Data Center Design and Construction Costs

GETTING THE UPPER HAND IN DATA CENTER CONSTRUCTION COSTS – Data center expansion decisions are risky and rarely simple. The number of technical and financial trade-offs to consider are vast, making perfection unlikely. Now include the dynamics of various stakeholders leveraging their power in the decision making process or attempting to protect their careers. It’s a complex environment for critically important decisions.

The first and most basic decision is build vs. buy. In either case construction and commissioning costs will be an issue for any single tenant or wholesale colo data center space you may choose. Hence, the first complication in our data center construction cost dilemma: No two projects are alike, so the most insightful and useful data will be granular enough to see how the whole is comprised by the sum of its parts. In other words, instead of saying that average cost is $1200 per square foot, let’s see detail on real estate, architecture, construction, MEP, etc. Plus, let’s factor in redundancy level for fun.

There is currently a distinct lack of comprehensive data center construction and commissioning cost data. There are plenty of numbers kicking around if you search the web, but they are estimates and averages. This type of data is not actionable for decision making. Here are a few of the numbers commonly found:

  • $250 sq ft construction.
  • $5 mill to $22 mill per MW.
  • $900 – $2800 per sq ft.


Actionable, fact-based insight into data center construction costs is the best way to avoid risks inherent in data center projects. We focus on factual data, along with insight into best practices, for thoughtful and informed decision making.

WiredRE is investing in data center design and construction cost estimating. We are organizing historical data and collecting data center design and construction cost information from organizations who have commissioned new data center space in recent years, or those organizations currently in the throes of a project.

If you are interested in participating, or are interested in the results, please contact Alan Howard at 623-937-4700 or email us at info at

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