Equinix's new Slough data center will be an eco-friendly haven

Logo of the American the Internet connection and data center company Equinix in Amsterdam on July 14, 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Data center colocation firm Equinix has announced plans for a new data center complex on the site of a former paint factory in Slough.

The proposals include a series of buildings comprising a data hall, a front of house area with office accommodation, and back of house spaces supporting the management of the facility as a whole.

As part of the move, Equinix specified low flow fixtures, water efficient cooling towers, and sustainable urban drainage solutions with attenuation tanks for the new site, along with energy-efficient cooling and ventilation, and energy efficient internal and external lighting.

Meanwhile, it said the project will improve biodiversity on the site by at least 10% - as required by Slough Borough Council - through the use of green roofs and building planting, along with the planting of native species and the introduction of bird and bat boxes.

This isn’t the first eco-friendly data center from Equinix. In early 2023, the colocation provider unveiled a rooftop farm at one of its data centers in France

Located on the Equinix PA10 data center in Saint-Denis, Paris, the farm makes use of waste energy to power itself.

Equinix said at the time that the goal of the project was to promote data center sustainability. The company said food grown at the site would be shared among staff and visitors.

Equinix builds on established UK footprint

Equinix bought the land in 2022 and is now clearing the 11.5-acre site, which has been empty since 2018. It intends to apply for planning permission later this year and hopes it will be granted in 2025 or 2026. 

The colocation provider noted it doesn't expect construction to begin until 2027 or 2028.

The company said the UK is its second-biggest market, with 14 data centers across London, and another in Manchester. It already has six sites in and around Slough, with a seventh about to begin construction.

The new Slough site “would be a vital new piece of digital infrastructure within Slough. Importantly, it would revitalize a former ‘gateway’ industrial site to the town."

In London, its data centers are served by excellent communication links and are home to Equinix Internet Exchange (IX), as well as 

The London Internet Exchange (LINX) and London Network Access Point (LONAP). It hosts connectivity to major cloud service providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

"We have provided cumulative investment UK wide in excess of £1 billion, employ approximately 1,400 people in the UK, and are expanding in both Greater London and Manchester," the firm said.

The company has been expanding worldwide, with new facilities recently announced for Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Australia.

It's also believed to be planning to invest $390 million in building data centers in Africa over the next five years. It currently has 250 International Business Exchange™ (IBX) data centers located in 71 major cities worldwide.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance journalist writing for publications including the BBC, Private Eye, Forbes, Raconteur and specialist technology titles.