As the heart of a new
medical precinct on Adelaide’s North
Terrace, the South Australian Health and Medical Research
Institute (SAHMRI) is a beacon of innovation and collaboration.
The purpose-built facility is home to more than 600 scientists
who conduct research in the areas of: cancer; heart health;
infections and immunity; mind and brain; nutrition
and metabolism as well as aboriginal health and healthy
mothers, babies and children. Together they work to translate
medical research from the laboratories into better treatments
and cures for the wider community.
Teamwork is one of five core values of the institute,
and a key driver for the design brief was that the building
foster collaboration between researchers and enable
interactive community engagement and education programs.
Furthermore, SAHMRI’s vision was to provide a fully
integrated solution across all building services, facilities
and functional areas.
The Federal Government contributed $200 million towards
building a medical research institute in South Australia.
Architect Woods Bagot utilised their global team, working
around the clock to develop the design. The Adelaide studio
led the project with input from designers in Woods Bagot’s
New York and Melbourne studios. Construction started in
Watson Fitzgerald & Associates was the successful
mechanical services contractor. Peter Spencer one of the
company directors, confirmed their involvement in the
project well before the construction phase on site.
“Revit BIM software was used throughout the project
to ensure the design met the client’s brief, and piping
and equipment clashes on site were avoided,” he said.
“Fantech’s drawings were available through the
Fans by Fantech Selection Program, and could be exported
directly to the software program saving us time and effort.
“Another main focus was scheduling of equipment to meet the construction milestone dates. Fantech supplied a variety
of fans, including Axial Flows for car park; Smoke Spill
and general exhaust systems; centrifugal fans for built up air
handling units; and high pressure blowers for the cyclotron
(a type of particle accelerator). These were delivered on time
helping us to stay on track with project milestones,” he said.
The building has a total floor
area of 30,000 square metres,
over nine stories. The iconic
designed and orientated
for optimum thermal and light efficiency. Two internal atria
with an interconnecting spiral staircase on the eastern atrium
allow a visual connection between floors. The floor space
and research modules are flexible and there are: a Molecular
Imaging Therapy and Research Unit accommodating
a cyclotron; Physical Containment (PC2) and Quarantine
Containment Level 2 (QC2) laboratories; a Bio resources
laboratory; public spaces; and areas designated for interaction
between researchers, public, education and IT.
Peter said the building control systems had been integrated
to provide real time measurement of energy and water
consumption of the building. Monitoring this data will allow
the institute to ensure it operates at optimal efficiency
and would have contributed to the Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating. The USA
certification program promotes design and construction
practices that reduce the environmental impact
and improve occupant health and well-being.
SAHMRI was officially opened on 29 November 2013.