Overcoming Challenges and Identifying Opportunities

13 February, 2024

The Latest Trends in Data Center Development

NAIOP’s recent update on data center development revealed a thriving real estate market with record-low vacancy rates, surging demand, and rising rents, driven by AI adoption and a data surge from 5G, IoT, VR, and impending autonomous vehicles.

The staggering volume of data, including millions of emails and social media posts every minute, reinforces the need for a robust infrastructure. Data center inventory has more than doubled in response to growing demand, with Northern Virginia leading in market size and Phoenix and Atlanta experiencing rapid growth.

Despite this growth, major data center markets like Northern Virginia face a development pause due to energy shortages, prompting the exploration of new secondary markets.

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NAIOP notes that a hyperscale data center can consume power equivalent to 80,000 households, posing a challenge despite efforts to reduce energy and water usage. Large data centers, ranking among the top water consumers in the U.S., use 1-5 million gallons of water daily.

However,  Bohler’s Keith Simpson acknowledges the public’s worry about the substantial water usage and expresses optimism that the shift from air-cooling to liquid-cooling systems will reduce the water demand. The article also highlights concerns about the impact of data centers on communities, particularly in terms of aesthetics and noise, but Keith emphasizes the potential for improvement there too.

Design and development teams can play a pivotal role in enhancing the overall perception of data centers.

— Keith Simpson, Associate

While data centers still have minimal impact on local resources such as schools and traffic, communities are increasingly seeing large buildings that many view as unattractive, loud, and environmentally unfriendly,” says Keith.

Keith discusses how design and development teams can play a pivotal role by prioritizing aesthetics and noise reduction – enhancing the overall perception of data centers. Suggestions include incorporating faux windows, using appealing color schemes, and implementing dynamic light displays to make data centers visually pleasing. Additionally, strategic site layouts, utilizing existing land contours and strategic landscaping, can act as effective barriers to mitigate sound pollution.

Read NAIOP’s full article.

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