Green Square Complex


The Green Square Complex includes office space for the DEQ Central Offices, the Nature Research Center (NRC) which includes a restaurant/retail area, a connecting bridge to the existing museum from the NRC, a connecting bridge from the NRC to the DEQ Office Building, and 426 parking spaces for an underground parking deck. The site design emphasized the conservation and protection of resources and the natural environment and the complex was awarded LEED™ Gold certification.  

  • Bridges
  • Conservation
  • Water Usage
  • Exteriors
  • Transportation Alternatives


The DEQ Office Building, NRC and Museum of Natural Sciences are connected via a bridge. This will allow an unbroken linkage of structures dedicated to North Carolina's environmental and cultural resources beginning at the intersection of Jones and Dawson streets through the intersection of the Jones and Wilmington streets. DENR offices and the NRC are tied to a 900-car parking deck behind the NRC along McDowell Street.

Water Usage

Where feasible, the building roofs were constructed as a "green roof" to reduce stormwater runoff, reuse stormwater and reduce the heat island effect. Rainwater is collected in cisterns. The landscaping was designed with the use of native plants and/or adaptive regional plants that both require minimal irrigation and attract wildlife. Environmentally conscious landscaping reduces stormwater runoff.

Condensate from air handlers is routed to the landscaping or cisterns where possible. 


Outside walkways utilize recycled materials constructed of permeable materials with an underlayment that will allow stormwater infiltration into the soils below. Highly reflective paving for parking and hardscape areas was used to reduce the impact on urban heat island effect. Pervious pavement design promotes infiltration of stormwater. 

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The main components of the Green Square Complex (GSC) are:

ENR Building

149,350 square feet, located at the Old YWCA Site between Dawson and McDowell streets, this building houses the DEQ Central Offices.  Since the Department was previously known as the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources

(DENR), the building is referred to as the ENR building.

floorplan diagram of ENR building

Nature Research Center

Including additional DENR offices, 101,040 square feet, located at the Old Elks and Thompson Buildings site, and hereby referred to as the NRC Site.

floorplan diagram of NRC building

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Time-lapse Video of DENR Building construction


  • 09/2009 - DENR Building Design Approved
  • 12/2009 - NRC Building Design Approved


  • 11/2009 - DENR Building Construction Mobilization
  • 02/2010 - NRC Foundation Complete
  • 02/2010 - NRC Building Construction Mobilization


  • Fall 2011 - Project Completion DENR Building
  • Spring 2012 - Project Completion NRC Building

Move In:

  • DENR Building - October, 2011
  • NRC Building - March, 2012
  1. *all dates italicized are projected; the schedule will be updated as dates are confirmed