The 433,000 SF Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital is located at the site of the former Worcester State Hospital. This public chronic psychological care facility has beds for 260 adults and 60 adolescents, and consolidates the services of two former state hospitals. Project architect Ellenzweig, along with collaborating architect Architecture+, hired Acentech to ensure that the acoustic goals of the project were met.

The mental health aspect of this project meant that compared to a typical hospital, the occupants would be both more sensitive to noise, and more likely to generate obtrusive noises. In order to keep the atmosphere as serene as possible, the designers created a “downtown” area with shops, cafes, seating areas, and movie theater. Acentech assisted in the selection of finishes, as standard materials didn’t necessarily meet patient safety standards.

Mechanical system noise was a critical concern. Because patients at the hospital are kept in restricted areas close to the building, there wasn’t a lot of acoustical separation. Outdoor mechanical equipment needed to be as quiet as possible, with a goal of maintaining the peaceful, rural character of the outdoor space. Acentech’s recommendations of low-noise fans, barriers, and sound attenuators helped the architects meet this goal.

The Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital achieved LEED Gold certification, and was awarded an AIA New England Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture.

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