University of Otago

Completion Date

March 2021


Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards 2021 – Merit, Greenstone Group Education Property Award

The build team bought fully into the need for the building, our vision for a world-class facility, and the need to get it right, and on occasion did extra works on their own volition to ensure that the building met or exceeded the exceptionally high standards required.

Scott Rhodes

Operations and Facilities Manager, University of Otago

A state of the art biomedical research and containment facility.

The Eccles Building is a state of the art biomedical research and containment facility at the University of Otago.

The five storeys each have around 800 square metres of floor space. The ground floor has a secure reception, offices and meeting rooms. Levels 1, 2 and 3 have between 30 and 40 research rooms on each floor. The research rooms are compliant with Physical Containment level 2 (PC2) standards, with some parts of the facility certified to even more stringent PC3 standards.

The top floor houses the main plant room, which has the majority of the mechanical, steam and hydraulic equipment that run the building services.

Services lie at the heart of this project, with the facility highly dependent on the building services to provide a comfortable, controlled and contained environment. A third of the project cost was dedicated to the mechanical equipment and services alone.

The building’s environment is closely monitored, ensuring that the temperature, differential pressure and humidity of the rooms are constant. Two plant rooms house 27 air handling units (AHUs) and extract fans, connected with 3.5 kilometres of ducting. All the services were fully coordinated using a developed 3D BIM model.

The Importance Level 3 (IL3) building has been designed for resilience and can be self-sufficient for up to seven days, with a back-up generator, steam and water supplies. There is a complex fire matrix with 10 separate zones for mechanical shutdown.

Our team pulled out all the stops to deliver every element of the build to the high standards dictated by regulatory requirements, ensuring that the university has a world-class facility that it can be very proud of.


Categories: Dunedin, Education, Health