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Japan’s NTT pushes U.S. data center expansion

Two new facilities opened last month, with several others under construction.

March 20, 2021 |
New data center in Itasca, Ill., near Chicago

NTT Global Data Centers Americas' newest data center, located on a 19-acre campus in Itasca, Ill., will have two buildings and 72 MW server capacity. Images: NTT

NTT Global Data Centers, a division of Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) in Japan, is the third-largest provider in the world, with more than 160 data centers in over 20 countries and regions, and 500,000 sm (just under 5.4 million sf) of server space availability. The company is expanding in the U.S., having recently opened the first phases of data centers in Illinois and Oregon, and broken ground on five data centers and four markets, according to Doug Adams, CEO of NTT’s Americas division.

On February 25, NTT Global Data Centers Americas opened the first of five buildings that will total 1 million sf on a 47-acre campus in Hillsboro, Ore. The first building—known internally as HI1—is a retrofit of a solar panel factory, but the next four buildings will be new construction.  When it’s built out, the Hillsboro campus will have 126 MW of capacity, and 36 MW of critical capacity. The facility is connected to undersea cables that link the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. to Asian markets. NTT’s Hillsboro operation is the market’s only data center in compliance with Oregon’s Cleaner Air Act.

That same day, NTT had a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of CH1, the first phase of what will be a two-building, 19-acre data center campus in Itasca, Ill., with 126,000-sf of data hall and 72 MW capacity (36 MW critical capacity).


The Itasca, Ill., data center has six modular vaults, designed by HED.


HED provided an integrated suite of architecture, specialty design, and MEP/FP engineering services for the Itasca campus, including the design of its six modular 6MW vaults that are supported by low-cost power with renewable energy options, diverse utility power feeds for redundancy, and an array of safety and security measures. CHI is designed to exceed the AIA 2030 goal of reducing a building’s energy use by 80% over its base year.

“We’ve partnered with HED on many projects, and their knowledge, expertise, and designs allow us to consistently build data centers that focus first and foremost on our clients,” said Bruno Berti, Vice President of Product Management at NTT Global Data Centers Americas. “Our CH1 data center project is no different.”

The Building Team on this project included Clune Construction (GC), RRC Engineering (SE) and RWG (CE). 



NTT's data center in Itasca, Ill., has more than 100 real-time camera feeds.


The Itasca facility is designed to grow with NTT’s customers. It includes 11,500 -sf for office and storage space, and an 1,800-sf shipping area with a 12,000-lb capacity freight elevation. The building has 24/7 in-house security with three layers of entry authentication required and 100-plus real-time security feeds.

The building’s work areas feature conference rooms, hoteling spaces, and a kitchenette.

The data center is on two levels, and each vault has a 13-ft 6-inch-high ceiling. There are 20 air-cooled chillers per 18 MW floor, and lots of cooling and generator redundancy. The plant is served by four high-voltage utility feeds.

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