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The FIFA World Cup is one of the largest sporting events on the planet – a symbol of global passion and national spirit. It also has a massive carbon footprint, thanks to human migration to and within the host cities as well as the consumption of arenas themselves. These structures accommodate tens of thousands of fans at a time and literally light up the night.
Stadium venues and their energy excesses are a part of sports culture, but they can have significant environmental impacts on surrounding communities and landscapes. At capacity, a sports facility becomes home to the population of a small city, with upwards of 70,000 fans at a typical NFL game. That density creates environmental problems related to water and power consumption, resource conservation, and greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, most of these venues were constructed long before the topics of climate change or LEED were part of our lexicon.
However, sports organizations and facilities operators are beginning to acknowledge the need for environmental stewardship. Major League Baseball (MLB) has worked since 2008 with the Natural Resources Defense Council to launch the Team Greening Program. The initiative promotes sustainable practices managed by individual clubs and encourages every team to adopt an official environmental policy, including using renewable energy.
AT&T Park in San Francisco recently became the first MLB ballpark to receive LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Five hundred miles to the south, San Diego’s Petco Park has implemented sustainability measures that include a sophisticated recycling program for everything from plastics and aluminum to cooking oil and food waste.
In 2009, University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium received LEED Silver certification by using locally sourced steel during construction, recycling a vast majority of construction waste, designing a reflective roof to reduce the heat island effect, and building a storm water management system that captures and treats onsite runoff prior to discharge.
A decade ago, Emirates Stadium in London implemented a passive and mixed-mode ventilation system, skylights and glass paneling, and photovoltaic solar power panels. These improvements have reduced the venue’s overall energy consumption. The stadium’s voltage optimization equipment alone has reduced the power consumption by approximately 20%.
As for the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA has budgeted $20 million dollars for sustainability measures alone, including building waste management, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions, and sourcing renewable energy. FIFA plans to make the 2014 World Cup the first with a comprehensive sustainability strategy.
Just as expanded capacity and once cutting-edge features such as artificial turf and retractable roofs once came to define progress in the world of sports facilities, perhaps tomorrow’s venues will compete amongst themselves on sustainability and environmental efficiency.
Collin Ramsey is an environmental analyst at FirstCarbon Solutions. Image credit: Filipe Matos Frazao / Shutterstock.com
Operating a data center poses a set of unique challenges. One of the most crucial challenges of these “data warehouses” is the massive energy demand to power servers and other equipment, and the energy needed to cool the environment. Improper data center cooling can result in catastrophic failures and losses of sometimes millions of dollars per minute. As data centers are expected to operate 24/7 with zero downtime, IT and Facilities managers need tools to help meet these seemingly-impossible expectations in a manner that is cost effective.
In comes data center infrastructure management software, or DCIM.
Simply put, DCIM is software designed to collect and converge essential data gathered from IT and the facility, consolidating them into one system. It provides a unified, holistic view of overall operation and helps optimize energy usage, dictates proper equipment deployment, and ensures that the infrastructure is operating without issues.
DCIM should not be confused with the IT Asset Management system (ITAM), which supports lifecycle management of IT hardware. While ITAM is very important, it is complementary to and different than DCIM.
The need for data center space grows exponentially. Cisco’s Global Cloud Index predicts that data center traffic will grow fourfold, totaling 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016. The EPA reports that data centers consume 20 times more energy per square foot than a typical office building. With these statistics in mind, it’s little surprise that making the most of the space, power, and cooling potential in a data center has become such a large concern.
Those considering investing in a DCIM solution should look for advanced features that make monitoring the environment easier and more flexible. Most importantly, these features should provide real-time monitoring and visibility of all data center systems and devices, from the power feeds to the servers, not forgetting cooling systems.
The ideal DCIM should offer:
If you’re challenged with managing your data center with just your building management system, consider deploying a DCIM solution for drastic energy savings and a real-time global view of all your data centers. Choose a DCIM solution that will be easily interoperable with your current systems to keep your costs down and your reliability up.
Sev Onyshkevych is chief marketing officer for FieldView Solutions.
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