Ecological Implications of Data Centres

Project details

Research Program: Institutions

Workstream 2: SUSTAINABLE GOVERNANCE: Democracy, Sustainability and Personality

Project Summary
The project Ecological Implications of Data Centres seeks to understand how companies, public agencies and civil society address the environmental conditions and limitations facing the establishment and management of data centres in urban areas. A central part of data centre management is heat management: servers produce heat, and as they are gathered in large numbers in close areas, temperatures rise raising the risk of fire. To overcome this, data centre operators have various techniques to cool down these facilities and avoid any risks of data loss caused by fires. Thus, this project will ask: what shapes the environmental impacts of data centres cooling infrastructures? In order to address this question, we will take as a case study the rapid growth of data centres in Marseille (France), which is particularly interesting as this city is in a warm climate, making the issue of heat management more difficult there than in the north of Europe.

Project Team

  • Professor Christine Parker (Lead)
  • Professor Fiona Haines (Co-Lead)
  • Dr Loup Cellard (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Professor Karen Yeung, University of Birmingham (Partner Investigator)

Funding (2020)

ARC Centre of Excellence Automated Decision-Making and Society