NCSU Plant Sciences Building Breaks Ground
Made official at a well-attended groundbreaking ceremony, North Carolina State University took another important step toward the opening of its multidisciplinary, $160.2 million Plant Sciences Building. Intended to bring together academic, government, and industry researchers to find solutions for some of the most pressing agricultural problems of the day, the five-story, 184,000-square-foot building will serve as the temporary home of transdisciplinary teams seeking solutions to challenges such as how to feed a global population of 9 billion by 2050.
Because the makeup of research teams was unknown when the facility was programmed and designed, its space program was developed around future scientific projects and capabilities, rather than specific investigators. Core functional units, including growth chambers and environmental rooms, are distributed across each research floor, with support spaces providing access to state-of-the-art equipment and staff for help with various research projects. Anchor laboratories for genotyping, spectrometry, transformation/tissue culture, metabolomics, ag-bio engineering, and chemical and soils analysis, serve as a resource for all building occupants, as NC State looks to take advantage of opportunities to share resources and maximize efficiency. BL2-P and BL3-P rooftop greenhouses are an important asset for researchers and partners in the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative, providing state-of-the-art growing environments with a high degree of environmental controls.
With one foot in academia and the other in the world of corporate bio-agriculture, the building must appeal to a diverse range of users. Taking a cue from the tech world, shared amenity spaces are developed thematically by floor, while a "neighborhood" concept organizes the office area into zones that provide an array of spaces specific to the needs of different work activities, from large conference space for team meetings to small, enclosed huddle rooms for quiet thinking.
The Plant Sciences Building is scheduled to welcome students, staff, and visitors in the fall of 2021.
September 24, 2019