We provided the civil engineering, hydraulic and fire protection services for the new Translational Research Institute, located on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus in Brisbane. The TRI is a major new research centre, providing facilities for processing translational (bench to bed) research and is a joint venture between the Mater Medical Research Institute, the Queensland government, QUT and UQ. The TRI’s physical containment areas are certified to PC2 by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR). 

The development had to occur with minimal disruption to hospital operations. The hydraulic services had to comply with the necessary OGTR requirements to achieve PC2 certification. The Opus civil team assessed the loading bay facilities needed and worked with the architect and the client to resolve potential clashes. The project included significant entry forecourt and landscape areas which are the public face of the project.

The laboratories were designed in accordance with AS2982 – Laboratory Design and Construction, AS2243 Parts 1-3, and OGTR Guidelines for Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) Facilities. Opus selected optimum site access points and staged construction in phases to reduce construction traffic around the main traffic areas. The civil team incorporated geofabric in the solution to overcome the high subgrade moisture content of the site.

Opus added value to the design through features such as placement of roofwater collection tanks below the atrium area landscaping, customising the solar panel brackets to maximise solar radiation collection, a gravity fed hot water distribution system (with pump backup) to minimise power consumption and combining the fire sprinkler and fire hydrant systems to reduce costs and enhance aesthetics.