Reducing the carbon footprint with steel alternatives

Global leader Vertiv has pioneered prefabricated mass timber solutions to create more sustainable data centres in a major move towards a greener future

 In a significant move towards a more sustainable future for data centres, Vertiv, a global leader in digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, has introduced Vertiv TimberMod, a groundbreaking variant of its Vertiv Power Module and SmartMod families, employing mass timber as a primary structural component instead of steel for prefabricated modular (PFM) data centre solutions.

Available in North America and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), this revolutionary offering underscores Vertiv's dedication to supporting customers' sustainability goals by using a more environmentally friendly material that can minimise resource depletion and reduce CO2 emissions.

The benefits of environmentally sustainable materials

The adoption of prefabricated mass timber in data centres offers several compelling advantages. For example, when mass timber is sourced from sustainably managed forests it is a renewable and carbon-neutral material, which can potentially minimise resource depletion and lower data centre carbon footprints by up to three times compared to steel.

Prefabrication enables faster and more efficient construction, reducing overall project timelines and costs. This is particularly beneficial for data centre expansion and modernisation efforts, where timelines are often critical to meet business demands.

The timber structures, when properly engineered, can meet or exceed the structural requirements of conventional steel-framed data centres. They offer excellent resistance to wind, seismic activity, and fire, ensuring the structural integrity and safety of these critical facilities.

The prefabricated mass timber solutions are designed for a wide range of data centre applications, from small and medium-sized deployments to hyperscale facilities. Their scalability and adaptability make them suitable for diverse data centre environments and growth requirements.

A commitment to supporting sustainability objectives

“We are dedicated to finding innovative solutions that can help reduce data centre carbon footprints through the use of environmentally friendly construction materials and processes,” said Viktor Petik, Vice President and EMEA Leader for Vertiv’s Integrated Modular Solutions business. 

“By incorporating materials from renewable sources, Vertiv TimberMod not only provides a more eco-friendly option but does so without compromising on performance, thus creating a positive impact on both the environment and our customers' operational efficiency.”

Vertiv's introduction of prefabricated mass timber solutions reflects its commitment to supporting customers' sustainability objectives while simultaneously providing high-performance and reliable data centre infrastructure. This innovation aligns with the growing demand for more environmentally conscious data centre designs that minimise their environmental impact. 

Vlad Galabov, Director for Cloud and Data Centre at the technology research and advisory group, Omdia, says: “Although timber data centres are not new, they have become much more accessible now that a major prefabricated modular data centre vendor offers data centre building blocks or an entire data centre built with timber, with the engineering assurance that it will remain reliable.”

As the adoption of mass timber expands in the construction industry, Vertiv's prefabricated solutions are well-positioned to play a significant role in driving sustainable data centre practices.

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