As highlighted at the recent Bisnow Data Centre Summit moderated by the author, demand for datacentre space continues to outstrip supply even with a relative wealth of new projects coming online in Toronto in the coming years. The major limitation on the ability to develop sufficient datacentre space to meet the increasing demand is the availability of sufficient electricity, preferably from two independent (redundant) supplies. At the summit we learned that the major cost of datacentre development is neither the cost of acquiring the land nor the cost of constructing a technology intensive structure, but rather the cost of the electricity itself which accounts for more than half of datacentre costs over the long term.

For users of datacentre services there are multiple options including managed services, co-location facilities, owneroperated purpose built facilities and, more recently, third parties that will provide design-build-operate solutions for owners. There are myriad resources available to businesses seeking to review the available options.

In the event a business is seeking to construct a datacentre in an owned or leased facility there are a number of unique considerations that must be reviewed and considered. In the context of the preliminary site selection process, considerations must include access to sufficient reliable power, access to data communication services, infrastructure to provide cooling services and proximity to potential hazards. If a party is considering leasing a facility, it is an absolute necessity that the lease address the unique requirements of such a facility which may include tenant self help remedies; multiple renewal options; and strong protections against the actions of lenders to the freehold owner.