Facebook's Prineville data center earns LEED gold

Facebook's Prineville data center landed its LEED gold certification.

Facebook's Prineville data center landed its LEED gold certification.

Facebook Inc. on Thursday said its 150,000-square-foot data center in Prineville has earned some acclaim from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based social networking giant said the data center has earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design "gold" certification from the council, cementing its position as one of the most energy efficient data centers in the world.

In a blog post, Facebook said the data center does away with energy-intensive cooling towers and chillers, using a sophisticated low-energy system that pumps cooled outside air into the building that is further cooled through evaporation.

It also uses custom-made servers that consume 38 percent less energy than typical servers and can operate at higher temperatures, reducing cooling needs.

The data center also employs an on-site power substation, which helps reduce the loss of electricity that is common when transferring power from far-away substations.

Facebook has been sharing its data center insights through the Open Compute Project, which is aimed at helping the industry as a whole improve energy efficiency in data centers by sharing information.

The company shared some of the lessons its learned from the Prineville operation in a post Thursday on the Open Commute Project website.

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