Started by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital as a way to better connect patients to specialized care, Partners HealthCare is now one of the largest health systems within Massachusetts. With many of its leases of more than 16 different administrative offices around the state coming to a close, this organization saw this coincidence as an opportunity to find a way to get its corporate structure all under one roof. Their resulting headquarters in Somerville’s burgeoning Assembly Row is a true testament to this not-for-profit organization’s dedication to the health of local communities and employees alike. After developing the conceptual design for the facility with Gensler, their architect, Acentech was selected to provide architectural acoustics for this 14-floor, 825,000 SF facility.

As a group seeking to create a more patient-centered integrated healthcare system, Partners HealthCare wanted to keep employees’ wellness as a top priority when developing their new headquarters. Open plan offices are quickly becoming the go-to design of the modern workplace, and designers used this to their advantage when designing every floor of the facility. From outdoor spaces to that host yoga classes to open-air workspaces to easy access staircases, virtually any of the 4,200 employees within this facility can find a space that speaks to how they can best live their healthiest lives at work. But, these open spaces can pose an all-too-familiar problems: no privacy and too many distractions. After all, with fewer walls to keep people huddled up in their offices, unwanted noise can travel quickly. Acentech’s team of acousticians helped Gensler design these open offices spaces to allow workers the ability to collaborate or hunker down and focus on work. Highly absorptive ceiling panels, glass dividers between critical spaces, and even wall hangings which appear decorative but actually work as sound absorptive tools are all key pieces of creating this ideal workplace environment.

Acentech also specified the important performance parameters of the speech privacy/masking system to enhance the staff’s sense of privacy throughout the workspaces. Mechanical system noise and vibration control also played a key role in ensuring the productivity of employees would not be hindered by the ventilation systems required for such a massive facility.

Now under one roof, Partners HealthCare looks toward a future in healthcare that is as innovative as its own headquarters.

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