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Emerson Data Center

Location: St. Louis, MO
Completed: 2009
Client: Emerson
Size: 35,000 SF

When St. Louis-based global manufacturing and technology leader Emerson commissioned a state-of-the-art, green data center at its headquarters campus, it turned to an elite design and construction team that included Guarantee Electrical. Since Emerson is a world leader in data center technology, the team worked with top-of-the-line equipment, some of which was not yet commercially available.  Guarantee’s constructability team was critical to matching the cutting-edge features with older electrical technology.

Completed in July 2009, the St. Louis facility serves as a model for other owners seeking to maintain 100 percent IT reliability as they attain greater energy efficiency. Emerson intends to seek LEED Silver Certification for the $50 million facility.

The new 35,000-square-foot data center fuels Emerson’s plan to increase worldwide efficiency by consolidating more than 100 scattered data centers into four mega-centers. Outfitted with an array of green features, the facility uses 17 percent less energy than the combined total energy demands of the centers it is replacing. Energy-saving innovations included rooftop solar panels, daylighting fixtures and an efficient building footprint.

The solar installation – the largest of its kind in St. Louis – included a weather monitoring system designed to continuously measure the power generated, up to 100 KW. Laying the solar panel tiles proved particularly challenging because the building’s roofline is designed at a 20-degree angle to the sun to optimize its efficiency. Guarantee constructed steel brackets to hold the panels in place to compensate for the roof angle.

The building features a dual-power distribution system that allows Emerson to expand processing capacity without increasing energy consumption. A 35 KV source provides the main electrical service with alternating backup from two 1500 KW emergency generators arranged in an N+1 configuration to ensure the center performs without interruption at optimum levels, regardless of the data load. Each rack has dual power supplies that share load equally. If power fails on one side, the other takes the entire load so the data center can operate without interruption.

Guarantee’s team contributed more than 28,000 man-hours to the project, which included all power, lighting and voice/data services for the center. The Guarantee team kept the project on schedule, working closely with Emerson, Liebert, Fox Architects and Musick Construction as general contractor.

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