Acentech Consults on Three STEM Projects for Independent K-12 Schools

Firm designs acoustics and audiovisual systems for new and innovative K-12 STEM facilities

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – May 24, 2016 – Acentech, a nationally recognized multi-disciplinary acoustics, audiovisual, IT and security system design, and vibration consulting firm, announced today that it is providing consulting and design services for STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) facilities at three independent schools in New England. The new projects for Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Mass., Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., and Derby Academy in Hingham, Mass. add to the firm’s extensive portfolio of public and independent K-12 school projects. Acentech brings critical expertise in the areas of acoustics, sound isolation, amplification, and multimedia technology design to new and renovated academic environments.

“Good listening conditions are vital to teaching and learning, and studies show that background noise in school environments directly influences the engagement, development, and academic performance of children,” said Rose Mary Su, senior consultant in acoustics and leader of Acentech’s primary and secondary education market. “Our consultants listen carefully to the needs of each client to ensure that optimal acoustics and technology designs fit the overall goals for teaching and learning spaces. We are excited to bring our expertise to these latest STEM projects.”

Beaver Country Day School R+D Center, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Acentech is providing acoustics, audiovisual and IT infrastructure consulting for architecture firm NADAAA to reinvent the library as the R+D Center at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The school wanted to include more functional and interactive components to the library to better reflect the school's curriculum and serve students' needs from the space. This will be accomplished by introducing more sophisticated research spaces, design and engineering workshops, recording studios, and individual study spaces and open work studios that allow students to collaborate and create. As part of an effort to provide an engaging and visually connected environment, the school and the design team created a central opening between the workshop level and the research/study/office level. A dedicated room for noisy woodshop equipment, laser cutters, and 3-D printers was designed to be well isolated from the rest of the library. Acentech used 3DListening™ technology to demonstrate the various architectural acoustic options to help the school and the architect make informed design decisions for finishes, glazing, and architectural elements. By using the auralization demonstration, the design team can confirm that the acoustical goals will be met with the chosen design elements.

A great deal of learning and classroom interaction at Beaver Country Day School happens over the school’s highly interactive wireless environment with devices such as tablets and laptops. The IT infrastructure system consists of a 10G high-speed Cat6 cabling system that supports this robust wireless network. The same Cat6 cabling system is also used for the voice and data network and communications system. Faculty, staff and students all benefit from this highly reliable cabling infrastructure.

Choate Rosemary Hall Lanphier Center for Math and Computer Science, Wallingford, Conn.

Choate Rosemary Hall is a private boarding school in Wallingford, Conn., which lists President John F. Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson among its alumni. The Lanphier Center for Mathematics and Computer Science is a new 34,728 SF state-of-the-art facility that is home to Choate Rosemary Hall’s programs in math, computer science, and robotics. Pelli Clarke Pelli brought Acentech on board to provide advice on sound isolation, room acoustics, and mechanical system noise and vibration control.

The Lanphier Center is composed of two classroom wings lined by a transparent glass connector, and includes classrooms, labs, offices, and congregating spaces for both students and faculty. Acentech collaborated with the design team in developing learning spaces that allow for more flexibility and also achieve best-practice acoustical designs. This included learning spaces without conventional acoustical finishes and loft-like classrooms with acoustical plaster ceilings. In the lecture halls, Acentech’s acoustical recommendations complemented the audiovisual design. The learning spaces are aesthetically designed and functional, setting an excellent model for the intended education program at the Lanphier Center. Acentech assisted the design team in choosing sustainable materials and systems, such as a HVAC system with low-velocity displacement ventilation that provides fresh air with very little noise and energy use. The Lanphier Center was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Derby Academy Healey Family Center for Innovation, Hingham, Mass.

Collaborating with OLSON LEWIS + Architects, Acentech provided acoustics, audiovisual system, and IT consulting services for the new Healey Family Center for Innovation at Derby Academy in Hingham, Mass. The 3,400 SF Healey Center has become a hub of learning on campus, providing richly equipped space for critical thinking, creative production, and analytical experiences that integrate with studies and enhance classroom activities at all grade levels. Acentech’s consulting services focused on architectural acoustics and mechanical systems noise control in all the interior spaces, with a particular focus on the Healey Center project room. The open, flexible work space enables faculty and students to gather in large and small groups, utilize cutting-edge technology, and create large-scale projects that can remain set up for ongoing iterations. For the project room, Acentech designed and specified the audiovisual systems and IT infrastructure to support owner furnished computer equipment, classroom technology and audiovisual equipment.

About Acentech

Acentech is a multi-disciplinary acoustics, audiovisual system, IT and security system design, and vibration consulting firm. The company serves a diverse group of clients from its offices in Cambridge, Mass.; Trevose, Penn.; and Los Angeles, Calif. With a professional staff of more than 50 consultants, Acentech is one of the oldest and largest organizations of its type: an unequaled resource to engineers, architects, and designers worldwide. For more information, please visit or on Twitter at @AcentechTweet.

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