators and cooling towers. They then tested and learned that the mine's 220-ft. limestone ceiling serves as a barrier from electromagnetic pulses (EMP), providing an affordable option for protection against solar flares or cyber-terrorism. Empty limestone mine room prior to redevelopment as an underground data center. Finished data center room at Iron Mountain's underground storage facility. The room is highly secure and efficient. Photo credit: Iron Mountain GIA 2015 Global Innovator's Award Finalists 52 the LEADER | September/October 2015

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