An extension to UTS CB04, a state-of-the-art research facility containing world-class specialist labs, has been constructed to fast-track the discovery and commercialisation of environmental and bio-products.

Designed by educational space specialists H2o Architects, UTS hopes to appeal to the world’s foremost phenomics, advanced analytics, translational medicine and chemical synthesis researchers.

The facility is spaced out across seven storeys, and contains a nitrogen generator, which is individually showcased on the fourth level. On the roof is an almost otherworldly ensemble of exposed critical infrastructure. The building also includes an extensive roof plant and 25 fume cupboards, 19 of which live within a single laboratory space, to protect operators from hazardous fumes. 


The project undertaken by H2o was formidable. Demolishing a theatre before beginning construction, the new building – sitting atop a challenging infill site – needed to stand alone yet align with the floorplates of the adjoining buildings to improve connectivity with campus. The low ceiling heights had to house the high volume of services and each floor plan was unique to suit current and future use. H2o also needed to future proof the building, rigidising the frame so that ten more storeys could one day be added.

Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) laboratories are completely sealed and cleanable environments where organisms and chemicals can be safely stored and handled. The design approach of H2o adopts a more inviting work environment that moves away from the typical stainless steel, white on white characteristics of research laboratories, using colour to define certain workspaces, with each floor a different shade varying on level and purpose.


Patrick Woods, deputy vice-chancellor of UTS, says the new facility will only enhance the reputation of the university and its researchers.

“This facility provides them (UTS researchers) with new tools to continue their ground-breaking work. It will also be an additional drawcard to our campus, giving us capacity to continue to attract top-level researchers from all over the world,” he says. 

UTS CB04’s construction phase was completed in 2020, and research has now commenced within the facility. For more information, head to