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Katie Fehrenbacher has a piece on GigaOM today, discussing the news that Facebook’s Oregon data center has been awarded LEED gold certification for its energy efficiency. There is also a higher certification, which GE and Vantage have attained. As more and more data centers embrace techniques to lower their power requirements and emissions, we should see a corresponding growth in the number attaining these awards. Responsible use of resources is clearly something we should all be concerned about… but for the managers of big data centers there may be a more important question; how many of these innovations are a cost-effective way to lower resource use, and how many are interesting but uneconomic experiments that win awards?