Balfour Beatty JV Wins Contract for $1.2B Army Data Center Project in Utah

Securing a government development deal usually means big bucks, and such is the case for a joint venture involving Balfour Beatty Construction, DPR Construction and Big-D Construction.

October 4, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user Robert Scoble

Securing a government development deal usually means big bucks, and such is the case for a joint venture involving Balfour Beatty Construction, DPR Construction and Big-D Construction. The team has won the design-build contract for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ $1.2 billion data center project at Camp Williams, Utah.

The Utah Data Center will sit on the grounds of Camp Williams, a National Guard training site featuring 28,000 acres of combat training areas approximately 25 miles south of Salt Lake City. The 1.5 million-square-foot development will encompass 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art raised floor data center space, 900,000 square feet of technical support and administrative space, as well as a bevy of support facilities including an interim visitor control center, a vehicle inspection center and a UPS back-up facility. KlingStubbins and Architectural Nexus are also members of the joint venture team and are responsible for designing the Utah Data Center to comply with LEED Silver certification standards.

As is the case with many developers, the Army Corps of Engineers did some shopping around–among U.S. military properties–before selecting Camp Williams for the project. As noted in a Department of Defense military construction project data report: “Selection of the Utah National Guard property on Camp Williams, Utah, for the data center was based on a detailed process that incorporated ‘must have’ and ‘desired’ parameters to determine the optimum site for a data center.” A minimum 200 acres of available space was just one criterion on the list of requirements.

Many construction industry players formed teams to vie for the Utah Data Center contract, including Turner Construction, which formed a joint venture with Kiewit Building Group and Jacobsen Construction to submit to a proposal. But all is not lost. There will be many more opportunities ahead for eager general contractors to bid for government data center design-build deals. Earlier this year, the government launched the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, which will ultimately spur the need for additional state-of-the-art facilities. And the Defense Department may prove to be a particularly good client. As per a report released by the Chief Information Officers Council on Oct. 1, the Defense Department has more data centers than any other federal agency, operating 772 of the total 2,094 federal data centers.

The U.S. government, however, is hardly alone in driving demand for these properties. Investment in green data centers alone will increase from $7.5 billion to $41.5 billion in global revenue by 2015, which will account for 28 percent of the entire data center market, according to a recent report by clean technology market research firm Pike Research.