Designed by ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Albert Sherman Center stands nine stories high and serves as the hub of the Worcester Medical School campus. It physically connects two existing buildings with broad landscaped exterior plazas and two elevated pedestrian bridges. The 512,000 SF LEED Gold certified building cost $400 million and opened its doors in January 2013.

The Albert Sherman Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is the final piece to the puzzle of revamping the institution’s campus. Designed by ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge, the 512,000 SF connects existing buildings both physically and aesthetically with its glass-enclosed, elevated pedestrian bridges and expansive atrium. The audiovisual needs of a cutting-edge institution may seem daunting to some, but Acentech’s well-seasoned experts were up for the challenge.

With a new 11-story, $400 million home to its Nobel Prize-winning research, UMass Medical School needed to make sure its tech systems were as innovative as its faculty and students. Acentech helped design state-of-the-art training spaces including four interconnected trauma simulation rooms with a central control monitoring room, more than 20 nursing simulation rooms with remote individual monitoring, control, and recording stations, and matching debriefing rooms for group monitoring sessions. The facility’s traditional teaching spaces are actually anything but traditional — Acentech helped design the 25 conferencing/meeting/class spaces with audio and video conferencing capabilities, a 350-seat auditorium with a multi-image display screen with recording and conferencing features, a function room for formal presentations, and a divisible multipurpose space for larger gatherings. The atrium sports an array of flat panel displays to promote the school’s branding as well. The all-digital backbone to the Albert Sherman Center may be visually impressive, but it also provides revolutionary methods for preparing a new generation of medical researchers for the challenges of tomorrow.

State-of-the-art training facilities are useless if students and faculty can’t hear each other. So, ARC asked Acentech for acoustics consultations, too. Every acoustical need of the Albert Sherman center received attention—including floor treatment selection, the construction of sound isolating partitions, and the control of mechanical noise and vibration.

Acentech also designed the sound and vibration isolation systems between the facility’s fitness center and adjacent vivarium and laboratory areas. Since these research spaces are equipped with highly sensitive instrumentation, they needed heavy-duty protection from the nearby rumbling of footsteps on treadmills. Using double-wall demising partitions and floating-slab construction, Acentech was able give UMass’s med students a place to blow off some steam while protecting the integrity of its research facilities.

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