UNC Chapel Hill, Genome Science Building

Facility Dynamics Engineering and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Building Enclosure Commissioning

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sought a state-of-the-art, high-performance building to house one of the campus’ newest research facilities.


The Genome Science Building is an eight-story, 228,000-square-foot structure on the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus. The building is comprised of three “pods” at the north, east, and west, which provide wet and dry laboratory space for campus researchers. Three separate unitized curtain wall systems provide natural light to the interior at all elevations, and exterior brise soleil, permanent solar shading, and fritted glass provide shading to varying degrees around the building. A glass enclosed greenhouse spans over two of the pods at the roof level, and a green roof system is installed over the roof of the remaining pod. Hot rubberized asphalt waterproofing and roofing are installed at the ground-level plaza and roof levels.


During the design phase, WJE performed a peer review of the contract drawings and technical specifications relating to the exterior enclosure. In addition, WJE provided review and design-assist services during the shop drawing review process for the various and complex curtain wall assemblies included in the design. WJE also participated in several design charette meetings with the architect of record, general contractor, curtain wall subcontractor, and owner representatives.

WJE assisted in the development of a laboratory testing plan for the three types of curtain wall and observed testing of the mock-ups in the laboratory. During the construction phase, WJE provided periodic site visits to observe the work in progress to confirm compliance with the contract documents, observe field functional performance testing, and consult during detailing of unanticipated field conditions.