Wood triples headcount in Colombia, strengthening global engineering centre
Wood has been appointed by Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, to design new laboratory spaces as part of the refurbishment of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP).
Located in Geelong, Victoria, the ACDP is a high-containment PC4 (BSL-4) facility built to allow scientific research into highly infectious agents. The project aims to future-proof ACDP’s extensive high-containment laboratories and ensure the continuation of CSIRO’s capability to prevent and respond to exotic and emerging animal and zoonotic diseases in Australia.
Key projects in Australia’s fight against COVID-19 have been conducted at ACDP, including preclinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in 2020, in addition to ongoing research on diseases threatening Australia’s animal industries, such as African Swine Fever and Avian Influenza.
As part of the BioDesign Collaborative (BDC), Wood will work with Aurecon and HDR, to deliver the ambitious project. The BDC will lead the design for an extensive refurbishment of the existing facility, including a new laboratory wing to replace existing laboratory space. With a direct link between the new wing and the existing facility, it will combine the existing robust, layered containment labs with contemporary lab design.
Azad Hessamodini, President of Growth & Development at Wood, said: “The current pandemic has highlighted the criticality and sheer importance of advanced and safe laboratory facilities for testing, diagnostics, research, development, and production to prevent and eradicate infectious diseases and Wood is committed to supporting its life sciences clients globally in the fight against infectious diseases.
“In Australia, Wood has demonstrated this commitment through our long-standing working relationship with several universities, research institutes and government health departments. Now, we are equally eager and committed to support this unique opportunity for the refurbishment of CSIRO’s ACDP.
“We are proud of Wood’s technical know-how in the specialised area of high containment laboratories, a key component of the planned project. Together with our partners , we will work closely with CSIRO to create smart and compliant solutions for a world-class facility that will enable CSIRO’s researchers and scientists to fulfil its vital mission for Australia.”
Bringing people-centred design to the forefront, the facility will provide labs with access to natural light to support the wellness of staff and attract talent and collaborators. Spaces will match future research demands and technology, while maintaining the facility’s multiple levels of security and biocontainment. Built in 1985, ACDP’s PC4 laboratories are part of a network of high-biocontainment facilities worldwide. The refurbishment is expected to be operational by 2027.