As North Carolina continues to elevate its profile as a home for science and technology-related businesses and careers, the development of state-of-the-art STEM education facilities is critical. UNC Charlotte’s New Science Building is helping the university meet growing demand and enrollment, which has increased 142 percent since 1985, when the current home for chemistry and physics was constructed. Notably, 50 percent of UNC Charlotte’s students with declared majors are in STEM-related fields.
Clark Nexsen and Payette are architectural partners on this interdisciplinary research and education facility that establishes a modern, collaborative environment for scientific exploration. Home to Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, the building’s program emphasizes the undergraduate learning experience while meeting increased demand for graduate research space. It features instructional and teaching labs for chemistry, physics, and biology as well as a balance of formal and informal spaces for students to engage with each other and faculty.
The expansion of undergraduate research opportunities is also being prioritized, focusing on integrating interdisciplinary research space to support the science program’s overall mission. A 100-student classroom accommodates larger groups and complements additional classroom space, labs, and student study and support areas. While the new science building is the central focus, this project is distinguished by the inclusion of a new regional utility plant, data center, and café. Each of these components offers a benefit to the campus and student body, with the café in particular promoting a dual social and academic atmosphere.