The mission of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Energy Services is to provide reliable, innovative, cost effective and sustainable energy and water resources to meet the changing needs of the administrative, teaching and research facilities within the University and UNC Hospitals. To support this mission, UNC Energy Services is building a new chilled water plant and a power generation plant to centralize standby power needs.
The plants will form an infrastructure precinct with the existing Manning Drive Steam Plant and Substation. The site contains a vestige of the woods that once defined the south edge of campus. Dramatic slopes and rocky soils, typical of the Chapel Hill campus, characterize the site. Particularly sensitive to the University are the security needs of the plants as well as the pedestrian experience along the perimeter. The project can also be viewed from several vantage points above. It is considered integral to the campus fabric.
To resolve these issues, the architectural solution defines terraces that step down the hill. Brick “architectural wrappers” unite the terraces in a common language. These wrappers serve three functions: relate to the existing Manning infrastructure and the typical fabric of the UNC campus, form a street edge and backdrop to the natural wooded landscape to be re-established along the site perimeter, and allow the engineering equipment and bays within to be functionally arranged and expressed.
This project is currently on hold.