John hollandJohn Holland

A major step change to Australia’s capacity to explore and conserve the Southern Ocean and Antarctic Territories.

University of Tasmania Institute of Marine and Antarctic Sciences

The $40 million facility is situated on Hobart’s Princes Wharf No 2 site in Sullivan’s Cove, and unites UTAS, the CSIRO and Tasmanian Government resources in a single marine science precinct.

Internationally recognised as a centre of excellence, the project is strategically located at the gateway to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica to facilitate research on fisheries, aquaculture, ecology, biodiversity and oceans.

A leader in scientific research and teaching, the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) unites University of Tasmania, CSIRO and other government-funded research resources in a purpose-built 7,500m2 marine science precinct.  

The building accommodates 250 research staff and students and includes: 

  • Five purpose-built state-of-the-art laboratories, including PC2 and QC2 wet and dry research laboratories, and PC1 teaching laboratories  
  • Controlled temperature and centralised culture facilities, including ice labs and sea ice labs Centralised instrument facility 
  • Public exhibition area 
  • 92-seat UN-style lecture theatre with wharf access 
  • Computer teaching lab and specialist computer modelling facilities 
  • Flexible learning spaces 
  • Loading dock with waste and storage facilities. 

To enable the public to see and appreciate the work undertaken by IMAS, the project required high levels of visibility from the street and waterfront. IMAS’s location adjacent to the Aurora Australis berth also attracts a significant number of visitors and dignitaries interested in its research. 

  • Customer
    University of Tasmania
  • Location
    Hobart, Tasmania
  • Specialisation
    Education & research
  • Start
    April 2013
  • End
    July 2015
John holland
John holland
The project won the Master Builders Association Tasmania award - Commercial Building $20 - $50 million category.
IMAS was constructed on Hobart’s heritage-listed waterfront at Princes Wharf 2 in a major tourist and historic zone. This unique location required strategic management of planning and site conditions, including access and interface with existing precinct services, the sea wall structure and wharf foundations. To minimise disruption, the project implemented measures such as micro piling, which reduced noise and vibration impacts on the adjacent heritage structures and enabled the foundations and structure to be constructed in proximity to the wharf. To address sound carried over the river, mitigation measures included sound-proofing zones around drilling rigs and compressors, turning off plant when not in use, surrounding drilling rigs with acoustic barriers, and working within clearly defined hours.
Achieving a high level of sustainability was fundamental to the project due to the nature of IMAS’s research into climate and sea level changes. To meet this requirement, IMAS achieved a 5 Star Green Star rating and became the second educational building in Tasmania to do so (MS2, also constructed by the John Holland Fairbrother JV, was the first).
John Holland’s value management initiatives, such as large-scale windows into the ice-core labs, allowed the facility to demonstrate its work without the need for visitors to enter the -20°C space. The initiative minimised disruption to research activities, the potential contamination of processes and overall running costs.


John Holland pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodiams of the land on which we work and live, and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples today.