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  • January 23, 2017

Acentech Consults on New UVM Inpatient Building

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an exterior view of the UVM inpatient building

Burlington, Vermont – Acentech, of Cambridge, Mass., recently announced that it has been selected to provide consulting services for a new inpatient building at the University of Vermont (UVM) Medical Center in Burlington, Vt. Working with the project architect, E4H MorrisSwitzer Environments for Health, Acentech is providing architectural acoustics and mechanical system noise and vibration control consulting for the new inpatient bed replacement facility, named The Robert E. and Holly D. Miller Building.

To meet today’s hospital design standards and patient care expectations, UVM is constructing a $187 million, 180,000sf addition above the existing emergency department parking area. The new design features four inpatient floors, each with 32 single occupancy, technologically sophisticated rooms that will vastly improve the patient experience by enhancing privacy and reducing noise. Increasing the Medical Center’s single-occupancy rate from 30 to 90%, the private rooms feature modern amenities and well-defined zones for the patient, clinician, and family.

Acentech is providing recommendations for room acoustics, sound isolation, and mechanical system noise and vibration control, establishing floor vibration design criteria, and addressing the effects of footfall-induced vibrations. Acentech’s experts will also work with E4H MorrisSwitzer designers to examine the environmental noise impact of this new facility and offer solutions for mitigating mechanical noise to the neighboring community.

The Whiting Turner Contracting Company of Baltimore, Md. is the construction manager, partnering with Neagley & Chase Construction Company of South Burlington, Vermont.

“Evidence shows that patient rooms designed with the needs of patients and families in mind result in better outcomes and a better experience overall,” said Eileen Whalen, M.H.A., R.N., president and chief operating officer, UVM Medical Center. “The Miller Building will reflect our focus on providing high-quality care in an environment that is soothing, quiet and private.”

Sustainably designed for LEED certification, the Miller Building will create a better space for patients by enhancing quality, privacy, and healing, as well as provide more space for family centered care. Sound isolation and speech privacy are essential components to the healing process and overall peace of mind for patients, staff, and families.

“Key concerns voiced by the Patient and Family Focus Group in the planning and design process included privacy and noise reduction,” said Thomas Morris, partner at E4H MorrisSwitzer and project manager. “Acentech provided thoughtful options and recommendations for accomplishing these goals.”

Devoted exclusively to healthcare design, E4H MorrisSwitzer previously designed UVM’s Vermont Children’s Hospital inpatient unit, the Walk-In Clinic at Fanny Allen, and several other UVM Medical Center projects in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. The firm also designed UVM Medical Center’s new LEED Gold Mother-Baby unit. The Miller Building project is expected to be complete in summer 2019.

Serving all of Vermont and the northern New York region, the UVM Medical Center is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont. The Medical Center has a rich history dating back to the 1800s, with some outdated inpatient units now 50 to 70 years old.