Partnership in Practice: Working with Bayer to Feed a Hungry World

  Community, Technology, Science + Technology

GreenhouseSince 2010, Bayer has invested nearly $150 million in their Research Triangle Park campus, which now houses both their North American Headquarters as well as their Global Seeds Headquarters. This investment represents meaningful impact for the Research Triangle Park in terms of job creation and economic success as well as the world at large, as Bayer develops technologies to meet the world’s growing demand for food.

In 2008, the Clark Nexsen partnership with Bayer began on a small renovation, creating a space that would serve as a telepresence room enabling their employees in RTP to connect with colleagues all over the world. In the years since then, our two companies have partnered on nearly 50 projects, spanning research greenhouses, laboratory renovations and expansions, new lab buildings, office space and infrastructure upgrades, and seed and chemical processing facilities – contributing to Bayer’s position as a global leader in agricultural technology.

Bayer relies on Clark Nexsen’s science, technology, and research facility design leadership to deliver spaces that enable them to advance their work. Today, Bayer’s commitment to the future of farming continues to grow with Greenhouse 1 recently completed and Greenhouse 6 still under construction, along with infrastructure improvements to help the campus operate more efficiently.

“We are proud to continue making investments in Research Triangle Park and around the United States,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer North America. “As we expand our business and grow our research hub in RTP, we further enhance our abilities to make meaningful contributions to farming and modern agricultural production ensuring that we all have enough safe, abundant and affordable food. That’s a job we take seriously.”

A New Lab Standard: Greenhouse 5 Design Impacts Global Facilities

Completed in 2012, the 60,000 square foot Greenhouse 5 established a new standard in research greenhouse design for Bayer facilities around the world. To deliver on Bayer’s objectives to maximize targeted research and to streamline lab functionality, the Clark Nexsen and Bayer teams traveled across the United States and internationally to analyze greenhouses and develop groundbreaking ideas for this new facility. The innovative solutions developed for Greenhouse 5 have now been implemented at Bayer facilities around the world and include:

  • Temperature and humidity control
  • Greenhouse structure and glazing materials
  • Rainwater harvesting for irrigation and fertigation systems
  • Air distribution
  • Supplemental growth lighting and plant growth chambers
  • Containment and security of research activities

To address the challenge of a constrained site for Greenhouse 5, “The design solution was to vertically stack the building on three floors, with a unique workflow with vertical circulation between research spaces,” said Pat O’Keefe, who leads the Science + Technology practice for Clark Nexsen. “This facility was designed to foster ag innovation with flexibility to adapt to future research environments.”

CEO Jim Blome has also emphasized the importance of state-of-the-art facilities in recruiting top scientific talent. Through the design and delivery of exceptional laboratory space, Clark Nexsen supports Bayer and other science and technology clients in efforts to attract the best and brightest minds from a limited talent pool.

Crop Research for the Future

Recently completed, Greenhouse 1 provides Bayer’s employees with a 29,500 square foot space for insect and pathogen research, including one high containment greenhouse compartment capable of functioning under BL3-P guidelines.

Greenhouse 6, a 73,500 square foot facility, is projected for completion in late 2016 and will increase Bayer’s capabilities to analyze and develop crops and find novel seeds and traits.

A Win-Win

Bayer’s investment in RTP has contributed to their success as a global leader in agricultural technology. We are proud to have partnered with Bayer to design and build transformative facilities that enable their researchers to discover solutions to the world’s growing food demand.