This award comes on the heels of the NWSC's top honours for facility design from the Green Enterprise IT Awards from the Uptime Institute, showcasing cutting-edge data centre projects that demonstrate energy and resource efficiency in a new, operational data centre.
"We are gratified that our efforts to build and operate the most efficient and sustainable data centre possible have been successful and that the NWSC is being recognized on its merits", stated Gary New, who manages the centre for NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL). "Nearly 10 years of planning and hard work went into making this success a reality."
Located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the facility must adapt to outside weather conditions that can change rapidly in the West. "The award recognizes the state-of-the-art design features our team built into NWSC that enable it to respond quickly and efficiently to changing conditions both inside and outside the facility", stated Al Kellie, Director of NCAR's CISL. "In this way, we can minimize the environmental impact of our scientific computing operations."
Construction of the NWSC was made possible by the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a unique collaborative partnership between local, state, and federal government entities and private industry to provide project funding and governance. Partners include the State of Wyoming, the University of Wyoming, Cheyenne LEADS, the Wyoming Business Council, and Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power. The NWSC is operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of NSF, which sponsors NCAR, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages it.
The NWSC, which is home to one of the most powerful supercomputers dedicated to Earth system science, also achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council last year. LEED certification depends on a number of sustainable criteria, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and the use of recycled or locally sourced construction materials.
"The NWSC was designed and built to the highest standards in sustainability and efficiency", stated UCAR president Thomas Bogdan. "It is deeply gratifying that this approach is receiving national and international recognition."
NWSC design highlights include:
Combining all of these factors, the NWSC not only minimizes the environmental footprint but also directs operating funds toward productive scientific work while reducing overhead expenses.