So what helped Intel's data centre achieve LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council? First they built the combined office/data centre on an old parking lot rather than slicing through natural resource areas. Tick for biodiversity!
Next they took a page out of famous biomimetic styled green buildings and installed a rooftop garden to increase insulation while at the same time reducing potential excessive heat being retained. Then they implemented a 'self-heating' system where the dissipated heat from air conditioners and data centre computers heat the rest of the building. Next they developed methods of capturing and recycling condensed water from the air conditioning for irrigation.
And of course, it wouldn't be a green data centre story without a pitch to the product. The data centre is filled with "Intel Xeon processor-based" devices which reduce power consumption to the tune of $200,000 per annum.
All in all Intel believes all of these elements will result in a 17% reduction in total building energy use compared with "ordinary" buildings.
Back in IBM's camp they are estimating up to 15% energy savings with more traditional green data centre design elements such as raised floors, humidity controllers, 'environmentally friendly' fire extinguishing systems and "smart" air conditioning systems. For 200 million baht ($6.6 million) you would think it could get a little more sexy.
But no. Even with their funky design Intel went the drab and boring route when naming their building: it is called "IDC 9". Functional? Absolutely. Unimaginative? Oh yeah.