The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center at Harvard Business School is a new building dedicated to the Executive Education Program at HBS. It is the first HBS building named after a woman, and the first at Harvard University named for an Asian-American. The building was made possible by a $40 million gift from the Dr. James Si-Cheng Chao and Family Foundation. Goody Clancy designed the 90,000 square foot LEED Gold+ targeted facility, used by thousands of executives who participate in the Executive Education program at HBS each year.

Acentech worked closely with Goody Clancy and HBS on the building acoustics and HVAC system noise and vibration control of the building. Our scope included several flexible executive education classrooms, dining rooms, as well as a central Hub space where students can gather and network between their classes. There are also project rooms and conference rooms for smaller groups of students and faculty to meet for more intimate settings.

The client had high expectations for the acoustic quality of the spaces. The large flexible classrooms, holding up to 90 students, needed to be quiet enough to allow for speech communication throughout. To achieve this, voice-lift systems were provided to the classrooms as well as video projectors that emit extremely low levels of noise. The rooms are provided with high quality acoustical ceilings and wall finishes to reduce undesirable sound reflections. There are overhead operable partitions that provide a high level of sound isolation when the dining rooms need to be divided into smaller gathering spaces. Acentech also provided upgraded window glazing details to help isolate loading dock noise to the dining areas. The Hub was carefully evaluated to provide some acoustic liveliness, encouraging engagement and collaboration among executives and faculty members.

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