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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Where are LEED Data Centers Located?

LEED certified Data centers are not a new phenomenon. Starting around the mid-2000's, owners started applying for LEED certifications pooled with other types of buildings under the "New Construction" category of LEED. The interest in applications increased dramatically after 2007 as energy conservation and sustainability awareness caught up to data centers.  

An industry effort began in 2010 and successfully led in 2014 to establishing a "Data Center" sub-category under LEED v4.  

So we're now in 2015 and I wanted to see how far reaching is the industry's enthusiasm in certifying their data centers for LEED Platinum, Gold, Silver or plain "Certified".  

I went to the source at the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and-not to my surprise- I was able to download a list of non-classified projects that are certified, as well in those in the review process queued up for the award notification (a systemic and lengthy process involving many disciplines and consultants). Using this available USGBC data as well as cross-checking many references from websites ( be as inclusive as possible), I was able to globally map out the locations- as well as the Award Certification Level. This is an interactive map with metadata information available for each project that is represented by a dot. 

Some observations that stand out: (1) The US overwhelmingly leads the LEED in the number of buildings certified. This is understandable as it is the country of origin for the LEED rating system where it is widely respected and implemented (and sometimes enforced!). Being a major hub for internet traffic and e-commerce also helps as rich corporations can afford the additional costs of LEED projects, but ultimately can also absorb the longer paybacks while justifying (and heavily marketing) their sustainability commitment to the public. 
(2)  It is encouraging to see China and Europe following suit to the US as data centers become a vital part of their economies.  
(3)  Latin America, Russia, Asia are at their infancy levels while there is a complete absence from Africa. 

As I mentioned, this list is not inclusive of every project awaiting certification and I hope there are more from those regions.  I appreciate comments by readers on projects that are on the "drawing board". However, it is also worth noting that many owners also design their facilities up to LEED standards without certifying them. As such, those projects are not considered certified no matter what language is used in marketing them.  

In conclusion, LEED certified data centers are widely accepted, they are here to stay, and they are on the rise.  Contact me if you have any questions on the LEED certification process for your data center. 


  1. The accuracy of this map is completely useless. I have been in 5 DCs alone in Tokyo alone that are LEED Core and Shell certified yet the only one "listed" is Equinix TKY collocation facility. So this is really not an accurate representation, and should not be considered definitive by any means.

    1. Please read the second from the last paragraph in my blog. If you can share and post the names of the projects that you had the privilege to visit, then it would very beneficial to all. Also, in my blog I mentioned that this is a list of non-classified projects. There are MANY "Classified" projects that show up just as such in the USGBC list. I do not intend to post those projects.

  2. These days technology developing rapidly.Now a days storing large amount of data in small discs etc.,data center is a facility used to keep computer systems and associated components such as storage systems.Chinese economic and technology boom of previous decades is leading the country's government to invest more on the IT sector.Found some of the best and giant data center's in the world .

  3. Data centers have a significant economic impact on the markets within which they operate, especially as revenue and employment within the industry increases.

    Data Center Market Research


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