- Facebook has announced it will build an $800 million data center in the Chicago-area city of DeKalb, Illinois. The social media giant has selected Mortenson as the general contractor, and Krusinski Construction Co. will participate in the design-build of the necessary new infrastructure.
- Renewable energy will power the 907,000-square-foot data center, which will also use 80% less water than other similar facilities. Infrastructure work includes the repaving of local roads, 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.
- The project, located on a 500-acre campus, is expected to employ as many as 1,200 workers during peak construction activity. Mortenson has dedicated a page on its website to the project and said it will post updates there, as well as information for contractors and suppliers interested in bidding on the data center.
According to Facebook, the Dekalb project will bring the number of the company's U.S. data centers to 12.
Last month, Facebook also announced that it had started construction on what will be a ninth building at its Prineville, Oregon, data center complex. The company said the new 450,000-square-foot project will cost $2 billion. Fortis Construction is the general contractor.
Fortis has also worked on the company's data centers in Forest City, North Carolina; Lulea, Sweden; and Los Lunas, New Mexico. Mortenson is the general contractor behind Facebook's data center in Eagle Mountain, Utah, which is expected to be complete in 2021. Last December, Facebook announced it was investing $1 billion to build a 500,000-square-foot expansion on the campus, a project that will bring the facility to 1.5 million square feet.
As the need for businesses and consumers to stay connected continues to rise, so does the need for new data centers that can handle the volume of information. Customers like Facebook, Google and Apple, according to research company Arizton, will make data center construction an $11 billion industry by 2024. Between January 2018 and June 2019 alone, more than 120 new and expansion data center projects became operational.
The hot spot for data center projects is still Northern Virginia, largely because of the area's extensive fiber infrastructure, cheap power costs when compared to other locations in the U.S. and reliable water supply. In fact, Loudoun County, Virginia, which offers financial incentives to data center developers, boasts 18 million square feet of data center space and is home to 3,500 tech companies. Known as "data center alley," the area has the world's largest concentration of the facilities, according to the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development.