[The continuous interior of data centers is a palace to the monolithic slabs of data storage.]

In an increasingly ubi-comp environment, massive data centers processing or storing data continue to sprout up in contexts and sites of economic and geographic convenience. In a post-Silicone-valley glow, many sites are happy to promote their contexts as ideal for these data centers. Iceland promotes itself as just such a site.

[Brochure pitching Iceland as the ideal environment for massive data centers.]

With clean water, stable power and cool air as an ideal location, Iceland is lobbying for the search engines and IT firms to come into the cold. The most alluring project within this agenda is Data Islandia. Data Islandia is a storage company based in Iceland that has tabled a green data center (link via Drunken Data) in the town of Sandgerdi in southwest Iceland. The facility will be built near a former US Naval Air Station, and will use natural wind cooling to reduce energy usage. And I am sure that abundant geothermal is figuring into the convenience to boot. The landform references Icelandic turf farms and makes extensive use of the landscape.

[The rolling hills of a proposed server farm in Iceland from Data Islandia designed by architect Robert Örn Arnarson.]

The Sandgerdi data centre will have a moss roof. Putting plants on the roof doesn't just drop a building into the landscape, it can absorb excess water, protect the materials of the roof from the sun, and increase the diversity of flora and fauna. The 4,000 m2 digital data archive is designed by Danish architect Robert Örn Arnarson.

[IBM\'s Project Big Green.]

IBM’s Project Big Green is another green data center proposal responding to the economic (and environmental) inefficiency. Today, roughly 50 cents is spent on energy for every dollar of computer hardware. And this is only expected to increase.

[Strangely religious overtones from the imagery package for IBM\'s Project Green.]

COMMENTS / 5 COMMENTS

[...] of servers that feed our insatiable desire for data. These are getting more and more attention for the size of their carbon footprint and other environmental impacts. Keeping the servers running 24 hours is one shot of energy, but it's keeping them cool that [...]

On The Day the Gmail Died…Is Gmail Greening Email? « Soilicious: Green Life in Brooklyn added these pithy words on Sep 01 09 at 5:09 pm

I'm not sure what that last image makes me think of more.. 2001 or superstudio.

Greg J. Smith added these pithy words on Aug 05 08 at 6:34 pm

Beautiful post - this is where the materiality of the digital hits the ground. Less beautiful, but related - Canberra Technology City, which has raised a huge fuss here. The eco-logic of "clean" high tech industry is no match for the NIMBY suburbs.

mitchell whitelaw added these pithy words on Aug 05 08 at 7:19 pm

Brilliant blog and awesome post. A definite add to my reader :) found thanks to Smith's

Christopher de Beer added these pithy words on Aug 06 08 at 7:06 am

glad you enjoy the topics and thanks for the support… a post on techno-urban enclaves, like Canberra is forthcoming - thanks for the tip off.

admin added these pithy words on Aug 06 08 at 9:28 am

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