What should data center developers consider when it comes to choosing land in the US? What are the main concerns and priorities when finalizing a location and considering the most cost-effective city? If you are a developer, you should consider security and safety, cost of construction and development in the area, and an available labor force and network that is already in place before choosing land. Let’s take a closer look at how developers can choose the best land when weighing all the different options throughout the US.
1. Security and Safety
Security needs can range from power supply to neighboring developments to natural disasters.
Developers may consider a number of factors depending on the nature of the work and what needs are prioritized. Some developers will prioritize unused land to avoid any issues with security breaches or expended land as well as issues related to previous development. Another common concern when choosing land is finding an area that accommodates physical security measures circling a facility (including space for a cyber security facility).
There are also serious concerns to consider given the diverse geological regions in the US. Depending on where you are considering buying land, take into consideration the local weather, risk of natural disasters and geological concerns that may arise (even if it’s down the road and not an immediate concern)! The US is home to many different climates and is known for its environmental diversity. Consider risk factors such as hurricanes on the East Coast, earthquakes on the West Coast, and tornadoes in the Central United States. Accumulation of water can cause short- and long-term damage making it costly for developers, and seismic activity will likely cause serious issues with the foundation and resilience of a center. These are just a few examples of what to consider, but the most important thing is to deliberate not only short-term goals and fixes but expensive long-term ones as well.
2. Cost of Construction and Development
Is the location of the center near potential business partners or commercial providers that are relevant to the success of the center? How costly will transporting materials and equipment be and can these be significantly reduced by choosing more convenient shipment or transportation locations? What other essential costs of construction and development should I consider before choosing land for a data center?
The simpler a space receives construction and development goods, and the lower the budget proposal, the more attractive the opportunity may be for investors and future partners. Consider shipping locations, transportation routes, airport locations, education and professional investment in the area and specialties in a city or region before choosing land. Staffing facilities can be more difficult if the location is not ideal for workers or if the area lacks skilled workers in the sector. Depending on the construction items needed and the machinery required, you may be able to look into reliable and experienced developers in the area. Do not underestimate the importance of a good location!
3. IT “Ecosystems” and the Labor Force
Why start from scratch when you can take advantage of regions in the US where there are many data centers, and consequently, ready-to-hire, skilled professionals? States such as California, Texas, Virginia and Georgia have some of the country’s highest numbers of data centers. In turn, many of these states also offer programs in data science at prominent universities thereby providing a ready workforce for new developers. For example, Virginia is well known for its data center market given the governmental, educational and specialized network of employees in the region. Do not be discouraged by expensive listings in competitive areas, Virginia has affordable and untapped areas for developers.
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