University of Otago – Science Precinct Laboratory Redevelopment
About the project
The 6500m2 of primarily science laboratories has been remodelled and refurbished to the highest scientific standards, housing a “super-lab” on the ground floor, with further laboratories, improved airflow/ventilation and additional floors.

Redevelopment of the exterior of the Science 1 building, involving recladding, new windows, roof and exterior design.


University of Otago


March 2018



As part of the Sciences redevelopment, Leighs built brand new Class 5 Trace Metal Clean Rooms, specifically developed to analyse metallic elements and their isotopes for wide-ranging applications in the earth, environmental, planetary, archaeological, climate and biomedical sciences. These facilities were required for the Centre for Trace Element Analysis and were a particularly challenging, yet rewarding stage of the build. 

The Trace Metal Clean Rooms include the extensive use of Polypropylene and PVC in design and construction. Items such as screw fixings used throughout the lab are nylon or polypropylene, the doors are acrylic with high density laminate, which was used to construct the hinges and door hardware, and fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) was used for the duct hanger channel and supports.

One of the many attractive features of the low-profile Tri-Stack system is they are barely visible from the property line, making them more visually appealing for the overall aesthetic of the building. A common issue associated with the more common, tall unsightly stacks in the perception of exhausting polluted air for the surrounding areas, however this issue is eliminated with the Tri-Stack system. The Dilution capabilities of this system then mean that up to 170 per cent of free outside air is introduced into the airstream above the roof, effectively eliminating odours, preventing them from entering the facility and neighbouring buildings. The Tri-Stack fume exhaust sends a vertical ‘jet plume’ of diluted exhaust gas upwards of 350 feet high, providing atmospheric disbursement and preventing exhaust from re-entering the facility through fresh air supply ventilation systems, doors, and windows.

In Mellor Labs, Leighs succeeded in crafting a state-of-the-art education facility to nurture our next generation of leading scientists. The Wider Mellor Laboratories won two awards at the New Zealand Institute of Architects Awards for 2019, the Southern Award and the Resene Colour Award. The Mellor Labs were also recognised at the Property Industry Awards where it was awarded Merit.

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