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Crypto Currency Farm

JasonACaveny

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I am working on a project that will be a 2 story pre-engineered building that will house crypto currency mining machines. The building is as bare bones as it gets. We are passively cooling the building with louvers along the exterior walls and massive exhaust fans on the roof. Think a barn with thousands of computers on racks. We are classifying the building as S-2 but I am not sure how to classify the individual spaces with in the building to determine occupancy. Only a few people are needed to maintain the system and due to the heat generated in the space and the amount of air flow needed to pull it out amount of time in the building will be limited. Any idea on how to classify the space would be a great help.
 

cda

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I am working on a project that will be a 2 story pre-engineered building that will house crypto currency mining machines. The building is as bare bones as it gets. We are passively cooling the building with louvers along the exterior walls and massive exhaust fans on the roof. Think a barn with thousands of computers on racks. We are classifying the building as S-2 but I am not sure how to classify the individual spaces with in the building to determine occupancy. Only a few people are needed to maintain the system and due to the heat generated in the space and the amount of air flow needed to pull it out amount of time in the building will be limited. Any idea on how to classify the space would be a great help.


Why S-2???

B??? for entire building??

Seems like it needs to be conditioned air??????????

Gets cold in OK.
 

Yikes

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Yeah, that's a tough one. IBC section 304 for Group "B" occupancies includes "data processing". I know that some architects will try to argue "S-2" as if it is just storing a bunch of computers, so as to avoid the life-safety requirements of a code written back when "data processing" assumed a lot of human operators present inside the building.
But in your cryptocurrency farm/mine, the computers are not just passively warehoused. They are turned on, consuming a lot of power and generating massive amounts heat, need access for human service technicians, etc.

See this thread: https://www.thebuildingcodeforum.com/forum/threads/server-room-occupancy-classification.25804/
 

e hilton

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I don’t believe you can cool that many computers with ID fans and ambient air in Oklahoma in the summer.
 

cda

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I don’t believe you can cool that many computers with ID fans and ambient air in Oklahoma in the summer.


Yep going to make the Squirrels sweat, in the squirrel cage wheels, keeping those computer disc going round and round.
 

Tim Mailloux

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I don’t believe you can cool that many computers with ID fans and ambient air in Oklahoma in the summer.
I was thinking the same thing. Intall a lot of A/C of wait for all those computers to shut down in the summer when the building gets too hot. The AC in my office server room broke a couple of summers ago and after about 4 hours that room was well over 100d and all the servers and UPS's were shutting down on their own to due to the heat.
 

Joe.B

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Arcata Ca
I would recommend an F occupancy."...for assembling, disassembling, fabricating, finishing, manufacturing, packaging, repair or processing operations that are not classified as a Group H hazardous or Group S storage occupancy." They are definitely processing data (and using a lot of energy to do so), but it's the computers doing the work, not people, so B doesn't make sense to me. It's definitely not just storage, and it shouldn't be hazardous, so F makes sense.

We have a large data center under construction and the occupancy is shown on the plans as "F-1 and B", B for the two small offices and bathrooms, F-1 for the rest. I think they could have gone F-2 but no complaints here.
 

SH225

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Is this question about how to determine occupant load, as opposed to occupancy? The OP seems to state the occupancy as a given.
 

steveray

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There is a 2024 proposal to get these out of B.......If OL is the concern, I would Shirley accept 300 gross for "mechanical equipment room" if that is indeed how it works....
 

JasonACaveny

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Why S-2???

B??? for entire building??

Seems like it needs to be conditioned air??????????

Gets cold in OK.
The project is prototypical not location specific as of yet. The heat load is such that air conditioning is not practical with energy cost.
 

Tim Mailloux

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The project is prototypical not location specific as of yet. The heat load is such that air conditioning is not practical with energy cost.
Oklahoma gets very hot in the summer, passive cooling is not going to be enough. Do you have a designer looking at the I/T side of things? I would be shocked they would be OK with no cooling being provided.
 

JasonACaveny

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I don’t believe you can cool that many computers with ID fans and ambient air in Oklahoma in the summer.
The project is prototypical not location specific as of yet. The heat load is such that air conditioning is not practical with energy cost.
 

Tim Mailloux

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FWIW every large data center I have even been in felt like I was walking in a large refrigerator. Servers, switches and the like all run optimally in cool / cold environments. Heck, most small data closets I do on projects get dedicated supplemental cooling in addition to the buildings primary HVAC system.
 

JasonACaveny

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FWIW every large data center I have even been in felt like I was walking in a large refrigerator. Servers, switches and the like all run optimally in cool / cold environments. Heck, most small data closets I do on projects get dedicated supplemental cooling in addition to the buildings primary HVAC system.
We have done the studies to confirm that passive cooling will work and this will not be the first project to use such a system for crypto mining. This is not a Oklahoma specific project. I am not really concerned with the cooling system just trying to figure out my occupant load. Most data centers use blade servers which have compact internal cooling systems. The data miners are more cooling system than they are computer. If you stand next to a traditional server you might hear the cooling system spin up but its not all that loud. The data miners are like standing next to a Corvette with open exhaust. Thank you for the advice.
 

JasonACaveny

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Thank You all for the advice I think I have an idea where to go now. As technology changes and the way we use technology adapts it get harder to fit it into existing frames of reference.
 

cda

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Thank You all for the advice I think I have an idea where to go now. As technology changes and the way we use technology adapts it get harder to fit it into existing frames of reference.

So you do not state rough Sq ft

and building dimensions

Occupant load should not be a factor

Put in two exit doors, should be good

Fire sprinkler system anticipated???
 
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