Stihl Headquarters, Virginia Beach

New Build Data Center

The Client

Virginia Beach-based STIHL Inc., one of several manufacturing facilities in the STIHL Group, is the headquarters for U.S. operations. STIHL Inc. employs over 2,100 people nationwide, with more than 1,900 in Virginia Beach, Va., in a variety of positions from manufacturing, product assembly, manufacturing engineering, sales and marketing, and finance.

The Virginia Beach facility is located on approximately 150 acres with over two million square feet under roof, where the company produces a full line of highquality, handheld outdoor power equipment including blowers, trimmers, brushcutters, and multi-task tools, as well as the number one selling brand of chainsaws worldwide.

STIHL Inc. manufactures over 260 model variations of handheld outdoor power equipment for sale in the U.S. and around the world. STIHL products are sold through a network of over 8,000 servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast - not mass merchants.


The Brief

"In 2012 STIHL were having a new 200kW data centre designed for their Virginia Beach Headquarters. Following extensive consultation it was decided that a water cooled system was to be their preferred option."

"The design specification had to meet tough criteria, including low energy consumption from a renewable source in line with their environmental policy, N+1 redundancy and due to their geographical location for the building and cooling solution to withstand a hurricane without any downtime to their operations."

The Cooling Solution

The ColdLogik team designed the most energy efficient solution for STIHL and thanks to their access to a natural underground water supply, water was taken via a bore hole from the underground springs with a nearby lake used as a back up resource this solution was naturally hurricane proof as no water towers or external plant would be required.

Because the cooling source was below ground the water supply temperature was a constant 64.4°F allowing for all year round free cooling therefore benefiting hugely on cost savings as it took less than 7.5kW to cool 200kW IT heat load.

The back up water source at the nearby lake had large coil heat exchangers deployed and a reverse cycle heat pump, this meant during the winter months the supply could switch so waste heat from the data centre could be recycled to heat their building free of charge.

The data centre itself had 10 x CL20 C8 rear coolers retrofitted to their free issue OEM cabinets via ColdLogik compliant interface frames.

The installation also benefits from having the patented Leak Prevention System designed into the solution, which gives it water tight peace of mind, so there is no risk of any water escaping from the system pipework or rear coolers.

Due to the success, cost and energy savings of this project, STIHL plan to upgrade a second data centre in their organisation in the very near future.