Acentech, an award-winning multi-disciplinary acoustical consulting firm with expertise in architectural acoustics, A/V design, noise control and vibration control, has bolstered its strong position in the education sector. In 2017, high-impact educational projects contributed to the overall growth of the firm with more than 250 new projects in education.
“We are proud of our strong reputation in the education marketplace and truly enjoy collaborating with our clients in school communities,” said Acentech President Jeffrey Zapfe. “As consultants, when you create a connection with your clients and understand the why of a project, the process becomes far more meaningful and successful. We are extremely proud of these projects and look forward to seeing these facilities contribute to, and inspire the education of future generations of students.”
Acentech’s continued success in the education market is underscored by two projects underway this year in New England:
Brookline High School Renovation (Brookline, Mass.) – Acentech is partnering with William Rawn Associates to provide acoustics and audiovisual consulting for the renovation and expansion of Brookline High School. The firm’s scope of services will include environmental noise and vibration mitigation for buildings adjacent to the MBTA Green Line, a community noise evaluation, and architectural acoustics including sound isolation and room finishes compliant with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. In addition, the firm will provide audiovisual systems for classrooms, fitness rooms, a maker space, cafeteria, and white box presentation space. Audiovisual systems have become essential in education projects to provide an enhanced student experience. These systems will benefit the school in the long-term as technology evolves, while offering ease of use immediately.
Yale Science Building (New Haven, CT) – Acentech’s multi-disciplinary team of acoustics, audiovisual, and IT Infrastructure consultants are assisting in the design of a new, seven-story, 277,550 square foot, Science Building at Yale University. The university teamed with award-winning architecture firms Pelli Clarke Pelli and Stantec to develop a new hub for biologists, physicists, chemists, and students to come together under one roof. The new complex will include a 500-seat lecture hall, aquatics and insect labs, quantitative biology center, imaging suites, shared commons, and a rooftop greenhouse. Such a novel design approach can come at a cost: without sound isolation between offices and chatting students, focus and concentration can suffer. Highly absorptive finishes, wall construction, and even mechanical system noise control developed by Acentech will keep the crux of this building’s purpose—to better collaborate across disciplines—intact. Completion is expected by the end of 2019. For more on this project, click here.
Acentech also recently celebrated the completion of three acoustic and audiovisual consulting projects in Greater Boston:
Harvard Kennedy School Campus Transformation Project (Cambridge, Mass.) – Acentech completed acoustics consulting work for Robert A.M. Stern Architects to support their design and construction of a transformation of the Harvard Kennedy School. The transformation adds 91,000 square feet of space including new tiered classrooms, kitchen and dining facility, many offices and meeting spaces, student lounge and study spaces. The project also provides a welcoming, fully landscaped courtyard, which, together with infill development at its perimeter, help to unite the previously disjointed campus. A glass-covered winter garden provides an attractive lounge and multi-purpose space.
UNH Hamilton Smith Hall (Durham, NH) – Known as the “front porch” of UNH’s College of Liberal Arts, the building, originally constructed in 1907, needed extensive renovations. UNH selected the architects at DiMella Shaffer to re-imagine how the heart of their campus can better serve its students and faculty and Acentech provided acoustics and audiovisual consulting guidance throughout this 5-year project. Inside Hamilton Smith Hall, there are now 32 teaching spaces ranging in size from a 300-seat lecture hall to 15-seat seminar rooms. Meeting the acoustic and audiovisual needs of these drastically different spaces required careful analysis and a range of solutions. To optimize the usability of each area, Acentech’s acoustics consultants guided designers on room finishes customized for each space’s specific purpose, sound isolation between classrooms, and proper mechanical system noise and vibration control. The customization will enhance the use of the space and ensure that the historic building can be enjoyed by the students, faculty and staff. For more on this project, click here.
UMass Amherst, John W. Olver Design Building (Amherst, Mass.) – The new four-story building is the first academic building in the U.S. to be constructed using cross-laminated timber (CLT). The building was designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates and Acentech provided acoustics and audiovisual design services. As the building’s atrium features exposed timber, the acoustical requirements of this project proved challenging. To achieve optimal speech intelligibility, Acentech worked with the design team to carefully select sound absorptive finishes with an emphasis on wood-based products. In addition, Acentech designed custom audiovisual systems to complement the highly technical nature of the curriculum. This included presentation systems for classrooms, meeting spaces, seminar rooms, videoconference suite, and the central atrium. For more information on this project, click here.
“The Acentech team really delivered on this project,” said Alexander C. Schreyer, Director of the Building and Construction Technology Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “The main atrium works well acoustically for small group reviews as well as for large gatherings. We also love the laser projectors and are pleased with how well the LCD screens work in our conference rooms that are facing due west.”
If you’d like to learn more about Acenetch’s work in education, please visit https://www.acentech.com/markets/education/