by Yevgeniy Sverdlik

Sabey Data Center Properties, the Seattle-based wholesale data center developer, has completed and tested its first Northern Virginia data center. The facility is the first of three the company is planning to build at its Intergate.Ashburn campus, which at total build-out is expected to be 900,000 square feet large, with capacity to support about 70MW of power.

While Sabey has had East Coast presence since 2011, when it acquired the Verizon tower in Manhattan, this week’s announcement marks its first foray into Northern Virginia, North America’s biggest and most active data center market. Data center space is in high demand in Ashburn, where much of the region’s data center capacity is located, and Sabey has already signed a tenant for a 1.8MW, 12,000-square foot quadrant in the newly finished building, whose total capacity is 7.2MW.

The developer did not disclose the tenant’s name. Robert Rockwood, Sabey’s head for the eastern region, told us in an interview last year, as the first building was still under construction, that numerous existing customers who are using space in Sabey data centers in Washington State and New York, were interested in Northern Virginia data center capacity.

Customers leased 84.4MW total in 2016 from data center providers in Northern Virginia, according to a recent market report by the commercial real estate company CBRE Group. That’s not counting several pre-lease deals that were signed 2016 but were not due to be delivered this year. Those deals would bring the region’s 2016 total to about 140MW.

The Dallas-Fort Worth market was second in total absorption last year, with 37.6MW of data center capacity leased, and Chicago was third, with 36.2MW, according to the report.

Together, data center providers in major US markets signed leases for 195MW of capacity total. Those markets are Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York-New Jersey, Northern Virginia, Phoenix, and Silicon Valley. That number represents a slight decline from absorption the previous year, when companies leased out 200MW of capacity in those markets.

Most of the data center leasing momentum across the country was fueled by hyper-scale cloud service providers, and that was especially true in the Northern Virginia data center market. In a statement, Jamie Jelinek, CBRE’s senior associate for Data Center Solutions, said:

“With the Ashburn area’s prominence as one of the most densely connected fiber-rich areas in the U.S., cloud service providers have dominated a significant portion of leasing in the region. In most cases, cloud provider requirements are being deployed in third-party facilities. Some of this is speed-to-market-driven to meet immediate customer needs. But it is also part of a larger ‘active-active’ cloud infrastructure strategy where redundancy needs are shifted away from each individual data center and spread out to the network and application level.”

In Quincy Washington, Sabey Data Center Properties is one of six major data centers utilizing low-cost, reliable hydro electric power sustained from the nearby Columbia River.

Evaporative cooling is one of nature’s fundamental methods of cooling. It is the same cooling principle that our own body uses when moisture (sweat) evaporates and cools the skin. The Munters Oasis™ Indirect Evaporative Cooling systems take advantage of evaporation to reject heat without ever adding any moisture to the data center.

By using hot aisle containment, the hot air leaving the servers is kept separate from the cool air being supplied to the servers, which allows the use of warmer supply air temperatures. This also results in hotter return air temperatures, which is an excellent situation for implementing an indirect evaporative cooling solution. With Munters Oasis™ Indirect Evaporative Coolers (IEC), the air from the data center is cooled using Munters patented Oasis™ polymer heat exchanger, often without the need for supplemental mechanical cooling or water.

On cold and cool days the Oasis™ polymer heat exchanger operates dry and simply acts as an air-to-air heat exchanger. Outside air (commonly referred to as scavenger air) indirectly cools the data center air through normal heat exchange, without the use of any water.

Once the ambient temperature rises to a certain point, the Oasis™ heat exchanger will not be able to provide enough cooling while operating in this dry mode. When this happens, water is pumped from sumps that are internal to the air handlers to spray nozzles that wet the outside surface of the Oasis™ heat exchanger tubes, coating them with a thin layer of water. During the few hours a year when the outside temperatures are too high and moist for the evaporative cooling alone, a small mechanical cooling system (“trim DX”) supplements the evaporative cooling process, so that the air supplied to the data center is maintained at the right temperature. This condition, where refrigeration is required to supplement the IEC, only occurs during ambient conditions with simultaneous high heat and humidity.

To further improve the system efficiency in this supplemental cooling mode, the condenser coil of the trim DX is located in the scavenger exhaust air stream, after the heat exchanger and mist eliminator. The scavenger exhaust air, because of the evaporative cooling effect, is generally cooler than the ambient temperature whenever refrigeration is required to operate. Because the Oasis™ IEC system is a recirculating system, the data center is cooled without the introduction of outdoor air pollutants that might adversely impact the servers. Since Quincy WA is an agricultural area, air laden with dust, or smoke from burning fields would otherwise impact the data hall if a direct air-side economizer was implemented.

Munters Oasis™ IEC keeps the air inside the data center completely separated from the air outside. The entry of contamination (dust, smoke, etc.) from agricultural activities is minimized. Further, this highly efficient cooling system saves in annual operating costs resulting from lower power and water consumption compared to conventional water-cooled chiller systems.

An annual PUE below 1.2

During integrated systems testing at full load in 2012, a peak PUE of 1.25 was recorded – which was a considerable achievement in such hot conditions. The actual running over longer periods has shown the PUE to be below 1.2. This low PUE makes Intergate.Quincy Sabey facility one of the most effective data centers in the nation.

Federal EPA ENERGY STAR® certification

In 2015, Intergate.Quincy facility received federal EPA ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy efficiency with the highest possible green score of 100 points. The facility’s Energy Star efficiency performance rating of 100 is the highest level of power consumption efficiency and represents twice the national average for data centers. Intergate. Quincy’s energy intensity, or the amount of energy the data center consumes, is 33% below the national average, according to the EPA’s Statement of Energy Performance for the facility.

“Munters Oasis™ Indirect Evaporative Cooling systems have exceeded our expectations. We’ve been very satisfied with both the air handlers and Munters as a company,” said John Sasser VP Operations for Sabey Data Center Properties.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 – 20:00
Dulles, VA

Southland Industries, one of the nation’s largest MEP building systems experts providing engineering, construction, service and energy service solutions, was recently awarded Sabey Data Centers’ newest campus, Intergate.Ashburn. In addition to Southland, the design-build team consists of Sabey Construction, Dynalectric, and RTKL Callison.

The purpose-built data center campus is comprised of three phases that will total 900,000 square feet on 38 acres in the Washington, DC metro area. Electrical service to the campus is approximately 70 megawatts, while construction on the campus’ first phase, Building C, is now complete. Southland has completed mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, and electrical design services, as well as direct digital controls in the building’s first quadrant, which is now occupied.

Construction is underway for the second 1.8 megawatt quadrant, which features a flexible, modular design that can accommodate any data floor configuration, redundant electrical and mechanical systems, backup systems for emergency or maintenance events, and state-of-the-art control monitoring for critical management. Southland’s expected completion of the second quadrant is anticipated for June 2017.

About Southland

Founded in 1949, Southland Industries is one of the nation’s largest MEP building systems experts providing innovative yet practical solutions through a holistic approach to building performance. Advocating a design-build-maintain model, Southland specializes in the design, construction, and service of mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, process piping, automation and controls systems, as well as comprehensive energy services needs. Offering standalone services as well as integrated solutions, Southland’s in-house experts remain connected, sharing knowledge and information in order to produce the results that have earned Southland its unmatched reputation as one of the top design-builders in the nation. As a company that has always prided itself on innovation and collaboration, Southland continues to pave the way as an industry leader in sustainability and energy efficiency so as to improve the way buildings are designed, built, and maintained. For information, please visit

About Sabey Data Centers

With a portfolio of more than three million square feet of mission critical space, Sabey Data Center Properties is one of the oldest and largest privately owned multi-tenant data center owner/developer/operators in the United States. Sabey specializes in scalable, custom-built solutions including data center ready shell space and fully turnkey data centers managed by Sabey’s award-winning critical environment staff. Consistently recognized for its reputation for operational excellence through its world-class data centers and sustained uptime, Sabey is proud to provide data center services to many of the world’s top financial, technology and healthcare companies.