In 1989, Congress appropriated approximately $3 million for the construction of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s new Center for Research on Human Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention. When the federal government later reduced the funding to $1.8 million, Blum Construction and Wake Forest partnered to build the Nutrition Center, floor by floor, as funds became available.
Ground was broken in 1992, and the 14-story outside shell was completed in 1996, leaving the interior vacant. As work on the interior began, materials were moved into the building by elevator and crane. Clean rooms and a laboratory were constructed for Dr. Anthony Atala and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), the first team in the world to engineer laboratory-grown organs that were successfully implanted into humans.
As construction continued, intense coordination was required to minimize noise and vibration for scientists already working in the finished labs. The 3.2 million-square-foot building was completed in 2005.