Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity completed

December 11, 2013

The highly technical construction of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity is now complete.

All photography by Glenn Hester

Brookfield Multiplex has completed the $210 million Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity on behalf of the University of Melbourne, which owns the building.

Located on the corner of Royal Parade and Grattan Street, Parkville, Melbourne the state-of- the-art bio-medical institute will accommodate around 700 expert scientists, researchers, clinicians, academics, staff and students.

Designed by architects Grimshaw in conjunction with Billard Leece Partnership, the Doherty spans 14 levels and provides 26,000 square metres of space including specialised laboratories, integrated teaching facilities, a 200 seat auditorium, office and support areas and a substantial bike storage area.

Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity_Grimshaw_Billard Leece Partnership_Brookfield Multiplex-01


Construction spanned two years and was highly technical in nature, with Brookfield Multiplex using several new and innovative techniques. One example is the Okalux glass facade that required 2400 square metres of glass with interstitial timber battens being used to dramatically improve the building’s energy performance. This is the first time this system has been used to this extent in Australia.

The Doherty was designed around its users with the upper-ground mezzanine level enabling passers-by to witness teaching and student laboratory work. Offices and meeting rooms are positioned around the edges of the building with laboratories and scientific equipment in the central zone of each floor. Extensive use of glass internal walls enables people who work closely together to more easily see one another and communicate and allows natural light to penetrate into the central areas of the building.

Laboratory finishes and fixtures in the Doherty are custom-designed, manufactured and installed to meet strict laboratory compliance codes. Laboratory equipment was purpose designed and manufactured and imported from six countries.

Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity_Grimshaw_Billard Leece Partnership_Brookfield Multiplex-02


An electron microscope room also required shielding and vibration isolation protection to ensure the microscope captures high-quality, clear images. Applying sustainability principles was an essential design requirement for the Doherty. It has achieved a five-star Green Star – Education Design v1 building rating for its facade, grey water recycling, a co-generation system and a dedicated on-site waste decontamination system.

A 55 square metre rooftop garden will recycle stormwater for use within toilets and will save 1.45 mega litres of water a year. The irrigation demand will be completely fulfilled by rainwater.

The Doherty’s co-generation system and highly-efficient thermal building envelope combined will achieve a 50.2 percent reduction in energy consumption when compared to standard industry practice.

Climate control is critical to the successful operation of the Doherty facilities with warm rooms, cool rooms and freezer rooms critical to medical research. HVAC systems ensure that the building’s temperature and humidity levels are closely managed.

Once operating, the Doherty will be managed as a partnership between the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health. It will be the region’s key asset in the fight against infectious diseases in Australia and South-East Asia.

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