Despite Banhof's decision to reuse an existing military facility for a practical business purpose, I don't honestly believe Pionen falls under the category of green datacenter. Nothing about the datacenter design suggests an efficient use of resources. Further, sub engines, fish tanks, and waterfalls lean more toward gimmicky than sustainability. To the company's credit, it doesn't trumpet the greenness of the facility either. You can take a guided video tour of the facility.
[ Learn more about the trend of housing datacenters underground. ]
A nuclear fuel facility, reborn
Web-hosting company 1&1 is working on transforming a never-before-used nuclear fuel facility in Hanau, Germany, into a 100,000-server, 10,000-square-meter datacenter. The facility, called New MOX, was constructed in the late 1980s for the purpose of producing mixed oxide rods made from enriched uranium and plutonium. The facility never became operational, and by the end of 1995, its former owner Siemens AG decided to give up the space. Two years ago, the premises were finally released from nuclear control legislation, after which 1&1 acquired them.
Beyond putting a perfectly fine building to good reuse, the company has pledged that the datacenter operations will be green. For starters, like all 1&1 datacenters, the facility will use electricity from only renewable energy sources. Moreover, 1&1 CEO Oliver Mauss says the facility will take advantage of outside air, also known as air-side economization or free cooling, to chill the datacenter equipment. 1&1 uses low-energy components within all of its servers, according to Mauss.
Among its functions, the datacenter will provide capacity for cloud computing (which also happens to be a green technology, according to a recent study).
New MOX is slated to open later this year.