Saturday, November 25, 2017

Project Echo. 2.5 million sqf Virginia data center complex moves on

If approved, hyperscale project is set to become a neighbour of QTS’s 1.3 million sqf data centre as well as HP, Bank of America and Lumber Liquidators.

A large data centre development in Virginia, US, covering an area of more than 328 acres is moving to planning commission debates.

Code-named ‘Project Echo’, the site sits in the White Oak Technology Park in Henrico County, Sandston, and is being developed by Scout Development and Virignia-based Christopher Consultants.

The final user of the data centre has not been disclosed, however, details available are very similar to the features of large data centre builds by hyperscalers such as Facebook, AWS or Google. Including the secrecy surrounding the project.

The project is set to be discussed by the Henrico County Planning Commission this Thursday.

According to the meeting’s agenda, the data centre project will on a first phase see the construction of a one million sqf H-shaped building.

Three future buildings will be added at a combined total of 1.5 million sqf.

The meeting will focus on a special permission to allow the developers to build the buildings at a height of up to 100 feet, instead of the normal 50 feet for the county.

In the meeting agenda it reads: “This plan of development is for the construction of a data centre in phases. Phase I proposes two, one-story connected buildings with mechanical penthouses, approximately 1,000,000 square feet in total, with associated support facilities. The 2 September 1, 2017 master plan proposes additional buildings up to 1,500,000 square feet and additional associated support facilities.

“The exterior of the buildings will be composed of precast concrete panels, fiber cement panels, ribbed and smooth architectural metal panels, metal louvers and glass curtainwall glazing. The color palette will predominantly consist of grey tones with a slate-brown brise soleil (sun shading) in front of the curtainwall. Future buildings would generally appear to be consistent with the buildings proposed with Phase I.”

Overall site plan of the White Oak Technology Park. Source: White Oak Technology Park

It continued: “This request includes the approval of a special exception to allow a building height of up to 100 feet, exceeding the allowable height of 50 feet in an M-2 District. The exception is requested to allow future buildings, or building expansions, to exceed the allowable height.

“The Phase I building as currently proposed meets the 50-foot height requirement.”

According to the document, the project is subject to review and approval by the White Oak Technology Park Development Review Board which has granted conceptual and preliminary approval of the proposal and will review the final construction plans, including landscaping plans, at a later date.



Virginia’s Project Echo should not be confused with a project sharing the same name in San Antonio, Texas. The Texan project is a 78,000 sqf site serving a “confidential” client. The building was built by Turner and architecture by Corgan, Syska Hennessy Group.