National Biocontainment Laboratory of New Zealand

Wallaceville, Upper Hutt, New Zealand

As New Zealand moves into the future, a new 35,000-square-foot biocontainment laboratory will protect its citizens from biological threats. The new lab features state-of-the-art structural and mechanical systems and is designed to withstand New Zealand’s frequent earthquakes (close to 14,000 each year).

Merrick teamed with local consultants to provide planning, architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design, along with commissioning and certification.

The Merrick team designed the facility to sit on 10 base isolators and 20 slider bearings to minimize damage during an earthquake and maintain containment. It’s designed to withstand a 2,500-year earthquake without compromising the laboratory.

The design also incorporates sustainability considerations, since laboratories typically use high amounts of energy. One example of this is air circulation. Because air cannot be recirculated due to contamination concerns, Merrick designed the facility to modulate the air used to condition and circulate through the lab, a significant energy savings.


Architecture;MEP Engineering;Planning;Structural Engineering; Building Information Modeling (BIM); Construction Supervision; Commissioning and Certification
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