King’s College London is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and its ground breaking research and teaching facilities have complex estate service requirements. King’s identified Information & Communications Technology (ICT) as a major area of energy consumption and an important target for CO2 reduction. Work was required to pinpoint current levels of energy use and establish the business case for re-locating data centres off-site and upgrading student computers to more energy efficient models.
King’s College London Green ICT
King’s is the fourth oldest university in England and provides world-class teaching and cutting edge research opportunities to over 30,000 students and employees in the heart of London. King’s has a large, multi-site estate made up of a diverse range of buildings (Grade I listed buildings such as Somerset House and state of the art research and clinical facilities including the new Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute).
The College has complex ICT requirements and these services consume high levels of energy. Identifying opportunities to reduce energy consumption required a detailed picture of current usage patterns and a range of costed options for the investments needed to deliver change. Key targets were data centres and student computing rooms.
LCMB worked across the King’s organisation with estates, ICT departments and stakeholders to identify energy saving opportunities.
- ICT assets were mapped, property costs assessed and the in-situ performance of data centres and their existing IT loads were measured.
- Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) was calculated and the value of the non-energy associated costs.
- The benefits that would be achieved by freeing up space from relocating data centres to a central location were analysed.
- A business case was established to identify the return on investment from relocating to a purpose-built facility
Student Computing Rooms
- The energy use of a variety of desktop PC’s and monitors were compared when carrying out typical activities such as booting up, running spread sheets, using e-portals etc. Idle conditions were reviewed in a variety of power save modes. Temperature conditions were assessed in the rooms hosting the PC’s.
- Energy requirements for each type of machine were calculated and 5 year forecasts for energy usage based on available demo models of a proposed all-in-one solution.
- Recommendations were made on replacement strategies and power saving opportunities for existing PC’s. Whole life costs and total CO2 emissions were calculated and the potential for savings identified between existing and proposed solutions.
- Findings were delivered in formats suitable for securing executive level approval and informing more detailed face-to-face meetings with the relevant departments.
- CO2 savings of more than 2,200 tonnes over 5 years were identified through ICT measures.
- New student computers were identified which were up to 70% more energy efficient overall, which enabled the College to secure the investment needed to replace older and more energy intensive equipment.
- A capex plan for Green ICT was devised which met the 5 year hurdle rate for investments based on projected energy savings.
- Visibility was improved for the operating cost and energy performance of existing data centres.
- The business case and breakeven point were established for relocating the data centres off site to a central location.
Challenges and Achievements
Rigorous data and detailed comparisons
Clearly identifying the energy usage associated with student computing facilities and the College’s data centres was a complex and fragmented task, but necessary in order to provide the right base data for accurately comparing energy savings.
Establishing the business case
Identifying opportunities for energy reduction is only part of the picture and needs to be supported by a sound business case for investing to save. Work to green King’s ICT provision required consideration of the whole life cost of new equipment, property costs and space valuations to establish an acceptable return on investment.
LCMB provided us with an excellent comprehensive understanding of our energy consumption which has enabled us to make changes to reduce consumption. This rigorous approach is essential to make the right decisions with the right facts”.
Nick Leake, Chief Information Officer, King’s College London
Find out more
LCMB improves the financial and environmental sustainability of buildings and estates, and the productivity and well-being of the people using them. We do this by reducing building operating costs, energy used and improving building space and its’ utilisation. We offer Workplace Performance, Facilities Management, Project Management and Resource optimisation support.
Amongst others our clients include King’s College London, Birmingham Airport, Tata Technologies, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bouygues Energies & Services.