Assembly Row is a large new mixed use development on the Mystic River in a previously underdeveloped site in Somerville, MA. The development covers 45 acres, and includes hundreds of residential units across multiple buildings, a 200-room hotel, a 12-screen AMC Cineplex, Legoland Discovery Center, numerous restaurants and retail stores, and 100,000+ SF of office and R&D space. The entire development was coordinated by the Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT), the master developer, who early on understaood the value in partnering with Acentech to address the complex issue of noise control among the many varied properties.

Acentech developed succinct and prescriptive noise emissions standards, which were included in FRIT’s Design and Technical Manual governing tenant fit-outs, and similar standards were applied to base building designs throughout the development. These standards were intended to ensure compliance with Somerville’s municipal noise code and to reasonably protect the various properties from one another’s noise emissions.

Subsequently, Acentech consulted to architects and developers of specific buildings and tenant fit-outs to provide acoustically favorable spaces and to comply with the development’s noise emissions standards. AMC’s 12-screen cineplex, located above Legoland in Assembly Row’s Block 3, presented an exciting design challenge. Acentech worked to ensure that each cinema screening room would be protected from noise produced by patrons at Legoland and other building tenants and from building mechanical equipment. The resulting design includes floating concrete slabs under every screening room, with certain walls and other features supported resiliently from the roof structure above. With careful coordination with the architecture and building structure, these and other design features ensure that the screening rooms are not disturbed by activities in surrounding spaces and, likewise, that AMC’s neighbors are not disturbed by movie soundtracks.

Even after Assembly Row’s grand opening, construction on new blocks in the complex continued. Acentech was retained for the Block 5a project, which is a 14-story mixed use building housing a below-grade parking garage, first floor retail spaces, a shared spa, pool, fitness area, and meeting rooms on the second level, and hotel rooms, and condominium residences on the upper floors. Acentech is working with the construction management team at PROCON to define appropriate acoustical criteria for this project, including sound and impact isolation, mechanical system noise control, and reverberation control within the building’s public spaces.

This planned and coordinated approach to noise control throughout the development has fostered good community and shared responsibility among the various properties.

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