TechWeekEurope editor calls for data centre to be built from straw!

Many of us are used to learning about ideas that seem, at least initially, utterly bonkers. However, many such ideas can later seem, upon further inspection, surprisingly sensible. We think that a particular idea recently suggested by Peter Judge, the editor of business technology news website TechWeekEurope, could fall into this category. Judge has recently suggested, having noticed that computer technology firm Dell is making… computer packaging out of wheat straw, that a data centre could also be built from straw. There are several reasons why we think that this idea could make much more sense than might initially meet many people’s eyes.

Dell is furthering its green credentials

In February, we posted a blog post on the Data Centre Shop website detailing ways in which many data centre operators can improve the eco-friendliness of their data centres. Furthermore, we stock many data centre products that many companies can use to enhance the energy efficiency of the data centres that they run. Hence, we are certainly eager to learn about new ways in which such companies can further enhance such facilities’ green credentials.

Judge has pointed out that Dell’s packing of its devices in wheat straw is “certainly greener than using polystyrene or virgin wood pulp”. He added that “it’s good to see Dell packing and shipping its tablets and laptops in materials made from waste, which can be dropped straight in the recycling”. Indeed, Dell is benefitting the environment by preventing inedible wheat straw being burnt, as burning of such straw leads to air pollution and greenhouse gases. Dell intend to further enhance their eco-friendliness by also using waste to make data centre products like rackmount and blade servers.


Judge has observed that, though most new data centres are considered environmentally friendly as they get LEED certified, more renewable or waste material could be used to build the actual structures of the buildings, rather than just the IT equipment inside the buildings. He has pointed out that straw bales can be used to create permanent constructions that are stable, are solid and have effective thermal properties.

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