Economics of the Ecosystem

Net Effect on the Physical Footprint

Dramatic effect the reduction of your overall Carbon FootPrint by >50% on all the factors surrounding a Data Center.

Factors in a Physical Data Center Footprint

Choosing to build a new data center, there are a multitude of factors that should be considered in the decision-making process. As one can imagine, months of analysis, evaluation, engineering and planning must take place. The main critical success factors that need to be taken into consideration are the location (weather patterns & natural disasters), the proximity to a workforce, power and connectivity (access to redundant power plant sources), network connectivity, real estate selection (build vs buy, property tax, environmental impact studies, permits, economics to the community), building cost, the greening effects that can be achieved and the net result is the carbon footprint are some of the  considerations you must pay attention too.


The first step in planning a Data Center is weather patterns by region that should be analyzed, history of natural disasters and business losses resulting from above average rainfall amounts, above average high/low temperatures, above average wind speed/gusts, flooding tendencies and seismic activities. The economics to purchase or lease of land, property tax, environmental restrictions, complexity of permits to house the facility and finding the right land that is environmentally approved, has nearby power plants to service the data center and the forecasted expansion.

Proximity of Workforce

Data centers require technically adept staff. Building in an area that has a resource pool of technical knowledge and skill set is a distinct advantage as well as  universities and colleges with strong technical programs.

With a global footprint today building near your customer base is not really required unless you are localized. Since, many applications are built today requiring fast response times for service with minimal latency is required.

Power and Network Connectivity

While a geographic area may have access to a reliable power grid, one must  consider the location of the main and redundant power generation station(s), substations and feeds to where your data center will be built. If multiple commercial power feeds are available, this will be an inherent benefit to easily ensuring redundancy at your facility.

This is the backbone of the data center. Without accessibility to commercial power and redundancy or full access to reliable connectivity, a data center is useless. For the most reliable connectivity and continuous uptime, access to numerous tier one network providers is essential.

Build vs Buy Real Estate & Selection Considerations

  1. Do you want to build from scratch or find a suitable building that needs modified or rebuilt?
  2. Is there room for expansion in the area in which you are looking?
  3. Is the area accessible by multiple roadways or near an airport?
  4. Does the local or state government offer any tax incentives for choosing their city or are there tax breaks that your customers could utilize?
  5. Will an additional power plant be required to be built to support the data center, ie. Mega Data Center?
  6. Is there natural disasters, Hurricane, Tornado, Earthquake, Fire, etc… what ate the build requirements  to withstand a particular rating like 150 MPH hurricane?

These are all questions to ask when choosing your data center site location.

While all of these things must be vetted before choosing to build, each enterprise will prioritize their requirements differently.  Typically, you should locate a data center within a two-hour drive. Being local provides advantages as previously stated and it’s a critical element when considering building new data centers. Additionally, a sister site is required to ensures geographic diversity in disparate locations, each at a low risk of natural disaster. Furthermore all of the data centers should be interconnected with a fiber ring and they have multiple fuel, network and power suppliers to ensure redundancy, uptime and availability.

Building Cost

The construction of a Data Center has many variables, as  Data Center construction costs continue to climb over a 10 year period 2007 to 2017 the cost has increased 21.5%. This may not seem much but when a typical 5,000 sq ft Tier 3 data center costs $38.3M a 21.5% increase is $8.25M and takes 12-24 months to construct. Imagine the cost of money and $38.3M sits idle for 1-2 years the interest bumps the cost to $41.3M or $3M idle cost.

Greening Effect

The path to building green may come at a slightly higher cost but the overall effect to the environment is important. Building a carbon neutral building can be achieved. There’s a lot to celebrate: More than seven billion square feet of LEED-certified space across the globe. A community of LEED professionals more than 200,000 strong. And a green building market that has transformed into a trillion-dollar global industry.

Carbon Neutral Design is taken from Architecture 2030. The Carbon Smart Materials Palette is an immediately applicable, high-impact pathway to embodied carbon reductions in the built environment. It identifies key attributes that contribute to a material’s embodied carbon impact, and offers guidelines and options for emissions reductions. Building operation includes heating, hot water, cooling and lighting.

Carbon neutral with respect to Operating Energy means using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate the building. Z-IMPACT contributes to the building design in the form of heat generation of the air and water in the reclamation of heat from the Data Center.

Typical Data Center

Let’s take a look at the cost requirements of a typical small to medium data center.

Mid-sized Enterprise Data Center (5,000 square feet)

Tier II level facility, with 160 racks at 5.0 kW/rack (800 kW of UPS-protected power) @ 5.0kW/rack. (5,000 sq. ft. X $300/sq. ft.) + (800 kW x $12,500/kW) = $11.5 million

Tier III level facility, with 160 racks at 10.0 kW/rack (1,600 kW of UPS-protected power) @ 10.0kW/rack. (5,000 sq. ft. X $300/sq. ft.) + (1,600 kW x $23,000/kW) = $38.3 million

Small Data Center (1,000 square feet)

Tier II level facility, with 32 racks at 5.0 kW/rack (160 kW of UPS-protected power) @ 5.0kW/rack. (1,000 sq. ft. X $300/sq. ft.) + (160 kW x $12,500/kW) = $2.3 million

Tier III level facility, with 32 racks at 10.0 kW/rack (320 kW of UPS-protected power) @ 10.0kW/rack. (1,000 sq. ft. X $300/sq. ft.) + (320 kW x $23,000/kW) = $7.7 million

Data Center Floor Space Reduction

The Global Data Centers Impact on the Environment. … “Seventeen (17%) of the total carbon footprint caused by technology is due to data centers. The electricity that is needed to run these data centers is nearly 30 billion watts. These servers waste 90 percent of the energy they use because they run on full capacity all day long, rack density is non-optimized and hot/cold aisles are required to prevent infrastructure failure rates.” 


Z-IMPACT would create dramatic effects by replace a Mega Data Centers (costs $100M-$1B) or free up >50% of the floor space in co-location or mega centers for growth with a data center comparable to a small or medium Data Center. Then there is the ripple effects… in the Energy industry.

We all must understand there is a Data Center Crisis… it is no longer looming it is here in a big way… 4,000 Data Centers are required to meet growing data industry demand and this will create a Energy Crisis for the energy industry to meet this demand. The worst event if we continue along this path in the USA alone these new Data Centers will require 100,000 MW of power and how that energy is created will cause an incredible spike in the CO2 levels!

Z-IMPACT has a ripple effect too… adoption of the ecosystem in the Data Center Enterprise, Cloud and Edge will create the magnification of the fundamental deliverables – Time, Value and Money.

The reduction of the Data Center floor space, if the first critical element. Then the Increased Density through the Modernization of the Enterprise. The Modularization of the Cloud becoming, “The Backbone of the Cloud” by efficiently stacking containers to maximize the volume of the Data Center in Colocation Centers. Finally, the evolution of Edge Computing by the Mobilization of the Data Center to the field of operation.