Data Centers are one of the biggest space takers on the planet. For example, a Facebook data center in the US occupies over 300,000 square feet of property. And as we continue to transition into a digital future, the space needed will continue to grow.
What if instead of building massive complexes on huge campuses, data centers were stored in energy efficient sky scrapers. One firm, ran by Valeria Mercuri and Marco Merletti, designed that dream during the 2016 eVOLO skyscraper design competition.
Iceland: The Future of Data?
The designers decided on Iceland for the proposed data center, because of its naturally cold temperatures. The climate is the perfect place to keep a server rack at the ideal temperature without needing an excessive amount of electricity.
The server pods would be located on the outer perimeter of the building. On the inside of the structure would be a tube-like core where the server heat would flow outwards. Pods can be sent up or down when workers need to make adjustments or repairs. The top of the building would be a giant fan that would act as an exhaust for the interior of the building.
The basement could be used as a greenhouse and also have laboratories. Outside of the natural heating and cooling system, the servers themselves would be powered by geothermal and hydroelectric power.
The two designers know that for now this building is simply a pipe dream, but they also acknowledge the reality of the proliferation of data. The annual IP traffic around the globe will reach a zettabyte by the end of the year. This number will double every year following by 2019.
They want to build a scalable, sustainable project that can be expanded as computing and storage becomes smaller and more streamlined. They also want the building to give back to the environment, by using the heat it would generate to heat homes around the area.
The two believe that they must create a better solution for a data center, since they are not sustainable and take up more space than should be necessary. They also say that these industrial buildings are not eco-friendly and should be able to use sustainable energy that is optimized for the future welfare of our planet.
They want the tower to take on the same characteristics as a PC motherboard. the external portions are where the true hardware is stored, like on a PC, while the underside and interior are for cooling. They believe as the need for more space will grow, so can their tower.
They designed a building that is adaptable and can be changed as the future demands it. As the project expands, so can the height of the tower.
They believe that if we are to move forward into the next century, we must morph our design sensibilities.
Post Excerpt: Data Centers are one of the biggest space takers on the planet. For example, a Facebook data center in the US occupies over 300,000 square feet of property.
Katrina is a product specialist for RackSolutions, the market leader for designing and manufacturing custom racking products for the IT industry! You can read more about our company here