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EMH&T Project Update: Facebook Data Center

Construction continues on Facebook’s newest data center located in the New Albany International Business Park.

With over 2.07 billion active Facebook users worldwide, 300 million photo uploads per day, and over 5 billion pieces of content shared daily, Facebook’s need to expand its digital storage is constant. In August 2017, Facebook announced plans to build its latest data center on a 325-acre site and selected EMH&T to provide professional site/civil engineering, survey, and environmental services for the project.

At 900,000 square feet (22 acres), the $750 million project is the company’s 10th data center and is Central Ohio’s largest data center project to date. The facility incorporates Facebook’s most advanced hardware designs and is powered by 100% renewable energy, making it one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the world. Facebook has its own proprietary cooling system, which uses outdoor air and direct evaporative cooling systems resulting in world-class levels of energy and water efficiency. These factors, among others, made for a unique, complex project with characteristics that placed a variety of demands on the site’s design.

EMH&T addressed a range of challenging site infrastructure issues, including designing for on-site stormwater detention, temporary parking for construction crews and the construction lay-down area, as well as accommodating four water storage tanks per building for Facebook’s cooling system, and massive duct banks to handle the fiber and electrical lines.

In addition to design of the private site development, EMH&T worked simultaneously with the City of New Albany on a major improvement project to Beech Road, which provides access to the project site. This public project included new sewer and water lines, as well as a complete road rebuild and widening, and the addition of bike lanes and leisure trails.

The Beech Road corridor on either side of SR 161 along with a new interchange at Mink Road directly to the east, are part of the business park’s next expansion phase with the Facebook project leading the way as this next section prepares to welcome a new group of tenants.

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