The Challenge: Residents at this new high rise would live in clear view of a busy railroad. They’d also find themselves surrounded by multiple mechanical systems and enjoying potentially noisy building features like a small movie theater, a swimming pool and on-site parking. Inside and out, Midtown at Montrose LLC needed a thorough analysis by acoustics experts who could bring the building’s complex plans in line with the strict noise limits of the local building code.

Our Solution: Using techniques honed over his 22 years in the business, Professional Engineer Scott Harvey conducted a building-shell analysis and provided architects a detailed rundown of the noise and vibration that would affect each room. From there, he customized STC ratings for the walls, windows and doors of residential units to control railway noise. Between apartments, Harvey designed wall and floor/ceiling systems to isolate noise from neighbors, and he carefully analyzed the impact of interior plumbing and duct work.

Our engineers also provided comprehensive noise control recommendations for mechanical equipment that included cooling towers, chillers, emergency generators and pool systems. For the building’s public spaces, their analysis and mitigation suggestions paid close attention to the noise potential from the building’s garage, loading dock, exercise room and movie theater.

The Results: To help the builder maximize the effectiveness of the plans, Harvey made multiple site visits to inspect the installation of windows, HVAC systems, plumbing noise mitigation (see Figure 2) and structures separating the theater from adjacent living spaces. The final building design surpassed Montgomery County’s interior noise standards, ensuring a comfortable auditory environment for the residents who live there today.