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Living laboratory in the works

Workers have been busy putting up the south-facing Crowder Green Wall of the new Rogers Science and Health Building at Queens.

In a nod to the science of molecular biology, the wall represents the pattern of a double helix. Seven different species of Carolina flora make up the design, none of which is known to be invasive and will change colors and textures during each of North Carolina's four seasons as plants flower and go dormant at different times.

The wall will also help keep the building cool by absorbing the solar energy hitting the south face. Instead of that energy heating the building (thus requiring electricity to cool it), the energy will be used by the plants for photosynthesis.

"The green wall will not only be a graphic reminder of the importance of scientific study, but part of the living laboratory of campus," said environmental science professor Dr. Reed Perkins. "For example, we'll be able to track the impact of local climate change by studying when the plants flower and senesce.  We are incredibly excited about this part of the Rogers Building."

The Rogers Building is scheduled to open for classes in January 2013. View a time-lapse camera of construction

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