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John O | August 2017

Designs for largest data center in the world have been released

hdr, inc., a boston-based energy consultant, has released its designs for the largest green data center in the world, which will be built for kolos, a u.s.-norwegian company, in ballangen, norway, about 225 kilometers north of the arctic circle.


the design of the new kolos data center in norway. (hdr, inc.)


the 600,000 square-meter, four-story facility is scheduled to open in late 2018 and has been designed to fit into the local environment, on a fjord surrounded by mountains.


according to hdr, “the design takes cues from the spectacular landforms of alluvial fans, mountains, and glaciers that define the site. organized along a central spine, the building forms are arranged to mimic a glacier’s movement as it displaces swaths of land, like a mountain. at the base of the mountain, the spine creates a collision of landforms reinterpreted to become modules, or data halls, that are secure, scalable and connected.”


it added, “at the terminus on the water, the spine emerges as a public element clad in copper, a reference to the area’s copper mining history.”


the facility will be feature hydropower to service the more than 1,000 megawatts of computing power that the data center is expected to generate. high-speed traffic will be routed through a kolos node in neighboring sweden.


within 25 km of the facility, kolos will have access to more clean hydropower than any other data center in the world, as much as two gigawatts of renewable power.


havard lillebo, co-ceo of kolos, said, “we analyzed locations around the world and identified ballangen as unique, due to norway’s competitive green energy, the country’s cool climate and its large technical workforce, as well as access to international high-performance fiber and the site’s secure moated property.”


hdr president of architecture doug wignall added, “with this project they are making a strong statement that in addition to being highly sustainable and technically sophisticated, data centers can also be inspiring pieces of art that are integrated with the community and natural surroundings.”


this facility is one of several that are being built in scandinavia, with companies such as facebook, ibm, apple, and google opening or planning facilities in the region.


explore more of the design features for the new data center at https://www.hdrinc.com/portfolio/kolos-data-center.

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