The Challenge: Sensitive lab equipment made vibration mitigation critical to the design of this new research facility. What’s more, architects from ALPHATEC p.c. had to account for noise from penthouse mechanical equipment, a loading dock and footfalls on the second floor. They needed vibration-level criteria and mitigation designs drawn from comprehensive data on the way vibration would travel through the concrete building.

Our Solution: Scott Harvey, our professional engineer board certified by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, managed the development of a finite element analysis model from the building plans to paint a detailed picture of the vibration anticipated in labs and other spaces. The model also calculated the building’s frequency response to different sources of vibration and indicated whether the structure’s plans would meet design goals. The model was then used to redesign the building structure to bring vibration levels into compliance with specified levels. To ensure rooftop equipment would not compromise the design, Phoenix Noise and Vibration also drew up standards for balance quality and spring isolation in mechanical systems.

The Results: Close collaboration with architects and structural engineers resulted in two structural designs that met the project’s vibration criteria. The plans and prescribed materials isolated all lab areas from the impact of footsteps and mechanical systems. Despite potentially noisy mechanical equipment in the rooftop penthouse, the room directly below also kept vibration within strict limits.