Clark breaks ground on new data center project in Ashburn, Virginia

Dive Brief:

  • Clark Construction Group has broken ground on a new 24 megawatt data center in Ashburn, Virginia for NTT, a Japanese IT infrastructure and services company.
  • The 188,000 square-foot data center sits on a 78-acre campus. The Bethesda, Maryland-based construction company expects the two-story steel structure to be ready in the first quarter of 2024, according to a Clark press release.
  • “Data centers are a key sector for Clark,” said Louie Sarracino, a vice president at Clark who oversees the company’s mission-critical project portfolio. “We look forward to accelerating our growth in the data infrastructure sector in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.”

Dive Insight:

Issues around labor, supply chain and inflation were pegged to slow the pace of building in the data center sector, but optimism around materials prices are beginning to grow. 

The price of steel, the major material used in the Clark project, increased 16.3% over the last 12 months, according to June data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Month-to-month, however, the price dropped by 1.8%, showing signs the economy may “have achieved peak inflation,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu in a press release.

Mike Kuntz, executive vice president at Turner, the largest commercial contractor in the U.S., told Construction Dive that if it wasn’t for the high materials prices, labor scarcity and supply chain snarls, data center construction would take an even greater share of Turner’s portfolio. 

Nevertheless, demand for data center construction remains strong. Northern Virginia, where the Clark project is located, remained the world’s largest data center market in the second half of 2021, according to the latest CBRE data center report

The area continues to attract data center projects due to its relatively cheap land and power, coupled with record tax initiatives. For example, QTS, a Overland Park, Kansas-based provider of data center solutions, announced last week a 1.5 million-square-foot expansion to its data center campus in White Oak Technology Park in Henrico County, Virginia.

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