QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Health & Science

World-Class research centre puts the ‘smart’ in Smart State

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute


QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has a long and prestigious history. Established in 1945 by the Queensland Government, it is one of the largest and most successful medical research institutions in Australia; recognised nationally and internationally for the high quality of fundamental and translational research it undertakes. QIMR Berghofer’s vision for ‘better health through medical research’ was realised through the delivery of a leading research hub in Brisbane.


Herston, Queensland

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

$167 million


2007 - 2014

Wardle and Wilson Joint Venture

16,635 m²

Gross floor area


Storey building

$16 M

Cost savings to client


Hours worked


Delivering excellence under budget

The new 13-storey world class research facility was delivered in three distinct phases. Following the initial demolition works, construction of the central building took place, which included the laboratories and administration, followed lastly by the refurbishment of the adjacent Bancroft Centre and Clive Berghofer Cancer Research Centre. The sophisticated new facilities enhanced QIMR Berghofer’s capacity to perform world-leading medical research into Indigenous health, cancer, infectious diseases and chronic disorders. It also enabled the introduction of the critical Mental Health Research Division. 

Ensuring safety in a hazardous environment

Demolition of the old Queensland Radium Institute building was required prior to construction. Built in the early 1980s and posing a possible asbestos risk, our team engaged the services of a leading hazardous materials consultant to audit the building. This uncovered varying levels of asbestos in several areas including the exterior sunshades. With precision movements, the panels were removed one at a time, followed by a thorough vacuum process to ensure the complete removal of hazardous debris. While accruing a greater cost and time penalty, this was necessary to guarantee the safety of workers.

Environmentally conscious

Our expertise in live environments was instrumental in our approach to this project. By developing an Environmental Management Plan alongside a Quality Management Plan, we proactively identified all potential issues and were able to mitigate these prior to works commencing. Monitoring for sensitive environmental factors such as air quality and vibration was overseen by our Environmental Officer. Regular and detailed communication with QIMR and other stakeholders ensured all parties remained well informed throughout the project which minimised disruption to their daily operations. 

Value for money

A significant focus for the project team was to deliver the first two stages under budget with the surplus to be directed towards a major refurbishment of the adjacent Bancroft Centre. We proudly delivered this world-class research facility on time and $16 million under budget without compromising quality. 


“I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the excellent standards achieved in the finished facilities and in the minimisation of disruption and nuisance to the Institute’s scientific community and to its neighbours during the carrying out of the works.”

Chris Coyne, Acting Chair, QIMR Council


High Commendation Commercial Construction $100 million plus

Australian Institute of Building (Queensland Chapter)


Health & Education Facilities over $20 million

Master Builders Queensland (Brisbane)



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