The recently completed Richard C. Seaver Biology Building, by Bauer and Wiley Architects, has won several awards for its energy- and environmentally-conscious design. The 46,270-square-foot, three-story building contains 15 research labs, four teaching labs, two classrooms, and four greenhouses. In these state-of-the-art research facilities, biology professors work with undergraduate students on projects ranging from plant physiology and genetics to molecular biology and neuroscience.
MLA was the acoustical and AV engineer of record on the project. The laboratories with numerous fume hoods presented interesting noise control challenges. They necessitated the use of large roof-mounted blowers to exhaust the air. Since the building was located in a quiet residential neighborhood, this equipment required extensive silencing. As part of our research we made background noise level measurements over several days to establish the existing background ambient levels.
In addition to the noise control work, audio visual systems were designed for the teaching laboratories and classrooms. These were a combination of fixed installations in the laboratories along with cart-based systems in the classrooms due to budgetary constraints. The building met the college’s stringent design goals.