Project Description



Location: Hobart, TAS
Architect: John Wardle Architects + Terroir (in association)
Awards: Winner, Public Architecture: National Award, 2014 Australian Institute of Architects

The Institution for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) is a joint project of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) which brings together much of Tasmania’s considerable strengths in marine and Antarctic studies in one precinct, offering opportunities for collaborative research of state, national and international significance.

Under the one roof of the new IMAS building accommodates the researchers and experts from UTAS, IMAS, CSIRO, the Australian Antarctic Division, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre and the Integrated Marine Observing System.

The new IMAS building is a three-storey building located at Sullivans Cove, abutting CSIRO’S Marine and Atmospheric Research laboratories. The building was funded by the Commonwealth and on land provided by the Tasmanian Government, and provides teaching and research facilities for around 290 staff and students.

The IMAS building has been designed to be efficient and inspiring, flexible and adaptable and promote internal and external public interaction. The design is sympathetic to the important history of the area and its former and current maritime uses, but will also be long-lasting and memorable.

This building has become the second educational building in Tasmania to achieve a 5 Star Green Star – Education Design v1 rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). This rating was a demonstration of the University’s commitment to a more sustainable, productive and healthy education research facilities. (The first 5 Star Green Star Education project, UTAS Medical Sciences 2 is also a Umow Lai project).

In line with the UTAS’s commitment to achieve a minimum 5 Star Green Star certified rating for all new developments, IMAS incorporates a range of ESD features, including high performance facade, river water cooling system, active mass cooling, rainwater collection for the replacement of potable uses, optimised indoor environment quality and thermal comfort conditions and high levels of water and energy efficiency. The building contains PC2/QC2 wet and dry research laboratories and PC1 teaching laboratories.

Umow Lai was the engineering services consultant, responsible for sustainability (ESD), mechanical, electrical, fire protection, hydraulics, communications, audio visual, vertical transportation and fire safety engineering services.