Plant and Food Research’s new Seafood Research Centre, situated on Nelson’s Maitai Wharf, accommodates up to 50 research staff and provides a range of laboratory spaces.

The 2-storeyed structure is constructed entirely from engineered structural timber elements manufactured in and around Nelson. The main structural support is provided by Xlam laminated timber shear walls, with a system of inclined diagonal LVL columns supporting the glazed southern side. The roof and first floor are constructed with Potius engineered timber box beam floor units, supported on LVL main beams. Most of the engineered timber walls, beams and columns are exposed and clear finished. We made extensive use of 3d CAD modelling in Microstation to produce the complex connection details required in these feature timber members.

The complex also includes a single-storeyed laboratory building with prenailed roof trusses on a mix of XLAM laminated timber walls and conventional stud framed walls. A steel portal frame building houses a high-bay workshop space and a sea water flow tank laboratory.

The entire complex is founded on 15m long driven concrete piles to provide protection against subsoil liquefaction in the event of a major earthquake.

This building recently won “Excellence in Engineered Wood Products” at the 2018 NZ Wood Resene Timber Design Awards, with comments from the panel of judges recognizing “exceptionally beautiful expressed joints” and calling the building “a showcase for the local timber industry.”


Port Nelson

Jerram Tocker Barron

Scott Construction