Grainger Lake Forest Data Center - The world's first LEED v4 Gold

Lake Forest, Illinois

At Grainger Headquarters, this 27,000 square-foot green field enterprise data center features 7,800 square feet of white space, a high-volume air-cooled design utilizing a 48-inch raised access floor and a parallel redundant UPS design. The mechanical and electrical systems have been designed to N+1 with a Tier 3 fault tolerance. Prepared to expand when Grainger needs more, the initial phase opened with enough equipment to mirror an existing site and allow for an estimated 10 years of expansion capability. With a focus on energy efficiency, this site will operate with a Power Utilization Effectiveness (P.U.E.) of 1.2 at full capacity. This faciltiy is the first LEED v4 Gold data center in the country.


Innovative details include things like a passive fuel sharing system between the generator belly tanks that allows up to 72 hours of continuous run time without refueling and carefully charting future expansion steps without interruption to live data operations. By utilizing the latest technology in the industry including BIM, Trimble, WUFI, Data Vault and a carefully selected team experienced with these programs/equipment, this project was completed in just over 6 months from site clearing to Substantial Completion.

Raising the Bar

This facility received the 1st LEED v4 Gold certification in the world for any BD&C project and particularly for the new LEED Data Center application. This project could have easily achieved LEED Platinum in the old v3 application, but Grainger chose to raise the bar even higher by pioneering the new LEED v4 Data Center standard and still achieved LEED v4 Gold certification.

A Company's Mission

This complex project had to fit into Grainger's passion for building green facilities. The company was one of the 1st industrial distributors to adopt the LEED certification standard and now has 16 LEED certified facilities across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Leading with Technology

We teamed up with Knaack to field test their new job site storage boxes. This comes pre-packaged with a flat screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, surge protector and wiring harness. Having a mobile command center like this on-site allowed our field staff access to real-time project information, boosting productivity and efficiency.