Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources’ (DEDJTR) objective

To deliver a world-leading containment plant growth and analysis facility, designed to accelerate pure and applied plant science research in Australia and internationally.


DEDJTR (formerly the Department of Primary Industries) identified an urgent need for the delivery of a 1,000sqm phenomics research facility, including a range of greenhouses, high throughput imaging stations, growth rooms and seed storage space.

The facility houses the latest technology in imaging, robotics and computing to allow continuous automatic and non-destructive measurements of the physical attributes (phenotype) of plants.

Johnstaff’s role

Johnstaff was engaged by DEDJTR under a fixed lump sum design and construct contract. 

Johnstaff took full responsibility for both the design and delivery of this innovative and highly complex Research facility. We managed the project from initial design through to commissioning and handover.

Bundoora Phenotype Glasshouse, Bundoora, Victoria

Addressing the issues

Johnstaff ensured the project remained on track by using our proven Project Management processes. We developed a project management plan and detailed programme, and closely communicated with our client at all times. 

The site is located in a high traffic area within La Trobe University and is adjacent to both Forensics Victoria and State Government research facilities. We undertook careful and detailed project management activities to ensure these adjoining facilities were not affected during construction.

Johnstaff’s design incorporated a specialist imported plexiglass cladding solution, instead of using traditional glass, to allow greater UV penetration and a wider light spectrum. This created significant benefits for the client. 

map of the project location


  • Facility accommodates state-of-the-art phenomics equipment, making the glasshouses fully automated

  • Built to quarantine compliance standards (BC2), which included a large-scale autoclave

  • A bespoke glazing system maximises benefits for the research program

  • Constructed with a complex HVAC system to provide controlled conditions throughout the growth cycles