LEED-platinum data center uses geothermal cooling

A geothermal system cools the ACT data center in Iowa.

By Source: Rich Miller, Data Center Knowledge August 14, 2009

High school juniors can rest assured now that their test scores are being processed and stored at an energy-efficient data center. The American College Testing ( ACT ) data center in Iowa City, Iowa is using geothermal cooling and is the first U.S. data center to earn U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED platinum certification, according to Data Center Knowledge .

The ACT data center features 4,000 sq ft of raised-floor computer equipment space within an 8,000 sq ft building. The facility is cooled by a geothermal "bore field," which is a system of vertical holes drilled into the earth’s surface which house a closed-loop piping system filled with water and/or coolant. The cooler earth allows the underground piping system to serve as a heat exchanger. The ACT data center also has an exterior dry cooler as a backup to the geothermal system.

The building’s other environmentally-friendly attributes include a high-performance HVAC system, 30% recycled content during construction, and numerous renewable materials used in the interior design.

The first LEED platinum data center certification was awarded to Citigroup’s data center in Germany earlier this month.