Having previously completed several successful laboratory upgrade projects within B301, a 60 year old building, Curtin University approached us under the Panel of Works to repurpose the space within the Physics faculty to house a Transmission Electronic Microscope, one of only six in the world, and the first in Australia. With the microscope already on its way from the Czech Republic, this complex project had to be delivered on time. Our experience within laboratory spaces as well as collaboratively delivering complex projects to programme provided the experience necessary to deliver this project.

Extensive early works were undertaken prior to the finalisation of the design, including a full electrical audit of the area. Demolition works were completed over the Christmas shutdown period so that the vibration caused by the works did not disrupt neighbouring sensitive research equipment whilst they were in use. All shut downs during the course of this project were completed out of hours so not to disrupt staff and students.

A complex Mechanical upgrade within an aging building required full demotion of walls and ceiling spaces within the nominated room plus to the adjacent ceilings and communications room to install electromagnetic shielding to block any radiation allowing the state of the art technology to be installed into a building not designed for such.

Early works on site indicated an existing duct within the ceiling cavity. This needed to be removed, but due to the age of the building, contamination reports were not readily available to detail what the duct had been used for. Working collaboratively with the building manager, architect and project manager we agreed to treat the duct as ‘worst case scenario’ ensuring that any risk to our on site team was mitigated whilst allowing works to be undertaken as soon as possible with minimal impact on budget by not subjecting the duct to external testing.

This exciting project was completed on time and on budget, despite latent conditions on site, ensuring that the microscope could be installed upon its arrival to WA.


Curtin University

Project Designer

ZMH Architects

Services Consultant