NV5 - UNC Chapel Hill Marsico Hall - Civil Engineering

UNC Chapel Hill, Marsico Hall

This $245-million, nine-story, 340,000-square-foot facility houses laboratory space for nanomedicine, biomedical imaging, School of Pharmacy laboratories, a vivarium, general-purpose laboratories as well as administrative and support spaces.

The building required an Early Site Package to meet the aggressive schedule for final completion. Civil work consisted of potable water and sanitary sewer improvements, grading, erosion control, and storm water design. The unique storm system included a critical storm water pump station and large force main, which was required due to site constraints. Also, to meet the Jordan Nutrient Watershed protection rules, a 75,000-gallon cistern was designed to provide re-use water for the buildings in the UNC campus quadrangle.

A unique challenge was creating spaces for equipment that was so state-of-the-art that its manufacturer had not yet completed its design.

Special structural considerations of this Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver goal project include vibration and radiation shielding requirements, below-grade waterproofing for two underground floors, a cyclotron vault with walls and ceiling concrete thicknesses that vary from 5 to 7 feet, and designing with non-magnetic steel reinforcing in areas intended for equipment with high-power magnets.


Chapel Hill, NC


Perkins + Will Architects



  • Grand Conceptor Award, Engineering Excellence Awards, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) – North Carolina, 2015
  • Best Mega Project (Over $100M) in the Nation, Associated Builders and Contractors, 2015
  • Eagle Award, Best Higher Education Project in North & South Carolina, Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas, 2015
  • Carolinas Green Award, Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas, 2015
  • Excellence in Safety Award, Engineering News-Record (ENR) Southeast, 2014
  • Gold Certificate of Safety, North Carolina Department of Labor, 2011, 2012, 2013