On the edge of Tufts University Campus, a new Central Energy Plant (CEP) is hard at work. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Tufts University uses this facility to supplement the work of its sixty-year-old Central Energy Plant. Thanks to a multi-story glass façade, people strolling down Boston Avenue in Medford, MA can actually view this new technology in action. This element is just one of Leers Weinzapfel Associates’ unique design choices. Acentech provided both Leers Weinzapfel Associates and Tufts University with expert acoustical consulting services regarding both the interior and the exterior of the plant.
The new CEP is home to Tufts personnel and their subsequent workspaces. In order to improve the acoustics of the main plant, its internal work areas, and office spaces Acentech’s acoustical consultants focused on mitigating the interior noise levels through sound isolation solutions. The new Central Energy Plant is in close proximity to academic buildings, the visitor center, and the greater Medford community. Tufts University was well aware of the environmental noise implications this new plant could have and made it a priority to control the exterior noise emission. Acentech worked with Leers Weinzapfel Associates to control the sound environment without hindering the overall design of the building facade, achieving success both acoustically and visually.
The new CEP, designed to reduce greenhouse gases, is a true testament to Tuft’s commitment to sustainability. While the new Central Energy Plant uses the same fuel sources as the old, the new cogenerator and boilers burn less fuel to achieve the same electrical output. The energy-efficient cogeneration technology also allows the CEP to produce both electricity and steam; so, even if the power goes out during a snowstorm, the heat at Tufts will stay on.