Plant Research 1 Building (PR1) at UC Riverside

Plant Research 1 (PR1)


Welcome to the Plant Research 1 (PR1) facility at UC Riverside. This high-tech plant research space is a 30,000-square-foot, two-story building constructed of concrete, steel, and glass.

“The building is the first new plant research facility built on campus in close to 40 years and is considered instrumental in maintaining UCR’s continued leadership in agricultural research for the coming decades," said CNAS Dean Kathryn Uhrich.

The top floor includes 16 greenhouse modules that allow for different climate zone ranges. Each module is programmed to control humidity, temperature, lighting, and other conditions. The settings can be controlled and monitored via wireless technology.

Peggy Mauk, director of agricultural operations and a professor of extension -subtropical horticulture with CNAS, said the level of control is ideal for entomology research involving insects that need cold temperatures, plants that can only grow at high altitudes, or pathogens needing specialized environments. The facility has a limited number of air-conditioned modules for such specialized environments but an evaporative cooling system for the whole building enables it to consistently deliver temperatures lower than other campus plant research greenhouses, she said.

“We are anticipating placing priority on projects that need more specialized environment, things that need humidity and more accurate temperature control for instance,” she said.

The modules are made of high-tech double-layered polarized clear glass panes with automated shade cloth that increase the efficiency of cooling and heating. Each module has vents that can be opened and closed and are screened to maintain a clean environment.

The second floor also includes work and clean lab space, allowing researchers to move easily from the modules to the lab when needed. Other features include an autoclave sterilizer for equipment, a cold storage room, and outdoor patios in the front and back of the building.

The first floor includes a large workroom for potting plants and wash basins for cleaning. A separate large room will be used to store growth chambers, which allows for growing plants in a small, precisely controlled environment. Other amenities on the first floor include a lobby, breakroom, and restrooms.

One area will remain as shell space that will be built out later when its use has been determined and funding is available.

The outside area has a desert landscape look with cacti, rocks, and daisies. Plans are also in the works for a trail to be completed to the UCR Botanic Gardens, which is down the slope from back of the new building.

Mauk said, “It’s one of a kind.”

Fact & Figures

  • Two-stories
  • 30,000 square feet
  • 16 greenhouse modules
  • Work and clean lab spaces
  • Autoclave sterilizer for equipment
  • Cold storage room


Plant Research 1 Building (PR1) at UC Riverside at dusk


Plant Research 1 Building (PR1) at UC Riverside inside greenhouses

Plant Research 1 (PR1) Ribbon Cutting | May 5, 2023

Plant Research 1 (PR1) Ribbon Cutting | May 5, 2023

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