ASHRAE’s newly published energy standard for data centers features a performance based approach that is more flexible and accommodating of innovative changes that rapidly occur in design, construction and operations in that industry. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.4-2016, Energy Standard for Data Centers, establishes the minimum energy efficiencyrequirements of data centers for design and construction, for creation of a plan for operation and maintenance and for utilization of on-site or off -site renewable energy resources. “We worked very hard to craft this standard in a manner that does not stifle innovation in the data center industry while simultaneously off ering criteria to help ensure energy savings,” Ron Jarnagin, chair of the 90.4 committee, said. “It is important to keep in mind that data centers are mission-critical facilities where risk management is the primary concern.” Jarnagin noted that high plug loads and rapidly advancing IT technology make data center applications signifi cantly diff erent from their
commercial building counterparts.Standard 90.4 specifically addresses the unique energy requirements of data centers. It is a performance-based design standard that offers the design components for mechanical load components (MLC) and electrical loss components (ELC). Calculations of MLC and ELC are made and compared to the
maximum allowable values shown in the standard based on climate zones. Compliance with Standard 90.4 is achieved when the calculated values do not exceed the values contained in the standard. An alternative compliance path is provided that allows trade-offs between the MLC and ELC.