LLNL gets gold for computing facility

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The National Nuclear Security Administration of the US Dept. of Energy announced yesterday that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had received a LEED gold certification

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) congratulates Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) TeraScale Simulation Facility (TSF) for receiving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold level certification last month.

The TeraScale Simulation Facility, which houses two of the world’s fastest supercomputers—BlueGene/L and ASC Purple at LLNL, received 56 out of the 57 points pursued in the LEED submittal.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction and other critical areas.

The accomplishment is interesting, but the way in which they achieved it points out the challenges of trying to match existing building certification programs with our large scale datacenters

LLNL’s submission pushed the envelope of the traditional LEED model by using computation directorate’s other on-site datacenters as comparables. TSF is a one-of-a-kind facility that did not match up with any of the typical LEED building type models; it required a one-of-a-kind research and calculation package to prove to the U.S. Green Building Council that it was worthy of gold status.

If the administration puts teeth in its presidential orders, other departments would do well to start studying what LLNL did in this case.