A wide spectrum of academic, corporate and healthcare institutions have facilities that are sensitive to noise and vibration. Unfortunately, sources of potentially disruptive noise and vibration abound. Acentech’s consultants can help address noise and vibration both at the source and at the receiver. Problematic noise and vibration can generally be categorized as follows:

Environmental disturbances come into the building from the outside world. Common sources are rail and subway lines, roads, industrial facilities and construction. It is critical that the magnitude of these disturbances be understood because, otherwise, there is little the building owner can do about them.

Building system disturbances can be produced by the mechanical and electrical systems that serve the building. A vibration-sensitive lab building should have vibration isolation and noise control features that are appropriate for the sensitivity of the equipment and activities conducted in the facility.

Occupant-related disturbances happen as people move about the building. Something as simple as people walking on the floor can produce potentially offensive vibration if the building is not designed or planned properly.

For sensitive receivers, isolation is the key, either through advanced vibration isolation systems or robust partitions, floors and ceilings. As equipment becomes more and more susceptible to noise and vibration impacts, it is more common to accommodate particularly sensitive items in specially-designed quiet rooms or on low-vibration “islands”. Acentech works with clients and architects to recommend the appropriate isolation system or construction method to protect sensitive equipment and facilities.

Equipment manufacturers often speak their own unique language when it comes to acceptability criteria for noise and vibration. Our consultants are adept at translating manufacturers’ technical jargon to assist in designing buildings that meet the requirements of even the most stringent applications.