North Carolina State University

James B. Hunt Jr. Library

The engineering behind the icon.

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library is the figurative and functional heart of North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus, a 1300-acre, sustainability-focused community advancing innovative collaboration between business, research, and education. Transforming the higher education library paradigm, the Hunt Library maximizes flexible learning and collaboration spaces. AEI’s design efficiently supports comfortable environments for the 3,500 daily users of the 24-hour facility. The work of AEI’s Pivotal Lighting Design Group articulates the architectural composition and accentuates distinctive design elements, by day and by night.

AEI provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection design services, as well as daylighting analysis, sustainable design and modeling and LEED® documentation for the facility. As part of the energy-efficient systems and strategies for the library, AEI integrated active chilled beams, radiant cooling and heating, solar domestic hot water, dedicated outside air units, elaborate auto lighting controls, high efficiency transformers, and vertical exterior fins.


Raleigh, NC


  • Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee - Architect of Record
  • Snøhetta AS - Design Architect

LEED Status

LEED Silver

Building Size

253,028 sq. ft.


  • IESNA Illumination Award of Merit for Interior Lighting Design
  • IESNA Illumination Award of Merit for Exterior Lighting Design
  • Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance
  • 2014 Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries (SPIRL)
  • 2013 Southeast's Best Projects - Higher Education Category
  • 2013 AIA / ALA Library Building Award
  • 2013 Economic Development Award
  • 2013 Environmental Award - Non-Residential Green Design
  • 2013 Schools $50 Million + Award
  • 2012 Exellence in Construction - Merit Award

The library’s design eliminates an estimated 200,000 SF of conventional shelf space, concentrating its two million volumes in a three-story, high-density, robotically-accessed bookBot system, maintained within precise curatorial climate conditions.

hours of daily operation

Sophisticated daylighting techniques and light harvesting technologies are elements of the architectural lighting strategy designed and implemented by AEI's Pivotal Lighting Design group. The library contains flexible meeting area spaces shared among the variety of library occupants and users, including the Institute for Emerging Issues and other university centers and institutes. Common spaces include the building lobby, auditorium, lecture/event space and outdoor lounge.

The library includes 88,000 square feet of library function space, 24,000 square feet for IEI functions, 7,000 square feet of Chancellor’s spaces and 8,000 square feet of shared support space.

estimated energy savings

Project Leaders