The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is constructing a new National Biocontainment Laboratory at the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease in Wallaceville, Wellington. The $87 million project will replace the existing high-containment lab that is out dated and cannot accommodate some modern laboratory testing methods.

Benmax has secured the mechanical services contract for the project that will see the team on site until 2018.

The new facility will meet international best practice for handling pathogens and will utilise the most sophisticated systems and safety features in the world. The flexible and adaptable design will allow for new technologies to be introduced as they become available.

Interesting facts:

  • New laboratory will have a floor area of more than 3,400 square metres
  • Over 440 tonnes of structural steel and 680 cubic metres of concrete will be used in construction
  • 83 kilometres of electrical and data cabling will fit out the building
  • The air handling system uses 4,347m of ducting with 3,485 bends
  • The lowest air pressure room is held at -225Pa below atmospheric pressure

project overview

Project type: Research / Laboratory

Client: Fletcher Constructions

To be completed: 2018

project features

  • PC2 and PC3+ rated laboratories
  • Negative pressure and multiple stage, high efficiency air filtration systems
  • Decontamination of liquid waste and other materials leaving the lab
  • Exit showers for people leaving the containment zone
  • Increased security
  • Flexible design to support greater use of the building during biosecurity emergencies
  • Earthquake protection capable of withstanding a 'one in 2,500 year' earthquake