The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a design competition for a new 530,880 SF research center that would consolidate its far-flung neuroscience research effort, comprising at least nine specialized institutes spread throughout the country, within a single building. The winning plan composed six square laboratory modules arrayed on a nine square grid. Each module extends vertically to create roughly cubical volumes that are arranged around a highly transparent atrium occupying a seventh module in the center of the plan.

The Neuroscience center is a state-of-the-art building designed to house a variety of vibration-sensitive equipment. Acentech was responsible for the initial vibration survey to measure the ambient vibrations at the site. In conjunction with the architect and building users, Acentech helped develop vibration criteria for the sensitive areas in the building. Part of Acentech’s scope involved a survey of existing labs in other buildings at NIH.

Acentech was responsible for the structural dynamics analysis of the building floor structure. The principal vibration consulting focus related to footfall-induced vibrations due to people walking – typically the greatest source of vibration on above-grade floors in buildings. Acentech worked with the architects and the project’s structural engineers to develop a floor system to meet the established design criteria.

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