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Meta Data Center

Location: DeKalb, Illinois

Award: Innovative Applications

Project Team

Owner: Meta Contractor: Mortenson Engineer: PASE Slag Cement/Concrete: Ozinga

Meta collaborated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA, to use artificial intelligence to generate potential low carbon mixture designs, which were then tested and refined by Meta in partnership with Ozinga to ultimately use in Meta’s 2.4 million ft2 (223,000 m2) data center campus in DeKalb, IL. The impetus for this project’s use of low carbon concrete stemmed from Meta’s corporate goal to reach net zero emissions in their value chain in 2030. Having already achieved net-zero operational emissions, Meta is now focusing on the carbon footprint of its value chain, which includes the embodied carbon in the materials and products used to build its data centers.

The use of slag cement allowed Meta to place at scale and also deliver against its carbon reduction goals. Pilot tests proved successful, and meeting the required specifications provided confidence to move to large-scale production. The standard mixture design used on this project already started out with a robust cement replacement level of 18% with additional mixture designs created with a higher replacement of up to 50%.

All the mixtures achieved the specified compressive strength by the 28-day mark (if not sooner). The use of slag cement, provided more homogeneous high-performance mixtures, meeting thermal resistivity requirements, and allowed to maintain the speed and schedule of the project. Incorporating slag cement in mixture designs also helped to alleviate raw material availability concerns during large-scale production.

Application Type

% Slag Cement Replacement

50% and 18% in 2 different mix designs

% Portland Cement

50%, 83% and 57% used in mix designs

% Portland Limestone Cement

% Other SCM (if applicable)

43% Fly Ash in 1 mix design


Water/cement ratio

7-day strengths

28-day strengths

Meet all required comprehensive strength requirements


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