As demand has increased, schedules have condensed and the race for space has accelerated. Plus with borders closed and workers remaining rooted in their homes, it’s been harder than ever to get the talent and resources to where they need to be. Building data centers has always been a challenge, but in the face of what’s happened since Spring 2020, it’s been harder than ever.

To help you scale faster than ever before, we're bringing together 40 advisors & strategists for a free-to-view virtual event DCD>Building at Scale on 26-27 May and today we bring you the first of two previews and take a look at two key areas that will be focussed upon.

Whether you are buying a house, or building a data center, it’s all about location, location, location.

So where are the current hot spots?

According to a list published earlier this year by design and building consultant Arcadis the US, Singapore and Japan are the best locations for the construction of data centers, followed by Sweden and Norway as the next most favorable places to build.

The Arcadis' Data Center Location Index 2021, which takes into account factors including the cost and security of power supplies, and the ease of getting construction permits, as well as cybersecurity and the local market for digital services, in order to rank 50 countries.

Natalie Sauber, Arcadis UK Market Intelligence Lead highlights the importance of location; "In principle, digital infrastructure can be built nearly anywhere and used to serve customers anywhere in the world. But choosing a good location for a new data center is critical in terms of optimizing return on investment."

In addition to location, another huge influence on building data centers is a growing demand for sustainable technology and materials. The simple truth is that data centers create emissions before they are even operational and so the footprint of basic building materials now needs to be addressed.

Before you even install any equipment, the building itself has already created tons of carbon dioxide and added to global warming - thanks to the concrete in the walls and floors.

Concrete is the second-largest source of greenhouse gases on the planet, contributing eight percent of the world’s CO2 emissions, making it a worse polluter than the airline industry.

“If concrete were a country, it would be the third-worst polluter after the US and China,” said Eric Dunford, director of sustainability at CarbonCure, in a recent online lecture for the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Every building put up adds a burden to the atmosphere, and the structural material of a data center contributes to its “embodied” environmental impact, before the equipment begins to use energy and create an “operational” environmental impact.

Far-sighted data center operators are starting to pay attention to this. The most environmentally friendly approach is to avoid pouring new concrete where possible. Some companies, like France’s OVHcloud, make a point of always re-purposing buildings, to avoid the environmental impact of demolition and rebuilding.

Some hyperscale companies, that have to build new giant data centers, are paying attention to the impact of their concrete. In 2020, both Amazon and Microsoft invested in a company that reduces the emissions of the concrete industry, by injecting waste CO2 into the mix.

With sustainability increasingly on the agenda of operators, shareholders, clients and legislators it's an area that demands serious attention.

Understand more about these two big areas of data center development, by registering now for DCD>Building at Scale on 26-27 May , a free-to-view virtual event will connect you with experts in building at scale & speed from NTT, CyrusOne, Quantum Loophole, SAP, Skybox Datacenters, Linesight, Kirby Engineering, ISG, BGIS, Cushman & Wakefield and more to help you tackle the mounting challenges in design and construction post-pandemic by filling in the below form.