Sabey Data Centers has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)  as a partner in DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge. Sabey committed to improving its energy performance by 20% over a 10-year period, and to sharing the results and strategies with other companies. The company surpassed its original goal of 20% by 2024, improving energy performance across its more than 3 million sq ft of data center space by 24% from a 2014 baseline.

A majority of the data center locations operated and maintained by Sabey are multi-tenant colocation facilities, where each customer may have varied needs, including different server enclosures and non-standard IT equipment. This can make it difficult to implement facility-wide energy-efficient designs and technologies.

To overcome these challenges and achieve its energy productivity goals, Sabey incorporated several energy conservation measures, including implementing indirect evaporative cooling computer room air handlers (CRAHs) and segregating uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries to reduce electrical energy required to cool the data center. Sabey also selected a highly-efficient UPS system and utilized variable speed drive (VSDs) fans to control fan speed and match server load requirements.

The Better Buildings Challenge was started in 2011, according to Marcia Vargas, director, U.S. Department of Energy, and is designed to “get rid of energy hogs.” Partners joining the challenge make a portfolio-wide commitment to lessen energy usage, usually reducing their energy intensity by an average of 2% a year, and promising to give their energy bills to the DOE while sharing what they have done to reach their energy-efficiency goal. In 2013 the focus of the challenge expanded to include data centers. Sabey was in first, Vargas said.

“Sabey was quite open with their facilities,” Vargas said, a trait that is integral to the success of the program. “The industry isn’t going to get more efficient if people don’t know how to get more efficient.”

Ultimately, the project has exceeded Sabey’s expectations, cutting infrastructure energy intensity by 57%. These savings translated into more than $200,000 in reduced annual energy costs.

In addition to the energy and cost savings passed on to customers, the integration of energy conservation measures allows for a very simple data center environment control strategy, leading to an increase in the overall reliability and customer satisfaction with the Intergate Quincy data center. Sabey was recently recognized by DOE as an example of leadership in action in the 2018 Better Buildings Challenge Progress Report.

The Better Building Challenge works with more than 250 market leaders representing more than 4.4 billion square feet of building space. Partners reduced their energy intensity by an average of two percent per year, keeping them on track to meet the program’s 10-year, 20% reduction goal. Additionally, through the Better Buildings Challenge, more than 40 Financial Allies have extended more than $12 billion in capital for efficiency projects.

“Through the DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, data centers like Sabey’s are using energy more productively,” said Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at DOE. "We applaud Sabey for sharing its results and best practices with other companies."