In the last several decades, society’s relationship with digital technology has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our daily routines. The world’s economic and social activities are continuing to accelerate towards increasingly digital interfaces and, as a result, the demand for hyperscale data centres is growing exponentially. According to the IDC and Statista, the number of data centres worldwide has grown from 500,000 in 2012 to over 7 million in 2022 and it is showing no signs of slowing down – in fact, it’s picking up speed.
This upward trajectory takes its toll on the climate as data centres are extremely carbon intensive – now accounting for 3.7% of all GHG emissions. Data centres require an enormous amount of energy to operate and involve the implementation of servers, storage, and management platforms that contribute to the carbon footprint of these buildings. Currently, 37% of global emissions are directly linked to the building and construction industry. As e-commerce and data centre construction picks up speed, experts predict that data centres will account for 14% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2040. It is vital that the design and construction of these structures reduce waste and carbon emissions. Operational energy use – primarily to heat and cool data centres – is a considerable portion of whole life carbon emissions, but the embodied carbon in building materials is often ignored. As data centres become more energy efficient, the embodied carbon will become the most significant carbon source – one that can only be tackled prior to construction.
The increasing demand for data storage capacity is an urgent priority, but so is the need for businesses to meet their collective ESG goals. Forward thinking, green construction companies are key to facilitating the production of data centres while decarbonising and driving us towards net zero emissions. The sustainable construction of data centres benefits businesses, the economy, and the planet. It’s a win-win and non-negotiable in order for the planet to avoid warming above the limit of 1.5 degrees set by the Paris Agreement. Technology leaders that can facilitate the global transition to clean energy without disrupting progress are integral to impactful change and a net zero economy.
Founded in late 2018, Nexii Building Solutions is a green construction company that designs and manufactures low carbon buildings. Nexii’s innovative technology reduces construction waste to near zero while lowering the embodied and operational carbon emissions of buildings, directly tackling the impact our built environment has on the climate. As businesses struggle to transition to net zero practices, Nexii streamlines the assembly process, producing buildings that have a longer lifespan, lower environmental footprint, and shorter build time.
At the core of this innovation is Nexii’s assembly process and proprietary building material Nexiite – a sustainable alternative to concrete with approximately 36% less embodied carbon. Nexii’s panels are precision manufactured offsite and rapidly assembled onsite with build times finishing in as little as six days. The panels fit together to create an energy efficient envelope which reduces energy consumption and carbon emissions. Air quality improvement is an added bonus with industry-leading air change rates of Nexii buildings approximately 40% cleaner than conventional buildings. High-profile brands such as Starbucks, Marriott, Scotiabank, and Popeyes operate in Nexii buildings.
Data centres are at the heart of the economy and modern civilisation, and construction practices need to change to keep up with the demand while delivering sustainable, quality buildings. Building data centres using technology like Nexii’s yields many benefits, quicker build times, lower energy and financial costs, and a dramatically reduced impact on our planet. It is not only about building structures that are sustainable, it’s also about building a sustainable future.