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Gems of Innovation: Amazon.com taps District Energy from nearby data center

To heat 3 million square feet of new office space in Seattle, Amazon partnered with Clise properties, McKinstry, and City of Seattle Dept. of Transportation to gain approval to use a city right-of-way to transfer thermal energy between buildings. According to Amazon, their newest buildings will be heated with an “EcoDistrict” approach by recycling energy from a nearby data center.

To heat 3 million square feet of new office space in Seattle, Amazon partnered with Clise properties, McKinstry, and City of Seattle Dept. of Transportation to gain approval to use a city right-of-way to transfer thermal energy between buildings.  According to Amazon, their newest buildings will be heated with an “EcoDistrict” approach by recycling energy from a nearby data center. “This ‘district energy’ system works by capturing [waste] heat generated at a non-Amazon data center in the neighboring Westin Building and recycling that heat through underground water pipes instead of venting it into the atmosphere. This unique approach is nearly four times more efficient than traditional heating methods and will also enable the Westin Building data center to cut back on the energy it uses to cool its building.”  The Guild hopes to document this and other “Code Innovations for Living Buildings” in 2016. Do you know anyone at Vulcan or Amazon who would “underwrite” this case study so we can get it done? Send them here: http://www.ecobuilding.org/code-innovations/underwrite-a-gem

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