When it comes to data centers, we seem to hear about Google and perhaps Facebook most often. Both companies have been known to announce new facilities and expansions on a regular basis. But apparently eBay has quite a lot of expertise in this field, too, as the U.S. Green Building Council recently awarded its Topaz data center the LEED Gold certification.
The LEED certification program is a widely recognized system of encouraging sustainable building practices, and Gold is the second-highest certification level, falling only below Platinum. It's not at all easy to get.
A post on eBay's Green Team Talks blog explained, "Topaz becomes one of only a small handful of data centers on U.S. soil to achieve LEED Gold - a pretty major accomplishment considering the availability and security requirements needed to run eBay AND PayPal's servers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year."
Then the post described some of Topaz's green features, which include "[t]he collection of rainwater to offset city water use," "[t]he ability to use low outside air temperatures to reduce electrical costs for cooling our servers," "[t]he use of low emitting materials throughout construction," "[t]he use of over 20% recycled and regional building materials in the facility construction," and "[t]he use of a chemical free water treatment system."
The Topaz data center is located outside Salt Lake City, Utah, by the way, and opened earlier this year.