Driven by the Governor’s core belief that responsible state government includes sustained environmental stewardship, in 2012 issued Executive Order B-18-12 and the Green Building Action Plan. These directives require state departments, including the Department of Technology (CDT), to take a strong, active approach to resource conservation, waste reduction, environmental protection, and sustainability. Over the past few years, CDT executed many improvement projects to enhance operational efficiency and reduce its environmental footprint.

In early February 2015, CDT completed the rigorous, year-long certification project to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Building (LEED-EB) certification for its OTech facility.  The council’s rating system evaluates a building’s environmental performance and provides a definitive standard for what constitutes a “green building.”  Buildings are awarded different levels of certification, based on performance.  These levels include, from lowest to highest, Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Congratulations are in order for CDT’s LEED project team, led by Danny Gumacal and Ian Noumov from CDT’s Facility and Administrative Services Branch. Danny and Ian, along with Alex Gomez, CDT’s Sustainability Analyst, Glenn Franklin from Facility Services, and OTech’s GSH Building Engineering crew went above and beyond to  document OTech’s baseline, make changes to improve sustainable practices, and guide us through a three-month performance monitoring/validation period.  The team’s exceptional efforts resulted in CDT’s OTech facility achieving the LEED-EB Gold certification.

This week, Acting Secretary Christy Quinlan participated in a panel discussion on green IT in Sacramento. Among the issues she discussed was the Federated Data Center (FDC) which is a part of AB 2408, the statewide initiative to consolidate IT. Located at the Office of Technology Services Gold Camp Facility in Rancho Cordova, the FDC provides agencies with a means to meet the statutory requirements in AB 2408 for all mission critical and public facing applications to be housed within a Tier III data center. Additionally, the FDC offers agencies a means to reduce both their data center footprint, as well as the energy required to support their computing environments.

Information technology equipment accounts for 40 percent of energy used within office environments. AB2408 requires all executive branch agencies to reduce the total amount of energy utilized by IT and telecom equipment by 10 percent by July 1, 2010, by 20 percent by July 1, 2011, and by 30 percent by July 1, 2012

According to our engineers at the Technology Agency, the FDC’s green attributes are based on server virtualization, using high capacity servers and private cloud services, among other things. Server virtualization, a method of running multiple independent virtual operating systems on a single physical computer, can boost density by 15 times or more, eliminating server sprawl and cutting maintenance costs. In fact, four tons of CO2 are eliminated for every server virtualized, the equivalent to taking 1.5 cars off the highway.

Federated Data Center, Office of Technology Services, Rancho Cordova

The FDC also uses Energy Star rated blade server technology that will boost physical server density by three times and be 30 percent more energy efficient than standard servers.

Another innovation used in the FDC is the “hot aisle – cold aisle” strategy which provides better management of airflow in the data center by creating hot and cold aisles. All cold air is supplied into the cold aisles, and heat is taken out from the hot aisles, thus not allowing any hot air to get remixed with the cold air in the cold aisles. This will reduce operating costs and the resulting carbon emissions by 20 percent.