Amherst College’s new Science Center houses its undergraduate science departments, including biology, chemistry, psychology, computer science, physics, and astronomy. Additionally the Science Center includes a library, QCenter, research and teaching laboratories, classrooms and lecture rooms, science shops, offices, and a greenhouse. Phase one of the 230,000 SF facility, designed by Payette, is now complete.

Acentech’s work began with the conceptual design study, when our vibration consultants took measurements during train passages on a nearby rail line. Sensors were placed both at ground level and on nearby buildings, in order to predict the effect of the trains on sensitive campus spaces and equipment expected to be located within the facility. Acentech provided the design team with recommendations to isolate these sensitive spaces appropriately.

Acentech’s acoustics, AV, and IT/security consultants were brought into the project at the beginning of the design phase. The building supports a wide variety of spaces that require intelligent, scalable audiovisual systems that support of modern collaborative teaching methods. Our AV and technology designs integrate with all of the spaces in the building including an atrium, teaching labs, group study rooms, lecture halls, and classrooms. In addition to digital signage throughout the building, the room-specific systems support ultra-high definition (UHD) signals, as well as “bring your own device” (BYOD) collaboration capabilities.

Acentech’s acoustics consultants provided advice and recommendations on spaces throughout the building, including both teaching and research laboratories, classrooms, lecture hall, faculty offices, informal learning spaces, and general gathering spaces. Mechanical system noise and vibration control in the laboratories and vivarium were a special focus of the design, as these spaces have more stringent requirements that require specific attenuation treatments.

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