At Arup, we believe it’s time to rethink data centre design for the era of climate change. It means exploring new strategies for energy use, new fuels, new operational practices and prioritising design innovation across data estates. With the sector’s demands for energy and water, there’s a clear need to be a better member of the community too – a priority that will grow as the industry gains in size.

Balancing priorities

So which factors determine how sustainable a data centre business can become? We anticipate that the following five priorities will increasingly shape success for players across the industry:

  • Support expansion

    You need to build out capacity fast, without leaving out the most sustainable interventions from your reference design. Arup data centre designers work with you to meet these demands while enabling the flexibility you need to deliver a future-focused design ready for new and evolving end user demands.

  • Reduce carbon emissions

    We help you achieve net-zero emissions with whole life carbon assessments, decarbonisation pathways, materials selection and advanced cooling techniques while incorporating circularity, climate resilience and nature-based solutions. All designed to optimise energy usage and minimising cost.

  • Energy efficiency

    For efficiency and energy security, we can develop a strategy that combines on-site renewable energy generation and procuring power from renewable sources in the grid in addition to exploring alternative fuel sources as a future approach to reduce environmental impact and enhance energy resilience.

  • Lower costs

    Our team adopts a future forward strategy to managing cost, factoring in future needs alongside construction and operational expenses. For existing assets, we prioritise reuse, and ongoing operational improvements.  While locations of new facilities should include renewable energy access and optimised layouts to ensure flexibility for future requirements.

  • Be a good neighbour

    Data centres need to integrate with local communities, prioritising environmental responsibility, community engagement, infrastructure support, noise mitigation and emergency response support. Recognising the value of heat generated, we assist clients in capturing and delivering it for local district heating networks and industrial uses, promoting sustainability and community collaboration.

Making it happen

Our experts have been thinking about the different ways the sector can maintain growth, performance and increase the overall sustainability of operations. It’s a case of addressing the issue from different angles, making bets on incremental but vital improvements.

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Meet our experts