U.S. Data Center Construction Continues to Boom

Data Center construction in U.S.
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Amazon, Google and Facebook are pouring billions into construction of data centers around the U.S. from ConstructionDive.com

Data center construction has exploded in recent years, with multiple states vying to lure internet giants in need of space for their physical computer systems. 

For example, Northern Virginia has become known as “Data Center Alley” because of the tech-focused companies that have flocked to the area, thanks to amenities like its proximity to water needed for keeping data center buildings cool. The region has the world’s largest concentration of data centers, with more than 18 million square feet in operation and millions more being planned or developed, according to the Loudoun Virginia Economic Development Association.

Google, Amazon and Facebook are the biggest names in data center construction in the U.S. Here’s a closer look at the state of data center construction across the country for the three internet giants.

Google

In March, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company would invest upwards of $10 billion in U.S. offices and data centers in the coming year. The search engine company already has data centers across the country, but most of the funding will head toward developments in Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and California, he said.

Not much has been announced specifically about data center construction since March, but Google is also moving ahead with construction of other major projects, including a massive mixed-use project in San Jose, California.

Amazon

Amazon has invested heavily in Northern Virginia’s Data Center Alley, and it expanded that investment in January when the internet retailer spent $73 million on 100 acres more in the Virginia towns of Chantilly and Ashburn, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Then, in March, the company announced plans to fast track the construction of three data centers in Loudoun County, Virginia, likely in response to the coronavirus pandemic increasing demand for bandwidth, according to Datacenter Dynamics.

Facebook

Facebook has a number of major data center projects under construction across the country. Here is a closer look at some of them:

Chicago

In July, Facebook announced it would build an $800 million, 907,000-square-foot data center (pictured above) in the Chicago-area city of DeKalb, Illinois, with Mortenson as the general contractor, and Krusinski Construction participating in the design-build of the new space.

The Chicago data center will use 80% less water than other similar facilities, and necessary infrastructure work will include the repaving of local roads and construction of almost 3 miles of water lines and 1.5 miles of sewer system extensions. When complete the data center will be LEED Gold certified.

Located on a 500-acre campus, the project is expected to employ as many as 1,200 workers during peak construction activity. 

Dallas-Fort Worth

In September, Facebook filed building permits to expand a data center in northern Fort Worth, Texas, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Having already invested $1 billion in the tech campus, the social media company recently filed with the state to add to its 150-acre complex. The permit listed DPR Construction as the expansion project’s general contractor, and indicated plans for 277,000 square feet of new construction. The new data center will be completely wind powered.

Newton County, Georgia 

At another existing campus in Newton County, Georgia, Facebook has plans to invest $1 billion to add three data center buildings totaling 1.5 million square feet, according to Commercial Property Executive. The first phase of construction is expected to finish in 2021, with a second scheduled for 2023. The company is also investing in six solar energy farms in the area, which will add an additional 2,500 construction jobs.

Facebook broke ground on the original Newton County data center campus in 2018. The social media company pledged to spend $2.5 billion on construction in the area, though it started with $750 million on the first section of campus. The campus is solar powered

Nashville

Facebook began construction in August on an $800 million data center northeast of Nashville, according to the Tennessean. At the end of its three-year construction schedule, the new project will cover nearly 1 million square feet. 

Specifically, the data center will be constructed in Gallatin, Tennessee, where leaders had courted Facebook to build the project for three years.

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