The cooling units can reduce electrical costs by as much as 25 percent, Bailey said.
T5 has public data centers in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore. and Kings Mountain, N.C.
The Colorado Springs building will be LEED certified. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Building are rated on a 136-point scale according to how green and sustainable they are.
Bailey said T5 has been using all local materials to build the facility and has been recycling throughout the process. LEED certification also requires roofs be painted with a light color to reflect heat from the sun. T5's roof will be painted white.
One green technology T5 hasn't invested in is solar power. Bailey said the cost of solar power works to reduce costs for areas where the electricity rates are high, such as New Jersey and New York, but not so much in places like North Carolina, where it's between 3.8 to 5 cents a kilowatt hour.
"It works where you're paying 13 cents per kilowatt hour," he said.
One building that has gone all out to use solar power, as well as rain, is the Bullitt Center in Seattle.
A "living" building
Last Monday -- Earth Day -- the Seattle-based non-profit Bullitt Foundation announced the completion of its self-sustainable building, which gets all of its power and water from Mother Nature.
The office building, which is now leasing space, was built with no toxic materials and produces no waste, according to Denis Hayes, president the Bullitt Foundation.
The six-story, 50,000 square-foot building, located at the intersection of Capitol Hill and the Central District in Seattle, was created to meet the goals of the Living Building Challenge, a green building certification program developed by the International Living Future Institute.
For example, a rooftop solar array generates as much electricity as the building uses, and rainwater is collected on the roof and directed into an underground cistern; all wastewater is treated onsite.
All "grey water" from sinks in the building is filtered through a green roof, where plants use the water. Pavement around the building is permeable, allowing water to infiltrate into the soil in order to reduce the impact of runoff into the nearby Puget Sound.
And motorized office windows automatically open and shut to provide natural ventilation.
The Bullitt Foundation describes the structure as "a living building behaving like a living organism," one that can server as a model for sustainability. It was built to last up to 250 years.
Part of the problem with constructing environmentally safe and self-sustaining commercial buildings, Hayes said, are state and local building codes, which are often outdated and restrict the use of some materials and building processes.
"If you really want to build a green building today in any city in the United States, you'll find yourself in violation of maybe two dozen regulations and laws," Hayes said.
As a result, the Bullitt Foundation worked with the city of Seattle to review its building codes to help with the creation of greener, "living" buildings.
"We didn't know what changes needed to be made in our codes, which is why we did the demo ordinance and basically said, [offer] greater flexibility but still meet community standards for designs," said Diane Sugimura, director of Seattle's planning and development.
"We've gotten to the point where incrementalism no longer is doing the trick. We've got to make giant ... leaps into a new way of doing things," Hayes said.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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