Case study
High containment laboratories design

Designing and delivering world-class high containment laboratories and infectious diseases units

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Project details
Project name:
High containment laboratories and infectious diseases units
Client name:
Various
Location:
Australia
Tom Bucci
Global Technical Leader for Buildings & Facilities
George Luckenbaugh
Principal Structural Engineer
Frederic Jeunet
Vice President Life Sciences Australia
Key facts
Experience:
Over a decade of creating pharmaceutical cleanroom facilities
Fast-tracked delivery:
Biosafety level (BSL) 3 – with isolator for BSL4
Pioneers:
At the forefront of the building, testing, qualification and ongoing certification of our clients’ facilities

With the world in the grip of a pandemic, research and healthcare organisations have the increased need for safe facilities to investigate and treat highly infectious diseases like Ebola, tuberculosis, MERS, SARS and now COVID-19.

In the fight against global viral outbreaks, Wood has led the charge in designing and delivering world-class high containment laboratories and infectious diseases units for various Australian State Government health departments, top tier Australian Universities and global Medical Research Institutes.

One of the key challenges these types of facilities face are the protection of both their operators and environments ensuring safe and reliable operations at all times. This includes various contingency features and procedures such as safe shutdowns in case of power loss or plant equipment malfunction.

With a strong history of creating pharmaceutical cleanroom facilities, over the last 10 years, we have charted new ground in high containment laboratories. While pharmaceutical cleanrooms are designed to protect the medicinal product from the environment and operators, high containment facilities are created to safeguard the environment and operators from pathogens.

These complex and critical assets enable our clients to combat contagious diseases, provide adequate patient care, protect public health, and strengthen biosecurity.

During the last Ebola outbreak, Wood spearheaded the design for the fast-tracked delivery of a state-of-the-art biosafety level (BSL) 3 – with isolator for BSL4 – day to day hospital in Australia that provides pathology testing of high-risk organisms. Currently, we are acting as the specialist technical advisor for a new infectious disease unit in Australia that is providing life-saving treatments for COVID-19 patients.

Our team of pioneers are also at the forefront of the building, testing, qualification and ongoing certification of our clients’ facilities. Recently, we have been delivering these specialised solutions for a world-class public health reference laboratory (BSL3 to BSL4) which provides outbreak investigations, reference testing, as well as research and diagnostic testing in Australia. These facilities make it possible for frontline workers to safely provide patient treatment, develop testing, and potentially vaccines for highly infectious pathogens.