Data centre cost index 2018



Dan Ayley Director
We are delighted to launch the 2018 edition of our data centre cost index (DCCI), the industry’s only cost index specific to data centre construction. Now covering 32 markets, we have chosen to share the index results, as well as an indicative construction cost per watt (US$/w) for each location. This is further supplemented by a separate parametric cost for shell and core construction in each location, with an accompanying index.



Market intelligence

believe that the data centre construction industry has been able to meet industry demand in 2018

feel that the current data centre construction market conditions have not caused/are not causing price inflation

feel that schedule/programme certainty is more important than cost certainty to owners/ operators in today's market

believe there are sufficient consultants and/or contractors with data centre experience

expect data centre construction demand in 2019 to be greater than in 2018, with 13% unsure/ neither agree or disagree

The trends, from free text responses, suggest that the biggest threats to Data Centre construction output demand in 2019 are:

Supply chain capacity (contractors and equipment vendors)

Skills shortages (professionals and trade-contractors)

■ Power and land availability, planning issues

Market conditions driving cost inflation/escalation 

though opinion is divided as to whether companies that collectively make up the data centre construction industry are doing enough to train/develop staff:

  • 50% say they are not
  • 28% say they are
  • 22% are undecided


2018 data centre cost index results

In this year's expanded data centre cost index – doubled in coverage to 32 markets- it is Zurich, a new entrant, that claims the position as the most expensive market to build a data centre.

The 27 percent premium when compared to London is the result of both high labour costs and import duties on equipment as a non-member of the European Union.

Read more about 2018 data centre cost index results




Regional insights

Construction market conditions per location for 2018:

North America

Here are the 2018 data centre cost index insights of the USA and Canada

  • Canada: Toronto
  • USA: Dallas, New Jersey, North Virginia, Phoenix, Silicon Valley
Latin America

Here are the 2018 data centre cost index insights of Latin America

  • Argentina: Buenos Aires
  • Brazil: São Paulo
  • Chile: Santiago
Asia Pacific

Here are the 2018 data centre cost index insights of Asia Pacific

  • China: Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai
  • Australia: Sydney
  • India: Chennai, Mumbai
  • Indonesia: Jakarta
  • Japan: Tokyo
  • Singapore: Singapore
  • South Korea: Seoul
Europe, Middle East and Africa

Here are the 2018 data centre cost index insights of Europe, Middle East and Africa

  • Africa: Johannesburg, Nairobi
  • Europe: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Zurich
  • Middle East: UAE



To generate the results of DCCI 2018, a proprietary cost model was built. The cost model individually assesses each of the six key capital cost headings:

  • shell and core
  • equipment
  • construction labour
  • construction materials
  • preliminary costs/general conditions & general requirements and
  • margin/profit.

for each of the 32 markets featured.

All costs are converted to a single currency, in this case USD, utilising the same foreign exchange rates as those used in Turner & Townsend's annual International construction market survey (ICMS 2018).

Read more about methodology


Speak with our experts

To determine an estimated outturn cost for your specific project, or to contribute new market information to our model, please get in touch.


Key contacts

Dan Ayley
Director, High Technology and Manufacturing

For media enquiries, please contact:

Paul Howlett
Head of Communications and Marketing