The recently published ASHRAE energy standard for data centers features a performance-based approach that is more flexible and accommodating of innovative changes that occur in design, construction and operations.

The ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.4-2016 Energy Standard for Data Centers creates minimum energy efficiency requirements of data centers for design and construction. Calculations of the mechanical load and electrical loss are made and then compared to the maximum allowable values shown in the standard based on climate zones. Compliance is achieved when the calculated values do not exceed the values contained in the standard. An alternative compliance path is provided, allowing for tradeoffs between the mechanical load and the electrical loss.

“We worked very hard to craft this standard in a manner that does not stifle innovation in the data-center industry while simultaneously offering criteria to help ensure energy savings,” said Ron Jarnagin, chair of the 90.4 committee. “It is important to keep in mind data centers are mission- critical facilities where risk management is the primary concern.”