Step inside the massive Building 2 at Facebook’s
“The impact of Facebook on the community has touched every aspect of who Prineville is,” said Steve Forrester, city manager, who formerly was general manager at Woodgrain Millwork Inc. in Prineville. “Whether that impact has been in full-time jobs or ancillary jobs such as landscaping, HVAC, construction – whatever. Facebook has brought in a new and very exciting industry to our town.”
The company’s impact, along with the construction of a similar-sized Apple data center nearby, is being felt dramatically in
An economic impact study of Building 1 released in January 2012 by Portland-based ECONorthwest found that Facebook had a $24.4 million economic impact, including $9.2 million in personal income and 234 jobs.
“It has brought hundreds of construction jobs, but also had an effect on mom and pop restaurants, lodging companies, and even the suppliers such as Miller and Parr Lumber,” Forrester said. “Metal fabricators have been busier. The airport has been busier. The ramifications have been huge.”
Business is brisk at the Executive Inn on
“One group comes in for construction and when they’re finished, the next group comes in,” Beach said.
The hotel’s 10 kitchenette units are typically full, Beach said, noting that 95 percent of the occupants are data center construction workers.
Since construction started on the first building of the Facebook data center in 2010, roughly 2,700 people have worked at the construction site with about 50 percent coming from
The data center currently employs more than 60 full-time Facebook and contract employees with a payroll of $3.3 million, according to the company.
Out of the Facebook workers, at least three are former employees of
“They grew up here and have lived here their entire lives,” Crass said.
The company also has been working closely with
“They were up-to-speed in three months,” Crass said. “They had become valuable technicians by the time they left.”
Security is tight at the Facebook campus off
The company opened up one wing for a media tour Wednesday of Building 2, its still-under-construction 333,400 square-foot data center that mirrors Building 1 and is slated for completion by July.
The building consumes 52 percent less energy and 70 percent less water to operate than a typical data center, according to Facebook.
Construction crews from Portland-based DPR-Fortis, which is the general contractor for the project, also are at work on an auxiliary 62,000 square-foot “cold-storage” building, where the social networking giant will store up to 3 exabytes of data from rarely accessed pictures on the site.
“Cold storage is an attempt to find more energy efficient ways to store photos over time,” Crass said.
An exabyte of data is roughly equal to 1 million gigabytes, or enough to store a large portion of the world’s 240 billion photos stored on Facebook, which handles roughly 350 million photos every day.
While much of the impact has been local, the technology fueling the data center has a
Efficiency begins with its custom-built servers, a group of computers that are linked to the World Wide Web.
The servers use 38 percent less energy and can operate at higher temperatures to reduce mechanical cooling needs, according to Facebook.
The Prineville facility also features an evaporative cooling system and airside economizer, which takes advantage of the cool air coming off the high desert and circulates it through its building. It uses a range of filters, fans, and deflectors to mix, guide, and generate hot or cold air and spread it evenly throughout the building.
Traditionally, heat comes off the servers and has to be cooled by a chilled water and condenser water system, Crass said.
“Now, we’re taking the heat out of the building,” said Crass, explaining how cold winter air mixes with heat from the machines to set the correct temperature in the building. “We’re trying to be as efficient as we can. The building adjusts to the temperature as needed.”
The building’s efficiencies were noted in a Dec. 2011 Wired magazine story, which cited the Prineville facility for having a “power usage effectiveness” ratio of between 1.06-1.08. A PUE of 1.00 means that all the power consumed is being used to run the servers, according to Crass. By comparison, most data centers have a PUE of 2.0 to 3.0, according to Facebook.
“This just means we’re not wasting our energy on lights and cooling the servers,” Crass said. “We have super efficient fans that do the work for us.”
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