NZ MPI National Biocontainment Laboratory

NZ MPI National Biocontainment Laboratory

Project Overview

Sector: Government, Health & Research
Location: New Zealand – North Island
Year Completed: 2020

Project Features

  • 3,400 sqm laboratory space
  • Certified PC2 and enhanced PC3+ rated laboratories
  • Importance Level 4 (IL4) building standard to withstand a one in 2,500 year earthquake
  • Negative pressure and multiple stage, high efficiency air filtration systems
  • Decontamination facilities
  • Designed to support introduction of new technologies when available
  • Flexible design to support greater use of the building during biosecurity emergencies

Project Details

Benmax is pleased to have completed work on the National Biocontainment Laboratory in Wallaceville, Wellington. The highly technical and complex facility is a landmark project for New Zealand and houses the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Diseases. Construction of the world class facility required a specialist team involving international consultants and expert trades and Benmax was proud to be part of the hand selected team put together by Fletcher Construction for the project.

The 3,400 sqm space was five years in construction and meets Importance Level 4 (IL4) building standard with capacity to withstand a one in 2,500 year earthquake. It contains PC2 and enhanced PC3 rated laboratories, the highest approved containment level in New Zealand, and meets international best practice for handling pathogens. The facility utilises the most sophisticated containment systems and safety features available anywhere in the world and the flexible and adaptable design will also support new technologies to be introduced as they become available into the future.

The Benmax team were on site for much of the five year construction period completing the structural build and fit-out of essential plant and services. The team spent much of 2020 working in partnership with Biocontainment Laboratory staff to conduct the demanding testing processes required for the complex commissioning phase for the building. Commissioning was critical in ensuring the facility performed as it should and that all systems worked together effectively.  From operating under normal and expected conditions, to the performance of systems during simulated failures (for example, during a power failure), the Benmax team completed rigorous testing of all laboratory rooms to ensure it would achieve certification as an international standard high-containment facility. The hard work of the project team was rewarded in April 2021 with the facility receiving formal certification as a PC3 standard laboratory.

Since its completion, the milestone project has received praise and positive feedback from across government, primary industry sectors, the construction industry and broader public. The facility has received numerous honours including being named as a finalist in the Property Council of New Zealand Property Industry Awards for 2020 in the Health and Medical Category.

We congratulate all partners involved in the delivery of this project.

Find out how Benmax can help you.

Find out more