IRL GLYCOL SYNTHESIS FACILITY

PROJECT TYPE: COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

USE: RESEARCH FACILITY

LOCATION: GRACEFIELD, LOWER HUTT

CLIENT: INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH LIMITED

ARCHITECTS: PYNENBURG AND COLLINS

PROJECT TIMEFRAME: 1999

The $7 million Glycol Synthesis Facility is not only the the largest capital project undertaken by Industrial Research Limited, it's also one of the most interesting projects that LT McGuinness has worked on.

IRL is a science institute with a strong focus on bio-pharmaceutical research and development. The new facility enables it to work with biotechnology clients around the globe.

Integrating design and technology was a major challenge. A two-and-a-half storey process hall had to be sterile and flameproof to meet the strictest hygiene and safety standards, as well as look smart for a worldwide corporate audience in pharmaceutical research.

The hall contained isolation cells linked to a control room, plant rooms, offices and changing rooms, with aluminium panels, stainless steel, glass and epoxy resins used extensively to minimise the risk of cross-contamination. The hall sat on a huge concrete floor slab that had to be poured with no cracks or construction joints then covered with a glass-like epoxy coating. A number of techniques were used to get the slab exactly right.