Fast Facts and FAQs

Fast Facts


5100 square metres approximately


4 storeys of research laboratories and office space, collaborative shared spaces.


University of Melbourne, Western Precinct (Bio21 Institute and Veterinary Science precinct), 30 Flemington Road campus, Parkville Bio21

Institute Director:

Professor Michael Parker, University of Melbourne

Senior Project Manager:

Rosemary O'Brien, Project Services, University of Melbourne

Project Manager:

Laurence Sugar, Project Services, University of Melbourne

Project Communications and External Relations Manager / Community Liaison:

Florienne Loder, University of Melbourne


Design Inc Architects Principal contractor: Cockram Construction


Updated 21 July 2016

The new building

What is the Bio21 Stage 2B Project?

The Bio21 Stage 2B Project is a new state-of-the-art facility that will expand the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute’s multidisciplinary research, training and industry engagement and is directed at achieving the Institute’s unique ‘school to bench to workplace’ vision.

Bio21 Stage 2B is part of the broader Bio21 Plan that includes:

  • Stage 1 – The David Penington Building (opened in 2005)
  • Stage 2A – The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences (opened in 2014).
  • Stage 2B – The new development

Who will be accommodated within the new facility?

The new facility will provide accommodation for University researchers, students and industry tenants as part of CSL’s Global Research and Translational Medicine Hub.

Why is the new facility being built?

Following the opening of the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences in early 2014, the University of Melbourne  is continuing with the next stage of development of the site, namely the Stage 2B development.
The new facility will allow for the expansion of the Bio21 Institute’s multidisciplinary research and industry engagement activities for advancing R&D in biotechnology and the life sciences fields.
Bio21 Stage 2B will also achieve the Institute’s ‘school to bench to workplace’ vision which provides a unique environment bringing together school, research and industry.

What benefits will be achieved from establishing the new facility?

The new Bio21 Stage 2B facility will provide greater potential for collaboration that can lead to translating research into economic and community outcomes.  Specific benefits and opportunities include:

  •     Increasing the critical mass of scientists that further enhances research and industry environment and links with hospitals and clinicians
  •     Stronger basis for research, training discovery and innovation
  •     Expanding capability that supports the development of precision medicine and  dealing with societys’ greatest health challenges
  •     Growing and leveraging off the opportunities from engaging with industry
  •     Inspiring the next generation of scientists and sustaining the biotechnology sector

Where is the new facility being built?

The new Bio21 Stage 2B facility will be built on the grounds of the University of Melbourne's Western Precinct, also known as the Bio21 Institute and Veterinary Science precinct at 30-36 Flemington Road, Parkville. The site is abutted by Park Drive and Story Street. The new facility will be located on the eastern perimeter of the Precinct behind the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences.
To see the location of the Bio21 Stage 2B facility, view the street map here.

When will it be operational?

The Bio21 Stage 2B development is due for practical completion in Quarter 4 2017.

What is the scale of the new facility?

The new facility is approximately 5100 m2 with four storeys of research laboratories and office spaces in addition to collaborative shared spaces.

How many people will this accommodate?

Approximately 140 additional scientists and students.

What sustainable building principles will be applied?

The Bio21 Stage 2B project has been registered with the Green Building Council of Australia for a Green Star – Education Design v1 rating.

What kind of materials have been selected for the new building?

The latest design principles have been adopted that complement the existing buildings on the Western Precinct and minimise potential impact. This includes the selection of high quality materials with low reflective qualities for the facade which includes protective external screens and the roof.

Where will services and plant be located in the new building?

The basement level of the new facility will include plant and infrastructure including the air-conditioning chillers for the new building. Some infrastructure will be located in the roof space which will be incorporated within the main structure of the new building. This will be enclosed and will have attenuated cladding to minimise any noise.

The building site

Will there be excavation undertaken on the site?

Excavation will be undertaken on the site to allow for the proposed basement level in the new building and to align the ground levels that will allow the physical connection between the existing David Penington Building and the new facility. Soil will be excavated using excavation equipment.

Will there be any demolition of existing buildings on the site?

An existing two-storey building (CESAR House) located on the eastern perimeter of the Western Precinct site adjacent to Royal Melbourne Hospital site will be demolished as part of the demolition and excavation stage. This will allow for construction vehicles to also access the site via Flemington Road for the main construction works.

Will cranes be used on the site?

A vehicle mounted mobile crane may be used for short durations during the demolition and excavation stage. A fixed crane on the Western Precinct site will be erected.  To reduce potential noise, an electric crane will be used.  

What times will works be undertaken on the site?

The University’s contractors will be required to abide by City of Melbourne regulations and University of Melbourne requirements which specify the following hours:

City of Melbourne prescribed hours for major building construction sites Monday - Friday: 7am - 7pm Saturday 8am - 3pm
University proposed noisy works Monday - Friday: 8am - 7pm Saturday 8am - 3pm
University proposed trucks entering site over 2 tonnes Monday - Friday: 8am - 7pm Saturday 9am - 3pm




Will the Story Street stairwell remain open?

The Story Street stairwell will only provide access to the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences.  There is no access entering into the Western Precinct.

Project updates and contact

How do I find out more about the project and updates?

Information and regular updates are available on the project website News page.

Will there be advance notice if there are interruptions to the surrounding residences?

Residents and businesses within the immediate surrounding area will be provided notice of potential interruptions.

How can I provide feedback on the project?

Feedback or enquiries can be directed to the Project Communications Manager via:

  • Email bio21-stage2b [at]
  • Project mobile: 0466 556 831 (during business hours).
  • Bio21 Security can be contacted after hours and in the event of an emergency Tel: 834 42481.

Click here to return to the Project Page.