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L.L. Bean opens first LEED-certified data center in New England


Outdoor gear and apparel retailer L.L. Bean has extended its commitment to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program with the opening of its new data center in Freeport, Maine. It is the first data center in New England to be awarded LEED Silver certification.

The center was designed by the architecture and engineering firm Integrated Design Group of Boston. To further ensure LEED criteria were met, The Green Engineer, Concord, Mass., consulted on the project.

“Designing a LEED-built data center is an enormous feat,” said Stafford Soule, director of L.L. Bean's information infrastructure. “Data centers are industrial buildings that don’t fit easily into the LEED concept. IdGroup was able to create a concept and design that works around our technical and environmental criteria.”

The 18,000-sq.-ft. center, which meets the criteria of both LEED Silver and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers standards, combines the company's sustainability requirements with a design aesthetic that reflects its outdoor heritage. Examples of LEED elements include regional sourcing of materials, minimized site disturbance and the recycling of 50% of all construction waste. The wood used for the structure's New England-styled shingles was harvested within a 500-mile radius, using sustainable forestry practices.

The data center was designed to hold up to 144 racks of servers that support L.L. Bean's growing Internet business. Each 4.2KW rack in a data center produces 1400 watts of heat per square foot, or 500 kilowatts total, which is the equivalent of 340 hair dryers running nonstop. The building management system informs the computer rack air-conditioning units to absorb the appropriate amount of warm air generated by the racks and cool it over a series of coils, returning cool air into the room.

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