DPR Construction is currently building the first phase a huge new data center campus in northern Sweden to support the rapid global growth of Facebook’s users. The new ground-up campus in Lulea, Sweden is Facebook’s first facility outside the United States. The location takes advantage of the cool climate in Lulea, a seaside town of approximately 45,000, located at approximately the same latitude as Fairbanks, Alaska. That cool weather allows Facebook to use outside air to cool the tens of thousands of servers that will occupy the new data centers.
Facebook plans to build multiple data centers on the Lulea campus, beginning with a 290,000 sq.-ft. first phase that was completed in late 2012, and begin supporting traffic in the first half of 2013.
The expansion of Facebook’s infrastructure beyond the U.S. reflects the increasingly global makeup of its user base. More than 75 percent of Facebook’s 800 million users are located outside the United States. Building data centers closer to these users will improve the speed of their connection and overall Facebook experience. The Facebook announcement has been celebrated in Sweden, and particularly in Lulea, where economic development officials have been marketing the region as a data center destination due to its combination of a cool climate, strong connectivity and plentiful supply of cheap, renewable energy.
The cool, dry climate allows the use of outside air to cool the data centers, similar to Facebook's Prineville, OR and Forest City, NC sites (also built by DPR). The average daily temperature in Lulea ranges from high of 41 degrees Fahrenheit to low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit. The area averages just four days a year with high temperatures exceeding 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The nearby Lule River produces about 13.6 million MW hours of hydro-electric power, equal to 10 percent of Sweden’s total demand for electricity. Lulea, Sweden has some of the cheapest power rates in all of Europe.
Inside the data center buildings, Facebook is implementing the server and data center designs outlined in the Open Compute Project, which the company launched in February 2012 to release its custom designs for servers, power supplies and UPS units.
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