Editor's Note

Green IT looks for connections

The first time I visited my friend Laura’s apartment in Washington, I was struck by how each unit not only had a solid door but also a louvered screen door.

The building was built before air conditioning was common. Air rises through the building as it draws air out of the apartments. The louvered doors were part of the ventilation system because they let the tenants have a breeze blow through their apartments but still retain some privacy.

The building was designed to take advantage of the prevailing winds and its own size because the air was drawn through the building through a chimney effect, not fans.

I don’t expect QinetiQ North America, one of the companies in our green cover story, to put screen doors on the offices in the building they are moving into this year, but as the company installs green technologies, there is a lesson that connects my friend’s apartment and QinetiQ’s new building.

The designers of both see their buildings as part of a larger system.

That ethic is at the heart of the green information technology trend. Nothing operates in a vacuum. For example, when it comes to power and efficiency, it pays financially and environmentally to identify the connections between an IT system such as a data center and the world around it.

The companies that Associate Editor David Hubler spoke with for the cover story are doing that both for their internal operations and customers.

With money for environmental initiatives spread throughout the economic stimulus law, the opportunity to be green will continue to grow.

Who knows — maybe we’ll see some screen doors being installed. That might improve my efficiency.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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