NC State University Celebrates Opening of New Plant Sciences Building
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of leaders, donors, and friends, a public ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony on April 12 marked the official opening of North Carolina State University's newest facility, the Plant Sciences Building. Located on the university's Centennial Campus, this building will become the new home to the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative (NC PSI) – a bold and ambitious undertaking by the state that started in 2014 and seeks to improve the world through plant science innovation that solves grand agricultural challenges.
The Plant Sciences Building is designed as an interdisciplinary team-based science hub, introducing modern infrastructure that allows university and industry spheres to come together and work on real-world problems. Flad imagined the space program in a way that centers on accommodations for unassigned users and the scientific capabilities they would require to partner with each other as focus projects advance and evolve.
Among the many components that support this cross-disciplinary approach is an open, flexible laboratory and office design that easily accommodates a range of team sizes, collaboration styles, and data and technology use. Specialty research spaces include partner labs, walk-in growth chambers, an electronics lab, a cellular and molecular imaging facility, and a rooftop greenhouse with 10,000 square feet of under-glass space. Eleven compartments – including areas for BL-2P and -3P containment – and multiple environmental controls allow for optimized growing conditions.
The facility is organized around welcoming visitors and collaborators both inside and out. The exterior porch, outdoor demonstration plantings, and ground floor demonstration lab put science in sight and showcase the research currently underway. Public art displays celebrate agriculture and its significance across the state. And, in step with the NC PSI vision, the building is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. Flad celebrates this milestone with the university and the extraordinary impact that work taking place in the facility will have on the future of agriculture.
Photo credit: NC State University, Becky Kirkland and Marc Hall
April 28, 2022