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Nature Research Center


Clancy & Theys Construction Company provided construction management services for the Nature Research Center, a four-story, 126,000 square foot research center, museum and office facility. It is an innovative public laboratory for both local and global science research and museum related-space. Scientists from the NRC, the Museum, UNC System, DEQ, or visiting scientists from industry or agency partners conduct research while visitors observe “science in action” through glass windows. The highlight of this building is the three-story, 70-ft-in-diameter globe pinned to the building. This globe, called The Daily Planet, may well be the largest representational globe in the world. Inside the globe is an educational theatre with specialty audio/visual equipment that links learners to research scientists around the world. The museum also contains exhibits, a café, kitchen, museum store, and training/conference rooms. Two over-street pedestrian bridges connect the NRC to the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and to the DEQ Office Building. The NRC earned LEED Platinum certification.

The project was essentially fast-tracked, with the foundations, core and shell designs complete. However, given the nature of the museum and labs, the designs for many interior and exterior features were not completed, and were meshed into the project via change order as the design evolved. This allowed the project to proceed earlier than waiting for 100% documents of every detail. Many of the back-end loaded features involved museum exhibit and infrastructure. Added items included pedestrians bridge work, exterior plazas, street work, duct banks, canopies, smoke controls and system, steam lines, cable trays, extensive museum lighting packages, paging systems, green roof and roof modifications, curtain wall modifications, store up-fit, studio up-fit, and an aquarium, to list a few.

Project Details
Client: NC Department of Environmental Quality
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Architect: O’Brien Atkins Associates
Size: 126,000 sq ft
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