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Should a data center really be classified as active storage for baseline LPD?

asked 2015-11-09 23:39:33 -0500

Cox311's avatar

updated 2015-11-10 06:44:08 -0500

I am working on a project that is LEED version 3 BD+C, and I got the review comment from the LEED reviewer for EAp2 that for the data center space the baseline lighting power density is required to be 0.8 because it's an active storage space, where I had 1.5 w/sf for a mech/elect space. The reviewer did not give a source for the requirement. Does anyone know of an official reference that gives this requirement? I don't personally think that active storage is an appropriate choice for the space, and I am considering keeping my original LPD if there's no official documentation requiring the active storage LPD.

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answered 2015-11-20 14:02:37 -0500

nickj's avatar

There are a couple of things to consider. The first is if the space is defined as an active storage space, because if it is, then yes it must adhere to the baseline values outlined in ASHRAE 90.1 2007 Table 9.6.1(for version 3). However, if your actual space usage is a data center then you should make those corrections in your space type (changing it to electrical/mechanical) and include the misunderstanding in your narrative accompanying the review comment.

Just make sure your space classification in baseline/proposed is consistent and include a narrative noting any changes.

Hope that helps,


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My issue is that it is clearly defined as a data center and the reviewer says this, "Note that data centers are required to be classified as active storage spaces with an interior lighting power density of 0.8 W/SF." I disagree with the comment and think that data centers should be classified as electrical/mechanical as you mention, but the comment says they are 'required' to be active storage. I'm wondering where could this requirement be coming from?

Cox311's avatar Cox311  ( 2015-11-20 14:23:39 -0500 )edit

I've never heard that 'requirement' either, and in fact have never had a reviewer take issue with a space type assignment (including data/IDF rooms defined as Electrical/Mechanical). Can you ask the reviewer to provide you a source of the 'requirement'?

ericringold's avatar ericringold  ( 2015-11-20 14:57:37 -0500 )edit

Yeah, that's interesting. I suppose you'll have to comply if that's what he's asking for. LEED can be frustrating with the lack of communication between the modeler and reviewer. I'm looking through CIRs and not finding anything specific to this.

Maybe they want the datacenter included in the outside air calculation and that's why they want it to be an active storage space? If I find anything I'll post back.

nickj's avatar nickj  ( 2015-11-20 15:41:07 -0500 )edit

Take Eric's suggestion and pose the question to USGBC

keb's avatar keb  ( 2015-11-23 09:06:17 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-11-23 10:45:29 -0500

bbrannon4's avatar

I'd definitely post the Question to the USGBC/GBCI to find an official ruling, but I can see where they are coming from. In the past I've succesfully used elec/mech for these types of spaces, but that isn't really accurate. It's closer to an IDF room which should really have their own classification. Findamentally though they have similar lighting qualities as active storage (people only occasionaly need to be in there and they don't need a huge amount of light), and you can adjust the plug loads as needed, so I can't really disgree with the reviewer - though I have also never seen that requirement.

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Asked: 2015-11-09 23:39:33 -0500

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Last updated: Nov 23 '15