The original Student Union at the University of Massachusetts Amherst was built in 1957. At the time, it was the largest building on campus, serving roughly 4,800 students. Today, UMass Amherst is home to nearly 30,000 students and in need of a larger gathering space. Shepley Bulfinch is leading the $62 million renovation of the Student Center with Acentech providing acoustics, audiovisual, telecommunications and security system design consulting services.

The Student Union provides students with a space to gather, collaborate, and socialize while also supporting a wide range of student groups. Our acoustics consultants are working to ensure all spaces can be used as intended. Sound isolation measures were taken to control sound transmission between spaces inside the building, to ensure appropriate privacy in closed rooms, and prevent disturbance by sound from circulation areas to the enclosed spaces. Special architectural details were specified for isolating the TV studios, Radio studios and Black Box Theatre. We are also working with the design team on the interior finishes of the spaces to promote good conditions for speech communication, as well as designing a quiet HVAC system with the appropriate noise and vibration controls for the renovated areas.

Our audiovisual consultants are providing consulting services for the entire building, giving special attention to the relocated Ballroom, the Cape Cod Lounge area, and the Black Box Theater. In the two Main Street Lounge areas, we also designed video walls for displaying daily or upcoming events and internal news/awards/ updates. There are additional standard digital signage monitors, including one in the main thoroughfare of the building that can double as an impromptu presentation space.

Acentech’s telecommunications and Security System consultants connected the Student Union to the UMass Amherst campus with a highly reliable, 10GB network. We provided the connections for all computers, the VOIP phone system, AV systems, security networks, and building management systems seamless communications. Students have access to their student services while facility managers are now able to view, manage, and efficiently maintain complex mechanical systems and energy distribution systems. Additionally, Acentech provided the security systems including video surveillance, access controls, and emergency communications. The new system has the ability to be monitored and controlled twenty-four-seven.

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