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Will the construction industry meet AI’s demand for data centers?

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Artificial intelligence and construction are uniquely linked. In order to keep pace with the AI boom the major technology companies are racing to build data centers that will provide the processing power needed to support AI model training. By 2027, investments in AI infrastructure projects are projected to raise data center capital expenditures to over $500 billion, according to research by Dell’Oro Group.

What this means is that despite being one of the least digitized industries in the world, construction has become essential to the advancement of AI. The big question now is can the construction industry keep up with the demand for this additional infrastructure?

It’s a massive challenge, but speaking from experience as someone who spent the majority of their career working on jobsites, meeting high demands while managing complexity is a prerequisite of the job. However, there are a few unique challenges associated with the growing demand for data centers that will test the construction industry’s ability to adapt, making this an important moment in the delivery of mission critical projects.

The data centers being built for AI model training are more resource intensive, which from a design & build perspective means that they are vastly more complicated. And larger, more complicated projects tend to incur more delays and rework. Technology is one approach the industry is taking to streamline data center construction.

For example, implementing XYZ for mission critical construction, the project controls team can use augmented reality (AR) to accurately track installation progress using 3D holograms and enhance the process for managing project costs and schedules. Our technology allows construction professionals to fully visualize the status of a project in real-time, clearly indicating complete or incomplete installations that are linked to the schedule, effectively eliminating any guesswork about the progress.

Another challenge to meeting the demand for data centers is labor. While labor shortage has been a widely felt issue across the construction industry, it’s more of a general contractor shortage that’s felt in mission critical construction as there’s a small pool of companies with the experience and ability to build hyperscale data centers. Also, keep in mind that the majority of new data center construction is taking place in rural areas where there aren’t as many people so the issue of a lack of labor becomes compounded.

As our mission critical director, Waleed Zafar, recently noted, technology can play a role in tackling labor issues. According to Waleed, “mission critical projects might need to utilize half the amount of planners on one project by implementing the XYZ Platform as certain manual reporting tasks are automated in that phase of the project, making those additional people available to start work on other projects.”

The AI boom is real and the construction industry is playing a pivotal role in advancing the technology by meeting the demand for new data centers. The sooner a data center project is delivered the sooner it can be put to use, and the construction industry’s adoption of technology will ensure that these mission critical projects are built right, first time.

Don't get left behind. Learn how you can accelerate your data center projects here.


David Mitchell headshot crop 1024x683

David Mitchell