Controlling Cogen and Chiller Plant Noise & Vibration in Educational Settings (HSW)

Educational facility expansion projects often include installing new or upgrading existing chiller and cogeneration power equipment. The noise and vibration produced by chiller and power plants can become issues within adjacent building spaces and in the nearby community. To address these issues in a cost-effective manner, they should be evaluated early-on in the overall project design phase, and as indicated, be resolved with the project team. We will outline the evaluation process, highlight cost-effective mitigation measures, and discuss several representative projects.




A Vibration Primer for Architects

Vibrations in buildings are caused by many sources and may affect people and sensitive equipment. Learn what the jargon of vibration specifications and criteria means – how vibrations are described – and get some insight into how things vibrate and how vibration reductions can be achieved. Obtain an overview of vibration sources and check-list of design considerations.


Overview of Vibration Design Criteria in Laboratory and High-Tech Facilities

An introduction to the architectural issues related to such vibration-sensitive equipment as used for precision metrology, microbiology, and optical research. We will describe viable approaches for protecting such equipment from vibrations caused by ground motions, personnel activities, and machinery. Topics will include the concepts of favorable layouts, structures, and equipment isolation.


Environmental Noise Control for Improved Quality of Life

For many of us, noise from airplanes, traffic, railroads, and rooftop mechanical equipment is a part of our daily lives. Keeping this noise out of living and workspace is becoming a higher priority. In the first half of this session we will use case studies from residential sound insulation programs as the basis for practical approaches to the design of building envelopes to control intrusive environmental noise. The second half of the seminar will focus on techniques to control noise from exterior mechanical equipment (chillers, cooling towers, fan units) that affect both the interior space of the building and the surrounding community.


Acoustic and Vibration Isolation in Multi-Family Residences (HSW)

Can you hear the stereo in the next apartment over, or the footsteps of your neighbors from the condo above yours? Are you bothered by the subway every time it rumbles by? According to the International Building Code, partitions and constructions between residences should have a minimum Sound Transmission Class (STC) of 50 and a minimum Impact Insulation Class (IIC) of 50 (45 if field is measured). This language has been adopted by many state building codes (including Massachusetts). Vibration from underground rail lines can be an important source of environmental sound and vibration in residential buildings. The characteristic low-frequency rumble from passing subway trains can be a source for residents living in nearby buildings. Methods exist to predict the levels of noise and vibration from rail operations in new buildings, and the probability that a resident would be annoyed by that vibration/noise.

Real-Time Monitoring during Construction: Co-Existing with Vibration-Sensitive Issues

The existence of construction and renovation projects in populated areas inevitably creates noise and vibration for both neighbors and occupants with sensitivities ranging from inconsequential to critical. Through a proper understanding of specialized, ultra-low requirements and the use of real-time feedback from monitoring systems, projects can be managed to eliminate guesswork, inefficiencies and after-the-fact claims for the contractor, and give peace of mind to the facility owner who knows someone is watching their interests. In this workshop, we will compare a variety of potential adjacent sensitivities, ranging from university research labs, health care facilities, museums, data centers and performance spaces. In doing so, we will look at some real-world examples from projects and actual approaches to mitigation and monitoring. By using best practices, any project can hope to proceed agreeably instead of under possibly avoidable adversarial conditions.


Safe and Sound! Protecting your Facility with Remote Monitoring

Vibration monitoring services provide real-time analysis and feedback to construction teams, facility managers, and/or end users of highly sensitive projects at hospitals, universities, corporate research labs, manufacturing facilities, performance halls, recording studios, animal facilities, data centers, museums and even offices. Deployed at the project site, monitoring systems send tailored alarms or warning notifications by email and text if levels exceed location-specific thresholds, as well as stream data to a private central website for viewing by authorized personnel. The systems allow firms to appropriately monitor these types of facilities, whose requirements are beyond the capability of traditional seismographs (for building damage) and sound level meters (for code enforcement). Ultimately, the systems help to eliminate guesswork, inefficiencies and after-the-fact claims for the contractor, and give peace of mind to the facility who know someone is watching the line for their interests. Our brief presentation will give an overview of the systems, their use on projects, and the benefits and lessons learned through their use.


Vibration Considerations in High-Tech and Laboratory Environments

An introduction to planning and designing for footfall induced vibration and structural dynamics. A multi-million dollar facility is only as good as the planning that goes into it to assure that vibration criteria are met before research or testing begins. Presentation includes a case study for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) devices.


Hotel on Rubber Pads – Statistical Energy Analysis/Vibration Concerns

This case study will show how we used Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) to assess the potential noise and vibration problems of a hotel atop and around a vent building of Boston’s Central Artery. An outline of the SEA approach and results will be featured.


NFPA 72 Mass Notification Regulations

The National Fire Protection Association mandates that within public acoustically distinguishable spaces (ADS) where voice communication systems are required, the system can reproduce pre-recorded, synthesized, or live messages with voice intelligibility. Meeting NFPA’s criteria requires careful design, especially for facilities with acoustically dissimilar spaces, like mass transit, healthcare, higher education, and convention centers. A case study describes the process of achieving voice intelligibility in ADS from preliminary design to final testing.