Extreme make-over for Scion labs

New labs

The $5.5 million upgrade of one-third of Scion’s ageing science labs is the largest improvement project undertaken on Scion’s Rotorua campus.

The new laboratories, constructed inside the shell of a 1969 building, are now being populated by staff and laboratory equipment. The refurbished space provides 1500 sq m of ‘state of the art’ science laboratories creating a stimulating workplace. Within the new labs, the addition of specialist equipment will help expand research capabilities.

A fermentation laboratory, still under commission, will enable Scion to scale up its industrial biotechnology capability to generate larger amounts of microbially produced products including: enzymes; biopolymers and metabolites such as biofuels and biochemicals. This investment will showcase Scion’s biorefinery research focus.

Scion CEO Warren Parker says the new labs were designed to be a world-class facility that New Zealand can be proud of.

Speciality areas are grouped together for better use of staff time and equipment. Open collaborative spaces allow new group working environments. Clever design has created a larger working area inside the old shell. Air conditioning and double glazing means the environmental footprint of the building has shrunk.

The labs have been designed with a glazed walkway along one entire side, allowing visitors to view science in action while remaining outside the labs itself. This feature helps to maintain high operating standards at all times, particularly in areas designed for physical containment of biological material.

New labs  New labs