Genome Center’s data facility gets LEED Gold certification

Washington University has yet another “green” building on its campus.

The Genome Center’s new data facility has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The designation makes it the first LEED Gold-certified building on the School of Medicine campus and the only data center in the St. Louis region to attain LEED Gold status.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that shows a building was designed and built using strategies that decrease the effects on the environment.

Scientists who specialize in sequencing and analyzing the DNA of an organism — be it a human or a mouse — rely on computers to process and store massive amounts of genetic data. The utilitarian data center structure houses dozens of racks of computers with more than 3 petabytes (3 million gigabytes) of disk storage. Computations that took seven years during the original Human Genome Project can now be completed in about seven days in the new facility, which offers ample capacity for future expansion.