Press release

Wood appointed as laboratory engineers to deliver Australian Institute for Infectious Diseases

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Wood has been appointed as laboratory engineers for the visionary Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID).

The Australian Institute for Infectious Disease is a collaborative project to bring the nation’s greatest scientific and medical research minds together to provide a rapid, coordinated response to current and future pandemics.

The AUD 650 million investment is a visionary initiative of the AIID Foundation Partners: the University of Melbourne, the Doherty Institute and Burnet Institute, with the Victorian State Government as Major Supporting Partner.

Wood is working in partnership with Aurecon (Lead Engineers) and alongside Principal Consultant and architect Wardle, who are leading the collaboration with Wilson Architects, international workplace specialist Studio O+A and laboratory specialist Perkins and Will, to design the building.

The AIID will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility in Melbourne’s world-leading Biomedical Precinct accommodating up to 1,000 scientists, researchers, multi-disciplinary experts and staff members. The AIID will focus on genomics, diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccine research, clinical trials and data and public health research. The high-tech building will include features such as:

  • One of the largest high-containment PC3 (Physical Containment level 3) facilities in the Southern Hemisphere, enabling identification, isolation and characterisation of new viruses and other infectious diseases
  • A combination of specialist and flexible PC2 (Physical Containment level 2) laboratories, allowing the development of new vaccine technologies such as mRNA
  • Human infection challenge unit, designed to accelerate the development of new medicines and vaccines
  • Drug screening, imaging and testing needed for early-stage human drug and vaccine research
  • Robotic biobanking to efficiently and safely store biomedical samples from large clinical trials
  • Industry engagement spaces to create an innovation-focused entrepreneurial environment that supports the translation of promising discoveries into the successful commercialisation of medical products and services to deliver patient benefit
  • Purpose designed spaces to support public health research including dry laboratories, interview rooms and spaces for community engagement and co-design work.

Frederic Jeunet, Vice President Life Sciences, Australia said, “Wood has previously assisted the University of Melbourne in delivering several complex laboratory projects and high containment facilities in its research precinct, including the Doherty Institute and the Bio21 stage 2B facility and are excited to be working on this world-class facility project”.

Design Guidelines for the AIID have been developed with key emphases on reflecting a shared purpose and identity between Foundation Partners, fostering collaboration, inviting curiosity and discovery, sustainability, flexibility and efficiency, inclusivity, engagement with the precinct and providing a safe and secure facility.

Demolition of the existing buildings on the site will be undertaken in 2024, with construction to commence in 2025.

Wood has a track record of designing and delivering complex medical research and laboratory projects across Australia, including CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, CSL Headquarters and R&D Laboratories (Project Hawara) and Monash University Medicine Manufacturing Innovation Centre.