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Brookfield's Michelle Berliner and Jarmel Kizel Architechts' Matthew Jarmel
A green data center is almost an oxymoron, considering how much energy it uses. (And everyone knows data loves taking long showers.) But Brookfield Asset Management, with the help of Jarmel Kizel Architects and Engineers, is proving that it can be done. We spoke with Brookfield’s Michelle Berliner and Matthew Jarmel about Brookfield’s Convergence Centers, a 650k SF tech/office campus in Whippany, NJ. (Fun fact: its first building, developed by ITT in the '50s, housed switching equipment for the famous Red Phone hotline between the White House and Kremlin during the Cold War.) The campus is in the process of renovating to modernize its buildings, which provide data space and mission-critical facilities for its tenants.
Convergence Centers, Whippany, NJ
We snapped this pic while parachuting down (guess where we landed). Matthew says sustainable design is also about reusing existing infrastructure. In addition to the first building, three of Convergence Centers’ 150k SF buildings were developed in phases over the last 20 years. Retrofits include using water-source heat pumps versus air for heating and cooling—reducing power by 30% to 40%; replacing dated fluorescents with high-performance lighting tech—reducing power by 30%; and installing BMS. A new 200k SF building (90% data, 10% office) is planned; to avoid heat gain from data equipment, it will include insulated precast concrete wall panels and containment drapes around equipment to create barriers between data equipment and working areas, reducing the volume of air needed to be cooled up to 40%. Brookfield is now looking at buying hydro and wind power, and potentially solar power, to use clean energy and to further reduce electricity costs.