Seattle Data Center Sustainability Focus For New Amazon Facility

Clise Properties Inc. and Graphite Design Group partnered earlier this year to design Amazon's new Seattle data center, and pitched their ideas to the Seattle Review Board in late October.

Richard Stevenson, President and COO of Clise Properties said there are already several clients interested in the property and that the facility could be up and running by early 2017, depending on when they gain approval from the board. The plans for the facility call for an 11-story building that could potentially pipe heat to neighboring buildings. The use of recycled waste heat is similar to a process used to save energy within another Amazon Seattle data center.

Amazon operates a four-block campus across the street from their current Washington data center totaling more than 4 million square feet. The facility generates so much heat from high powered servers that the company commissioned a system to reuse it. McKinstry, a design firm with a focus on data center sustainability, and Clise Properties co-created a loop-style apparatus to capture the heat from the Seattle data center and pipe it through the rest of the Amazon campus. 

Water used to cool the data center will be sent underground from the new facility to one of Amazon's headquarter buildings across the street where a 400,000 gallon reservoir will be installed, along with a heat recovery chiller plant. The heat will be extracted from the water and used to warm the campus buildings. The recooled water will be sent back to the data center to start the process all over again.

The system will save Amazon an estimated 75 percent on electricity costs that would otherwise have been spent heating the facility. Heidi Laubenfels, a spokeswoman for Clise Properties, said that the energy consumption of Amazon's buildings should be cut by 80 million kWh over the next 25 years through use of the system.