AVENIR, a new mixed use development comprising luxury condominiums, a restaurant and retail space, as well as a parking garage, is located above two subway lines operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

ICON Architecture hired Acentech to address concerns regarding the potential adverse impact of noise and vibration from the subways on the building’s occupants. The concern was related to both tangible vibration and re-radiated noise. (Vibrating floors, walls and ceilings in a building can radiate noise much like giant loudspeakers. This phenomenon is responsible for the characteristic low-frequency rumble that can often be heard in buildings near underground subway lines).

Acentech conducted a series of field measurements to determine the magnitude of the vibrations that were expected to enter the building through the foundation. Then, we used building propagation models to calculate the expected vibration and re-radiated noise at various floors, and compared these levels to guidelines provided by the Federal Transit Administration.

Based on the calculations, the building owner elected to incorporate a base isolation system into the foundation design.

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