Wentworth Institute of Technology was experiencing a shift in the curriculum from engineering technology to engineering innovation. With that shift came the need for new and different spaces that would support and promote interdisciplinary collaboration. The Wentworth Institute of Technology Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences (CEIS) was born out of this need for expansion and change. Designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates, this four-story building is home to Accelerate, Wentworth’s Center for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, and its Ideation Space, Maker Space, and administrative offices that it shares with the EPIC Experimental Learning programs. The new building also houses Wentworth’s new Biomedical Engineering program, along with updated lab spaces that provide hands-on learning experiences for students in other technology fields. Acentech provided architectural acoustics, mechanical systems noise and vibration control, and audiovisual consulting services for the 78,000 square-foot building.

Acentech’s acoustics consultants worked to promote interdisciplinary collaboration by ensuring that all spaces worked well together. We provided recommendations for room finishes and sound isolation for classrooms, lecture halls, and teaching labs in order to achieve high degrees of speech intelligibility in the spaces. We also addressed sound isolation for the workshop labs of the Center for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, so that noisy work there would not interfere with more noise-sensitive activities in nearby spaces. We also focused on designing HVAC system noise controls to deliver low background sounds levels in the sound-sensitive spaces throughout the building as well as at other receptors outside the building.

Acentech’s audiovisual consultants worked closely with the project team, including the school’s AV Department, to design and specify systems for spaces within the CEIS, including maker spaces, a community presentation space, collaboration and meeting spaces, multiples labs, and conference rooms. To support the various needs and functions of these spaces, our audiovisual consultants designed presentation, instruction, collaboration, assistive listening, “active learning”, room scheduling, and digital signage systems.

The audiovisual systems, along with the acoustic treatments work together to ensure all spaces function as intended. The new Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences has not only surpassed student’s and staff’s expectations, but it has also exceeded the City of Boston’s requirements for sustainability. Wentworth’s new CEIS, created out of the need to modernize and enhance its facilities, will encourage collaboration for years to come.

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