A green roof is among the environmentally friendly features of the new building.

UofL President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz and others are becoming adept at wielding a shovel, but this time, the occasion was not a groundbreaking, but a topping-off ceremony at the downtown Louisville construction site.

“Growing economic development through research and sustaining the environment can complement each other, and we’re proving it with this building,” Ramsey said.

Bernheim Forest nursery specialists are advising building contractors how to design and maintain the roof, which will feature Kentucky native plants. The building will be up for certification through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a national rating system for green buildings.

The project also is meeting its hiring goals for minority and female-owned companies, said Nucleus Chief Executive Officer Vickie Yates Brown.

“This world-class building and Nucleus Innovation Park-Market Street will be a magnet for more jobs, research and innovation and solidify Louisville as a global leader in lifelong wellness and aging-care services,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Nucleus is a subsidiary of the University of Louisville Foundation. The eight-story, 200,000-square-foot building is expected to open in May.