La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS)Melbourne, Australia
The La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) project delivered a state-of-the-art scientific teaching and research building facility for La Trobe University, Bundoora.
LIMS has been designed with clearly visible and striking features but it is the many concealed and hidden services which deliver the greatest benefits to building occupants and users.
The brief was to create a building that is both functional and symbolic of the future rather than reflective of the past. Therefore, functional design was a fundamental aspect of this build. Supporting the sustainability initiatives throughout the facility are a number of interconnected engineered solutions: solutions which add to the pedigree of this facility.
As the sustainability consultant on the project we acted as a facilitator between all the design disciplines, engaging and guiding the design team in determining the most appropriate design solution. We assisted the team by providing our own internal tools which included a Green Star pathway and documentation matrix. Both established very clear frameworks for the design team to work within and this management aspect of our involvement was fundamental to the successful delivery of this project.
The air conditioning systems are overseen by a central building management system which is a critical component in terms of monitoring and controlling the different mechanical services in the building. Approximately 70 percent of the building cooling capacity is provided by absorption chillers. This is derived from the campus cogeneration system utilising waste heat to generate high temperature hot water and combined with natural gas driven central cooling plant provides the bulk of the buildings heating and cooling needs. This significantly reduces the overall building energy demand and is significantly lower than conventional electricity driven cooling systems. Water efficient design is also a key aspect with 2 x 50,000 litre rainwater collection tanks employed for water recycling.
Some of the key features of the LIMS building facility include:
- Equipment Barn accommodating nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) equipment and facilities, mass spectrometry (MS) facilities, inductively coupled plasma (ICP), atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS) room and X-Ray diffractometer facilities
- Biology Teaching Laboratories, Teaching Prep/Support spaces, Instrument Rooms, Chemistry Teaching Laboratories, Modelling Laboratory, Research Laboratories, Autoclave Rooms, Tissue Culture Rooms, Centrifuge Rooms, -80 °C Freezer Rooms, Microbiology Rooms, Dark Rooms, Analytical and Synthetic Chemistry Research Laboratories, Crystallography Room, Glove Box and HPLC Room, Microscopy Laboratory, Laser Research Laboratory and a main Auditorium/lecture theatre.
The innovation, ingenuity and integrated intelligence achieved at LIMS was made possible by a deep sense of collaboration and understanding amongst the design team.
Other Project Information:
Construction Value:$100 Million
Architect: Lyons Architects