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Lavenya Dilip

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The tale of of Citi’s LEED certification

Financial giant Citi is priding itself on the company’s modern data center infrastructure that is flexible enough to take on a variety of requests from clients.Five years ago, Citi ‘s data center faced a number of challenges lack of capacity, limited flexibility limited and high risk of proximity.


Due to lack of cohesive, global data center strategy Citi  decided to reduce the number of data centers worldwide from 52 to 14 strategic sites, including five constructed from the ground up. As a first step, it implemented a global standard for data center construction and engineering. One of Citi’s latest constructions in Georgetown, received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It was a team effort with the data center team providing the engineering perspective and the corporate real-estate representatives lending the construction expertise to the projects.


The 100,000-square-foot Georgetown data center delivers 75 watts per square foot of power, expandable to 100W/square foot. Citi has divided the data center into four equally sized rooms. This setup reduces the amount of cabling needed and allows Citi to group technologies by room based on cooling requirements. Compared with the previous newly constructed data center, the Georgetown site uses 800 kilowatts less power for the same footprint, for a 30% reduction in energy costs, the company reports. Virtualization increased server density and led to 30% to 35% reduction in the number of physical servers. Citi was also able to put a cap on Power consumption for technology . According to Computer World , in the 2002 to 2007 timeframe, Citi’s data center power consumption grew by 10% to 12% per year but now thanks to virtualization, Citi has been flat on consumption year over year. Other major Citi projects that have received LEED certification include data centers in Singapore, Frankfurt, Texas, two Citi office parks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and a 15-story skyscraper in the New York City Borough of Queens.


Projects looking for LEED certification have to meet certain prerequisites and specific performance standards to gain credits. According to the credits won, you will be certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. The standards prescribe options for site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED-certified buildings must also adhere to benchmarks set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) promoting reduction in energy consumption. Data centers certified by the LEED Green Building Rating System need not necessarily be owned by huge corporations with attached office space. Innovative design, responsible building practices and expert energy management consultation provided by a green consultation firm like Green Rack Systems can help you achieve your green goals.

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Lavenya Dilip was responsible for Marketing at Green Rack Systems.