QIMR Berghofer is a world leading medical research centre focusing on cancer, infectious diseases, mental health and chronic disorders. Working with clinicians and other research institutes, their findings will help develop treatments that save people's lives.

The Opus team are helping QIMR continue their vital research by providing them with a world-class research centre in Brisbane, Australia. Our experts provided civil, structural and hydraulic engineering services for the design and construction of the 21,000m2, 15-storey building. Inside are five levels of office and administration, six levels of PC2 wet laboratory and two levels of PC3/QC3 quarantine insectary laboratories to enable state of the art research. Two levels of plant space occupy the roof and the Australian Biosecurity Response Facility occupies Level 14. We also designed a large open atrium using several hanging columns to suspend the edge of Levels 5 and 6 from the undersides of Levels 7 and 8. 

A central vision of the project was to link the new building with two existing QIMR buildings via a connecting bridge with a large open atrium at the base of the building. Structural complications with one of the older buildings, however, created significant challenges for our structural engineers who were required to maintain minimum disruption to the surrounding buildings and existing facilities.

Our careful planning meant disruption was kept to a minimum and where rock excavation was required, our team developed a bulk earthwork plan instead to reduce vibrations on the surrounding buildings.

Through careful planning and smart design, we made it possible for the connecting bridges to be constructed between the new and existing buildings, allowing the flow of staff and visitors between the three adjacent QIMR buildings. This creates a central point for the institute and the improved connectivity will encourage better communication and collaboration between researchers.