Builders’ best

 In 2015-11

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2015 Building North Carolina Awards

From the world’s fastest giga coaster to Winston-Salem’s first downtown high-rise in a decade, commercial construction is back. The second annual Building North Carolina awards, selected from projects completed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, showcase the most compelling structures based on their design, innovation and community impact.

MetLife Inc. Global Technology Campus, Cary
General contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie LLC, Birmingham, Ala.
Architect: Rule Joy Trammell & Rubio LLC, Atlanta
Cost: $110 million  Size: 450,000 square feet

The insurance giant made good on a 2013 promise to move about 2,600 jobs from four Northeast states and California to North Carolina when its Global Technology Campus opened this summer in Cary. The Wake County site has more than 1,000 workers in twin seven-story buildings, following MetLife’s expansion in south Charlotte, where 1,500 are employed. The New York-based company, which is in line to receive as much as $89.2 million in state incentives over the next decade, focuses on software development in Cary and marketing and customer service in Charlotte. Amenities at the Cary campus include a fitness center and outdoor basketball court, coffee bars and rooms where employees can work at treadmill desks, play Xbox and scribble ideas on the walls. Images of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, who have promoted MetLife since 1985, dot the buildings and grounds, which include an outdoor amphitheater. Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties Inc. developed the 26.5-acre campus with the possibility of adding a third office building.

Johnston Health Clayton, Clayton
General contractor: T.A. Loving Co., Goldsboro
Architect: Johnson Johnson Crabtree Architects PC, Nashville
Cost: $50 million  Size: 102,352-square-foot addition and 22,200-square-foot renovation

Clayton residents won’t have to venture as far to receive medical care that previously required a trip to Raleigh or Smithfield. A new 50-bed inpatient tower includes a women’s center with labor and delivery rooms, a pharmacy and an intensive-care unit. The large atrium and courtyard, cafeteria, chapel and children’s area were designed to feel less like an institution and more like a luxury hotel. Last year, Chapel Hill-based UNC Health Care paid $57.6 million for partial ownership in the county health system, with most of the proceeds paying for the expansion. And it will likely not be the last. The hospital is equipped to handle 100 more beds. Since it opened five years ago, a nursing home, assisted living center and doctor’s office have moved nearby along N.C. 42. The growth reflects a 131% population increase over the last decade in Clayton, which is 17 miles southeast of Raleigh and home to about 16,000 residents.


Talley Student Union, N.C. State University, Raleigh
General contractors: Rodgers Builders Inc., Charlotte and H.J. Russell & Company, Atlanta in a joint venture with DayeCo Construction LLC, Durham
Architect: Duda/Paine Architects LLP, Durham
Cost: $120 million  Size: 149,000-square-foot addition and 150,000-square-foot renovation.

A howling wolf three stories high is just one sign that student unions are back in a big way. That’s the $120 million bet N.C. State placed when it decided to reinvigorate the building that’s been a hub for student life since 1972. Leaders also hope it’s a place for the public to visit, inviting the community to buy a scoop of ice cream made on campus from the university’s dairy herd or book a wedding in the 1,200-seat ballroom. A 150-foot-tall steel “Technology Tower” is the building’s focal point on the outside, but the school mascot designed into a wooden trellis is the signature feature inside, where there are offices, two theaters, a bookstore, full-size Apple store and food choices ranging from pizza to tapas.

Charter Square, Raleigh
General contractor: Choate Construction Co., Atlanta
Architect: JDavis Architects PLLC, Raleigh  Cost: $63 million
Size: 242,969 square feet

The new high-rise office tower in downtown Raleigh is only half of the story: As the 11-story Charter Square opened in June, Raleigh-based Dominion Realty Partners LLC unveiled plans for a sister tower, twice its size, on the same site. Law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP is the tower’s anchor tenant, while street-level space will include a Yadkin Bank branch and b.good, a fast-casual restaurant. Eschelon Experiences, which owns six restaurants in the Triangle, says it is planning a “concept” for  Charter Square. Charter Square is expected to be the first privately owned building in downtown Raleigh to achieve the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification for energy efficiency. To the north, the second, 22-story tower will have office space and about 200 apartments.

Fury 325
, Carowinds expansion, Charlotte
Designer: Bolliger & Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland
Contractor: Southside Constructors Inc., Charlotte
Cost: $30 million  Size: 325 feet tall, 8.4 acres
The world’s tallest giga coaster opened this summer at Carowinds, the amusement park straddling the North Carolina-South Carolina line at Interstate 77 and owned by Sandusky, Ohio-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. Fury 325 is the dramatic backdrop to the first phase of a $50 million, multiyear park revitalization that includes a redesigned entrance, 900 new parking spaces and more than 40 additional food offerings. As Carowinds introduced the new, it was out with the old: The 1976 wooden roller coaster Thunder Road, a sentimental favorite, was torn down in August. Fury 325 is a steel giga roller coaster. What’s a giga coaster? The rides are between 300 and 400 feet high and have a first drop of more than 295 feet. Fury 325 delivered more than 1.5 million rides this summer, with many more ahead when the park reopens next year with an expanded waterpark.

Herbalife Innovation & Manufacturing Facility, Winston-Salem
General contractor and architect: CRB, Cary
Cost: $130 million  Size: 800,000 square feet
When computer maker Dell Inc. closed its North Carolina assembly plant in 2010, 900 people lost their jobs and a 792,000-square-foot building sat empty.  Now, the Winston-Salem plant has new life as the largest manufacturing facility for California-based nutritional-products maker Herbalife. The inside perimeter wall measures 1.2 miles, large enough to hold 16 football fields. The plant is capable of creating 16,000 of its signature Formula 1 nutritional shakes a day for a total of 150 million units each year. About 400 workers make and package supplement powders, liquids and herbal teas, with plans announced in July to double the number of employees by 2018.


751 West Fourth, Winston-Salem
General contractor: Frank L. Blum Construction Co., Winston-Salem
Architect: archSTUDIO7 PLLC, Winston-Salem
Cost: $11 million     Size: 51,800 square feet
The first new office building in downtown Winston-Salem since 2002, the five-story tower with a distinctive rooftop conference center is home base for the Winston-Salem Foundation.

Cambro Manufacturing Co., Mebane
General contractor: Samet Corp., Greensboro
Architect: Triad Design Group PC, Greensboro
Cost: $30 million     Size: 220,000 square feet
The California-based supplier of food service equipment plans to hire 100 people by 2017 at its new manufacturing and distribution plant in Alamance County.

Center for Design Innovation, Winston-Salem
General contractor: Samet Corp., Greensboro, and SRS Inc., Greensboro
Architect: CJMW Architecture PA, Winston-Salem
Cost: $13.7 million     Size: 24,000 square feet
Students from three schools — Winston-Salem State University, UNC School of the Arts and Forsyth Technical Community College — work together in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

Dining hall, Moran Commons, UNC Greensboro
General contractor: Rodgers Builders Inc., Charlotte, and DPR Construction Inc., Redwood City, Calif., in joint venture as Rodgers DPR with Walter B. Davis Co., Charlotte
Architect: Gantt Huberman Architects PLLC, Charlotte, a division of Bergmann Associates, Rochester, N.Y.
Cost: $30 million      Size: 119,000 square feet
The renovation, completed while still feeding hungry college students, unifies the university’s original five dining halls.

The Durham Hotel, Durham
General contractor: WeaverCooke Construction LLC, Greensboro
Architect: Commune Design, Los Angeles
Cost: $16.5 million     Size: 42,000 square feet
The boutique hotel in the former Home Savings Bank and Mutual Community Savings Bank building is part of downtown Durham’s resurgence.

Farmhouse, Wendell Falls, Wendell
General contractor: Monteith Construction Corp., Wilmington
Architect: LS3P, Charleston, S.C.
Cost: Not available      Size: 8,300 square feet
This isn’t your typical neighborhood clubhouse. Called the Farmhouse, it’s meant to evoke the feeling of North Carolina’s tobacco fields, but with modern amenities.

Holshouser Hall, UNC Charlotte
General contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction LLC, Dallas
Architect: Clark Nexsen Inc., Virginia Beach, Va.
Cost: $17.5 million      Size: 100,135 square feet
Rather than demolish the 11-story dormitory named for former Gov. James Holshouser, the university landmark built in 1973 was gutted and renovated to include new single and double rooms, lounges and resident advisor apartments, plus a new brick exterior facade.

Power House, Duke University TIP, Durham
General contractor: Gilbane Building Co., Providence, R.I.
Architect: Lambert Architecture + Interiors PA, Winston-Salem
Cost: $4.32 million     Size: 30,760 square feet
The 1926 power plant for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co. houses staff who facilitate programs for gifted and talented youth.

Q Building, SAS Institute, Cary
General contractor: Shelco Inc., Charlotte
Architect: LS3P, Charleston, S.C.
Cost: Not available     Size: 220,000 square feet
The world’s largest privately owned software company opened its 23rd building in Cary with plans to open yet another, the nine-story Building A. Building Q houses  SAS Solutions on Demand and SAS Analytics Lab for state and local government.

WakeMed North Family Health & Women’s Hospital, Raleigh
General contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie LLC, Birmingham, Ala.
Architect: BBH Design, Raleigh
Cost: $85 million       Size: 131,000-square-foot addition and 43,000-square-foot renovation
A women’s hospital is the newest addition to the WakeMed North healthplex started in 2000. WakeMed has approval for a future 14-bed expansion.

Photos provided by companies.

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