Iron Mountain constructs first BREEAM-certified facility in North America

Data centre infrastructure company, Iron Mountain, has announced the BREEAM design certification of its Phoenix, Arizona (AZP-2) data centre — the first data centre in North America to receive this top tier certification for building to a standard considered the highest for sustainable construction.

Iron Mountain says that it is taking the lead in demonstrating the steps facility owners can take to ensure that their data centres are both efficient and resilient. Design for the AZP-2 facility has been certified under BREEAM’s New Construction standard, a globally recognised green building certification for new developments, and achieved BREEAM Excellent.

“By intentionally designing and constructing data centres to optimise performance, we help to ensure a sustainable, interconnected future,” said Chris Pennington, Director of Energy & Sustainability for Iron Mountain. “BREEAM certification demonstrates a comprehensive approach to achieve results — from site selection and materials to energy use and the well-being of future occupants — and we look forward to continued partnerships with sustainability experts like BREEAM and Longevity Partners to demonstrate leadership for ESG performance and green buildings in the data centre industry.”

Throughout the design stage for the project, Iron Mountain implemented notable measures to significantly improve the performance of AZP-2, including producing detailed energy use simulations and models, refining the building material selection, and reducing water consumption by more than 50 per cent to reduce the costs and carbon emissions of future tenants. The company also has long-term renewable energy contracts which it says already offset more than 100 per cent of their data centre energy requirements, and has committed to achieving 100 per cent renewable energy use 100 per cent of the time by 2040. Moreover, the announcement places Iron Mountain firmly on the path announced last year that all new construction of multi-tenant data centers will be BREEAM certified by 2025.

“The construction pipeline for data centres in the U.S. has continued to grow in recent years with no signs of slowing down any time soon, so it is great to see an industry leader like Iron Mountain take charge in implementing a higher sustainability standard throughout its design and development processes,” said Breana Wheeler, Director of U.S. Operations at BRE. “As the national portfolio of data centres continues to expand, we look forward to adding value to owners and operators by providing a holistic, transparent assessment method that produces more valuable assets.”

The design certification of AZP-2 was supported by the project’s third-party assessor team at the leading multi-disciplinary energy and sustainability consultancy, Longevity Partners. “At Longevity, we pride ourselves on supporting real estate professionals navigate the most difficult ESG scenarios within the built world, and we are proud to have supported Iron Mountain’s immense success in certifying this complex data center asset,” said Etienne Cadestin, CEO of Longevity Partners. “We look forward to continuing to expand our relationship and guide the Iron Mountain team as they pursue additional certifications across their portfolio.”

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