Welcome Home: NC State Plant Sciences Building


For more than a decade, experts have been sounding the alarms on an impending food crisis that is slowly but surely playing out. By 2050, the world will need to feed an additional 1.9 billion people on this Earth with roughly 250 million fewer acres of arable farmland lost through development—and do it sustainably with the headwinds of climate and water shifts, emerging crop pests and other challenges along the way.

NC State is taking on these and other grand challenges for agriculture and society through the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI): a massive research effort that puts experts from across our university’s disciplines—like engineering, bioinformatics and the plant sciences—together in a team-based environment. Growers are closely consulted along the way as we deliver innovations they request and need to improve their business and lives. 

But fuel is only part of the equation. An engine housing the latest equipment and resources is needed to help N.C. PSI researchers develop the never-before-seen technologies, crop varieties, management practices and other innovations meant to supercharge the world’s agricultural productivity – and our state’s economy in the process.

This engine and new headquarters for the N.C. PSI is the NC State University Plant Sciences Building, designed by Flad Architects and built by DPR Construction. Much more than brick, steel and concrete, this building houses some of the most advanced research equipment ever produced; a high-speed data network capable of collecting and managing massive amounts of research data from fields across the state; and fully flexible spaces that can adapt to research trends decades into the future. 

Together, the Plant Sciences Building, its equipment, and especially its people are already making North Carolina one of the world’s premier hubs for research and innovation in agriculture.

“The N.C. PSI is a nexus for unbridled innovations in plant sciences,” said Adrian Percy, executive director of N.C. PSI. “By fostering connections with people across disciplines, across colleges and throughout the agriculture community, PSI will deliver extensive impacts to our stakeholders.” 

This fully fueled engine is heating up, so let’s boldly go through some of the building’s more extraordinary spaces to show how N.C. PSI is rocketing the agricultural sciences to a higher orbit of science and innovation – while also paying dividends for our state’s growers, our state’s $90-plus billion agriculture economy, and a range of stakeholders across our state, nation and world.