Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group contributed key building system designs to this 9,290-square-meter (100,000-square-foot) facility built for the University of Sydney Nano Institute, formerly known as the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

At the University of Sydney’s new state-of-the-art nanoscale physics research and teaching building, researchers are seeking to discover new science for applications in engineering and medical science, with the aim of transforming communications, medical treatment, and energy generation for the 21st century. Designed to meet the demanding requirements of nanoscience research, the facility is the only building in Australia to house such an advanced research capability alongside comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate teaching facilities.

The building provides the following major uses:

  • Twenty-three world class laboratories specially designed for nanoscience research
  • Two office spaces with the ability to be converted into laboratories
  • Open-plan office and meeting rooms for teaching and research staff
  • Two electron microscope suites
  • A 700-square-meter (7,534-square-foot) cleanroom for advanced nanofabrication and characterization that meets ISO Class 5 and Class 7 standards and can be upgraded to ISO Class 4 in the future, ensuring a high level of atmospheric isolation, leading to improved reliability of experiments and investigative processes in the space
  • Modern teaching facilities, including a 300-seat lecture theater, an interactive learning studio, and a number of smaller seminar and meeting rooms.

Tetra Tech’s involvement began in the initial bid stage and followed through detailed design and construction. Specific design requirements that Tetra Tech had to achieve included:

  • Tight temperature and humidity control, ensuring environmental conditions are kept standardized, reducing a variable in the laboratory environment
  • Shielding of the cable reticulation and local laboratory distribution boards to isolate them from electromagnetic interference
  • High power allowances for lighting power density in all laboratories, with "Normal" or regular power outlets and "Clean" power outlets, protected from power surges and drops
  • Specialized low electromagnetic interference lighting for the laboratories
  • Low-impedance technical earthing systems for all laboratories, ensuring that static electricity is kept to a minimum

The building was constructed by Lendlease. The construction budget of more than AUD$148 million (USD$100 million) was jointly funded by grants from the University and from the Australian and New South Wales governments.