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NCAR Facility Team Wins 2013 Green Enterprise IT Award

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A team led by Denver’s H+L Architecture has been selected as a winner of the 2013 Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) Awards presented by Uptime Institute. The GEIT Awards showcase organizations that are pioneering projects and innovations that significantly improve energy productivity and resource use in information technology.

Photo courtesy of Saunders Construction
limate change, severe weather, air quality and other atmospheric science and geoscience topics. The 153,000-sq-ft facility hosts one of the worlds most powerful supercomputers.
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H+L Architecture, along with National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and The RMH Group, Lakewood, will be honored at the eighth annual Uptime Institute Symposium taking place in Santa Clara, Calif., May 13-16. As part of the symposium’s agenda, the team of NCAR, The RMH Group and H+L Architecture will present a case study about its award-winning initiative. The Uptime Institute Symposium is the most influential all-stakeholder thought-leadership conference serving the global Digital Infrastructure industry.

H+L Architecture is being recognized in the Facility Design Implementation category for its design of the NCAR Wyoming Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne.

The Cheyenne-based National Center for Atmospheric Research improves the scientific understanding of climate change, severe weather, air quality and other atmospheric science and geoscience topics. The 153,000-sq-ft facility hosts one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, consisting of more than 100,000 processors positioned across a carefully controlled 24,000-sq-ft area. It is 20 times more powerful than the previous NCAR main computer.

To house it securely, the project team built a 10-ft-deep subfloor, compared to the previous 28-in. space, to allow more room for wiring and cooling for it and the center’s other powerful computers. The facility also contains a premier data storage and archive facility to hold irreplaceable historical climate records and other information.

The team was challenged to design and build a facility with the smallest possible carbon footprint. Therefore, the LEED-Gold design emphasizes low-energy system performance while showcasing unique features of the building that enhance its energy and earth stewardship. The new facility is modular, scalable and upgradable while providing functionality, comfort and safety for occupants and visitors.

The center was developed in partnership with the University of Wyoming, the state of Wyoming, Cheyenne LEADS, the Wyoming Business Council, and Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power.

“We are extremely excited to be selected for this prestigious award and are humbled knowing we surrounded ourselves with the rightteam of local and national experts that fully grasped the owner’s vision for a facility that would be a leader in energy efficiency, incorporating the newest and most efficient designs and technologies available,” said Scott Kuehn, president, H+L Architecture.

The general contractor for the NCAR project was Saunders Construction of Centennial.

The 2013 GEIT Awards are sponsored by Sabey Data Centers, and entries were reviewed by an international committee of independent judges following a double-blind process.

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