Data Centers

Photos: Inside the recycled data center

Recycled data center

This 200m-squared demonstration data center was built by German sister companies Rittal and Lampertz on the floor of the CeBIT trade show in Hanover.

Constructed entirely of recycled materials, the Rittal data center is designed to withstand fire, water and gas corrosion. The walls are sheets of flame-retardant treated metal that separate two layers of insulation. The outer layer is gypsum and silica impregnated with a "secret blend" of chemicals, and is designed to hold water. The inner layer absorbs and blocks heat, and is plastic combined with chemicals. The door is quadruple-insulated with the same materials plus a ceramic layer, while the door-frame is lined with a sealant which expands with heat and hermetically seals the data center in the event of fire, to prevent smoke-damage to equipment.

The heat-retardant qualities of the materials were tested at the Brunswick Institute, where a three-meter cubed block was heated for one hour in a large oven at 1,090°C, then left in the furnace for 24 hours. Conditions inside the cube were monitored, and to gain accreditation could not exceed 70°C, go above 85 percent humidity, or admit any smoke or gas. The door also has sensors that detect drilling and automatically bolt themselves shut.