HKS Mission Critical Team Expands to Meet Growing Demand

The global data center market, which was valued at $200 billion in 2021, is expected to zoom to $450 billion by 2027, with more than 25 million square feet added during that period, according to Ken Research’s latest estimates. In the U.S. alone, the data center market is projected to expand from $20.21 billion in 2022 to $28.56 billion in 2028 (a compound annual growth rate of 6%), when it will have 25.95 million square feet of leasable space and 3,404 MW of power capacity, according to Arizton estimates.

With this growth in demand, HKS is increasing its global reach to serve Mission Critical clients by adding more staff and tapping into the talent across the firm to research better and faster ways to address the challenges of this market sector. Over 90% of HKS’ Mission Critical are long-term clients. The team worked in 31 U.S. states last year, several sites in the UK, and is currently working with over 35 different clients who provide hyperscale, colocation, edge, enterprise, and wholesale data center facilities.

Mary Hart, Bernie Woytek and Michael Malone are leading the HKS Mission Critical practice bringing more than 90 years of cumulative experience with this building type. They are supported by Michael Lyons and William Ringer. In addition, the firm has recently focused on Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics facilities under the leadership of industry specialist Balmiki Bhattacharya.

“We are at a critical point of transition in the data center market,” said Hart. “The way we design a data center is rapidly evolving, changing standard templates and modular designs to accommodate AI and technology growth. We are working to understand these changes as they occur and focus on client specific implementation requirements. As technology evolves, so does the need to build smarter from a sustainable and resilience perspective. We bring the full range of subject matter expertise and front-line research to our design process. Speed to market is key and our team is built to specifically provide that.” 

Woytek added, “The state of the market for data centers and other critical facilities is not only growing exponentially, but it is evolving as well. Machine learning, AI, technological advances, and society’s reliance on these facilities have led all our clients to push the envelope on project delivery that requires our teams to be ahead of the curve on industry knowledge through experience, lessons learned, and research. Knowing that we have a very deep bench of design and technical staff with considerable experience and knowledge of multiple types of data centers from 2 MW shielded data halls to million-plus square foot campuses with several hundred MW of power feeding multiple buildings, we have yet to not meet the challenge any of our clients have presented us.”

Malone said, “Our thirst for data usage and storage continues to grow, our Internet of Things continues to expand, and our fascination with what AI holds for us captivates our imagination. Our team continues to evolve to anticipate market demands. Our partnerships with our clients and design consultants allow us to explore ideas of how to better prepare our data centers to react over time and to do so with minor impact to ongoing operations.” 

HKS has recently focused on Advanced Manufacturing Industrial & Logistics market. Bhattacharya characterized the opportunity as, “Built-to-suit activity remains strong but speculative development has slowed down significantly driven by lower demand, high cost of capital, rents plateauing and almost 490 million square feet of industrial projects still under construction that will hit the market in the coming quarters.”

“We expect to see consolidation in the 3P Logistics market which will drive a lot of repositioning work. Dense urban areas in select coastal markets are seeing an uptick in multi-story industrial projects of diverse types as land value continues to increase. We expect the next big wave of industrial projects will be more specialized in nature and focused on solving bigger problems,” he added

We look forward to working with you to explore the latest thinking in Mission Critical design. For more information please visit our website or email any of the leaders highlighted above.