Digital Realty's third data centre offers blueprint for future data centres in Singapore

Published Tue, Apr 6, 2021 · 05:08 PM

DIGITAL Realty on Tuesday officially opened its third data centre in Singapore - one that offers a way forward on how data centres in Singapore could be built in a sustainable and productive fashion.

In the construction of the multi-storey, 50 MW facility, design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) technology was used. DfMA is a method of construction which involves construction being designed for manufacturing offsite in a controlled environment, before being assembled onsite.

Digital Realty - along with its project team which included Straits Construction as the main contractor - used fully locally-sourced precast concrete and prefabricated mechanical electrical and plumbing systems, which allowed work to be done offsite. This led to productivity improvements of at least 30 per cent.

Furthermore, the data centre, known as Digital Loyang II or SIN12, has been "designed to be among the most sustainable data centres in the region", said Digital Realty. This comes as data centres are being keenly watched for their energy-guzzling properties.

SIN12 boasts features such as indirect evaporative cooling systems, which reduces the energy required for cooling and improves the water-usage efficiency, as well as highly efficient turbine generators that allow for cleaner emissions while obtaining the same amount of energy output.

Additionally, the data centre also uses lithium-ion batteries, which provide significantly higher energy density and have a much longer life expectancy.

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"SIN12 has done very well, to be 30 per cent more energy efficient than the industry norm," said Minister for National Development Desmond Lee, who was guest of honour at the event.

"As the digital economy continues to grow, it is important to ensure that our digital infrastructure is as environmentally sustainable as possible," he noted, adding that the government aims to make DfMA the default building method for larger projects in Singapore, and remains on track to achieve its target of 70 per cent DfMA adoption by 2025 or earlier.

Being Digital Realty's largest data centre in Singapore, SIN12 brings the US-headquartered company's total committed investment to date in Singapore to over US$1 billion.

The data centre offers colocation services for regional customers, which means requirements of "a few racks and additional services", compared with the larger footprints of space that the company has traditionally provided in the region, said Digital Realty.

This offering is a first for the company in Singapore and is done to "allow enterprise customers to interconnect with the broader digital ecosystem and scale their digital businesses across the region and the globe," it added. 

SIN12 is adjacent to Digital Realty's second data centre, SIN11, with the two connected by high-count fibre routes. Both facilities are also interconnected to the company's third data centre located in the west, SIN10.

"This offers our customers an opportunity to look at Singapore as one whole connected campus, taking advantage of the three data centres that we have across the country, as well as the phenomenal connectivity via subsea cables . . . creating a very rich ecosystem of digital services available in Singapore and around the region," said Mark Smith, Digital Realty's managing director for Asia-Pacific.

He added that as Digital Realty continues to capture new opportunities in the market to meet the growing demand of digital services, "we also need to balance that demand and that growth, with the need to build in a sustainable fashion".

For instance, the company has issued US$5.6 billion in green bonds since 2015, and has 556 MW of solar and wind capacity under contract.

Said Mr Smith: "This area of sustainability is something that is critical to us, because quite simply, it is to our customers, and increasingly it is for governments."


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