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Bell Tower Development – Genome Science Building


The $177 million CM at-Risk project built by Clancy & Theys Construction Company consisted of the new Genomic Science Building, new central park, related site utilities work, surface parking, a new cast-in-place parking deck and modifications/additions to the existing chiller plant on a tight 20-acre site at UNC-CH.

The Genome Sciences Building (GSB) is a cast-in-place architectural concrete building with multiple glass systems with two levels below grade, five levels above grade, and a greenhouse on the roof.  The GSB contains research laboratories, research support space, classrooms including an 80-seat classroom, four 30-seat seminar rooms, a 250-seat and a 450-seat lecture hall, 54 offices, and three conference rooms.  GSB incorporates three distinct laboratory types: wet labs, dry labs and rooftop greenhouses. By the numbers: nine wet laboratories, four bioinformatics laboratories, and a ten-compartment greenhouse.  Support rooms include cold rooms, dark rooms, tissue culture, growth chamber, freezer farm, crystallography, low ozone, x-ray, robotics, isotope, warm room, and plant growth. Level five is the roof level and contains a greenhouse space and an extensive green roof system that utilizes a low-profile perimeter air diffuser cabinet along the exterior wall of the greenhouse along with clear acrylic ductwork to maximize natural light exposure.  With a fully functioning headhouse and lobby entrance gallery, the rooftop greenhouse of the GSB is a unique design feature of the building—one with a minimal presence—stylized and in-line with the façade of the building enclosure.

The new central park includes a bowl-shaped lawn articulated with granite retaining walls that are at seat height.  This area slopes down from the eastern entrance of the Genomic Science Building to Kenan Stadium and includes a narrow granite wall water feature intended for large gatherings/seating during outdoor events.  The cast-in-place concrete parking deck is an eight-level parking deck accommodating 700+ cars and is located between the chiller plant and central park.  The chiller plant was upgraded and new cooling towers replaced.

Project earned LEED Gold.

Project Details
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Size: 291,374 sq ft
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