UNC Pembroke Health Sciences Building

UNC Pembroke Health Sciences Building

When it comes to teaching tomorrow’s nurses, most universities offer students the instruction they need for their future careers. With the opportunity to design a new Health Sciences Building for the nursing program at UNC Pembroke, Walter Robbs considered the idea that the environment could be as much a part of promoting health and wellness as the education received within it.

With this holistic approach, we set about reimagining the ways in which a building could promote health and wellness to those in and around it. We created a dynamic, light-filled facility that accommodates classrooms, simulation labs, study spaces, a large atrium and a dining hall while reinforcing to students the importance of light, space, nature, balance, circulation, movement and well-being. Additionally, the building is impressively “healthy” by architectural standards. The LEED Silver® building has many sustainable features—including extensive green roofs, and exterior glazing and shading to mitigate heat gain in the coastal plain climate.

After one year of operations the facility demonstrated a 34% energy reduction, compared to baseline; earning special recognition from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. The project was one of a handful of facilities selected as a case study in the North Carolina High Performance Building program (HiPerB). The program was created to showcase energy performance of commercial buildings in the state.

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Project Information

Pembroke, North Carolina

University of North Carolina - Pembroke

87,000 square feet


  • 2013 Honor Award - Sustainability, Winston-Salem Chapter, North Carolina AIA
  • North Carolina High Performance Building

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