spacer spacer

Carolina North

The Carolina North mapCarolina North will be a mixed-use research and academic campus located two miles north of downtown Chapel Hill. The campus will spur economic development locally and throughout the state, providing jobs for highly talented employees and in-town housing that is affordable for those working at the site. Hundreds of planning meetings with town and University leaders, and members of the town and campus community, resulted in a 20-year development agreement signed in June 2009.

Up to one-quarter of the 947-acre property will be developed over the next 50 years for academic, research, medical, and cultural functions with supporting housing, retail, office, recreation, and open space uses. The 228 previously disturbed acres in the southeast corner are currently used as an airport and runway and will be the first to be developed.

Initial development, involving the construction of up to 3 million square feet of building space, will occur on 133 acres over a 20-year period. The first building planned at Carolina North is an Innovation Center to incubate new businesses which will be constructed by a private developer. A new Law School building is the second anticipated structure. Throughout the various phases of development, compact housing, primarily for people affiliated with UNC, will comprise a minimum of 25 percent of the total floor space. It is estimated that approximately half of the first 800,000 square feet of buildings will be academic, one-quarter will be for private research and development, and one-quarter for multifamily housing.

space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space

Buildings and Grounds

All buildings constructed at Carolina North will be sited to maximize the renewable energy that can be collected and utilized by building-integrated energy systems and will be constructed so renewable energy systems can be added at a future date without major modifications to the building structure. Each building will be constructed and equipped to use at least 30 percent less energy than ASHRAE 90.1 2004, the standard currently specified in the N.C. Building Code. Energy performance models will be submitted to the town prior to construction and building commissioning reports will be submitted post-construction.

The campus will be served by an innovative nonpotable water system that uses harvested rainwater and stormwater, as well as reclaimed water from an on-site membrane bioreactor, to provide water for energy processes, toilet flushing, irrigation, and fire fighting. Total potable water savings are expected to exceed N.C. Building Code requirements by 55 percent. Stormwater management will be incorporated into the site, building, and landscape design. Stormwater runoff will not exceed pre-development, or existing, conditions. “Working landscapes” throughout the site will form an integrated stormwater management network that supplies the nonpotable water system.

The University will strive to maintain or increase the total amount of tree canopy coverage.  Trees identified for removal as part of a construction project are replaced inch-for-inch elsewhere on campus.  Since 2008, contributions to the historic tree replacement fund have totaled $250,000. The tree planting hierarchy includes young trees for working landscapes, mid-age trees for streetscapes, and mature trees for permanent landscapes. All landscapes will be planned with appropriate native and non-invasive species that support low maintenance, low water use, and low fertilizer use.

All non-healthcare buildings at Carolina North will be designed to meet or exceed the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (USGBC LEED) Silver criteria. All healthcare buildings will be designed to meet or exceed the minimum USGBC LEED for Healthcare Green Building criteria.

Design guidelines for Carolina North include the use of low stone walls and brick sidewalks in order to repeat the outdoor visual themes of the University’s central campus. The height of buildings adjacent to major roads will not exceed four to six stories on the perimeter of the property and eight stories on the interior of the property.

Resources:
Carolina North Design Guidelines
Video of the University's vision of what Carolina North will be in fifty years

Links:
Carolina North website - http://carolinanorth.unc.edu
N.C. Building Code - http://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/Engineering/BCC/engineering_bcc_home.asp
U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program - http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19

space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space

Transportation

Parking will be limited with aggressive use of transportation demand management strategies, such as local and regional public transit, bicycling, walking, and park-and-ride. A maximum of 1,525 parking spaces will be constructed to serve the first 800,000 square feet of buildings. The plan is one space per every four commuting students and per every two University and UNC Health Care employees. Private research and development facilities and health care patients and visitors will be allotted parking at the rate of 2.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of building. Civic and retail uses will provide 1.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet, housing 1.25 spaces, and University visitors 0.20 spaces. The intent is to reduce parking ratios over time as transit, pedestrian, and bicycle alternatives are enhanced.

The University will maintain public access to the extensive greenways, trails, and bicycle paths that meander through the Carolina North property. In order to expand the infrastructure for non-motorized transportation, the University and Town will examine the feasibility of a new partnership for planning and funding bicycle and pedestrian pathways similar to the partnership that has been established to address public transit. A greenway and bike path connection between Carolina North and the main campus that is not located within a major roadway is the first joint project that will be explored. Potential joint-use outdoor recreation areas, performance spaces, and community gardens will also be evaluated by the University and the town.

Resources:
Transportation Impact Analysis Executive Summary
Transportation Impact Analsyis for Carolina North

Links:
Carolina North website - http://carolinanorth.unc.edu/

space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space

Site Development

An Ecological Assessment Report, completed in 2007, incorporated a weighted analysis of multiple landscape ecology criteria. Wildlife corridors, tree cover and composition, soil type and slopes, and hydrology and stream buffers were among the features considered. Six of the most ecologically sensitive areas will be protected in perpetuity with 311 acres, 32 percent of the total property, put into conservation easements.

The University will review opportunities for restoration or enhancement of riparian buffers. Coordination will be sought between wildlife or natural corridors along streams and essential utility lines and greenways. Appropriate stream access and crossing points will be provided. Erosion and sedimentation control measures will be included in all land-disturbing projects. An erosion and sedimentation control plan will be developed for all projects larger than 20,000 square feet, a considerably tougher threshold than required by state and federal regulations. The University will develop a construction site inspection program and will provide site inspection checklists to the town’s stormwater staff upon request.

Resources:
Ecological Assessment Report for Carolina North
Carolina North Development Agreement

Links:
Carolina North website - http://carolinanorth.unc.edu

space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space

Carolina North Forest

A group walks through Carolina North ForestManagement of the forests and existing trails within Carolina North is the responsibility of the University’s Land Management and Trail Office established in 2007. This three-person forest management team focuses on the 700 acres of land that will remain undeveloped for at least the next 50 years. The team has surveyed the outer boundaries of the site, mapped service roads and trails, and removed insect-infested trees. Many of the existing trails were created haphazardly over the years and contribute to soil erosion and water pollution. In a working partnership with Triangle Off Road Cyclists, a GIS map of all these trails was recently superimposed over a contour map to help identify the most, and least, suitable trail locations. The most problematic trails will be rerouted or closed. All future trail work will adhere to the guidelines for sustainable single-track trails as set forth by the International Mountain Bike Association.

The foresters have also installed signage, information kiosks, and garbage and recycling bins. The office has sponsored many biking and running events and spearheaded various volunteer projects to improve trails and amenities. Additional activities include plant identification walks, the removal of exotic, invasive species, and the annual giveaway of firewood culled from University properties.

The Carolina North Forest has tremendous potential for research and environmental rehabilitation projects. As a learning laboratory for members of the University and broader community, a range of educational opportunities exist related to archaeology, biology, botany, environmental science, geography, and hydrology. Field work is readily available for students at the elementary, middle, and high schools adjacent to the property. Turtles, coyotes, snakes, and crayfish are among the residents of this in-town forest amid an ever-changing urban landscape.

Resources:
Carolina North Trail Maps

Links:
Carolina North Forest website - http://www.facilities.unc.edu/FacilitiesServicesHome/GroundsServices/CarolinaNorthForest.aspx

space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space space
spacer
Honey Honey  
Text:
Increase font size
Decrease font size