Education / Higher Ed / Projects / Science & Research

University of California, Santa Barbara wanted to set a high standard of sustainability and performance with the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management: it appears they met their goal. Bren Hall has been accredited to be the “greenest” laboratory building in the United States by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED accreditation program and is now used as a model for facilities all across America for energy efficiency. Cerami & Associates is very proud to have been the acoustical designers in the construction of this building.

The selection criteria for the mechanical systems for Bren Hall required that the machines be energy efficient and generate as little noise and vibration as possible. Being that the classroom and laboratories in the building housed very sensitive equipment for research, Cerami was brought in to assess the noise and vibration criteria for the laboratories, and made recommendations toward the selection of machinery based on those standards.

The floor air-handling units that provide fresh air to the laboratories generated too much noise, so we recommended a drywall sound enclosures, duct treatments, and acoustic linings for their AHU units. Other noise issues stemmed from the variable air terminal units, rooftop exhaust fans, and air diffusers; all problems we were able to design solutions for. We also provided designs for their mechanical room to minimize noise and vibration, and offered solutions for vibration isolation as well, to help make UCSB’s new building not only efficient, but practical for education and research as well.



Client: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership
Project Type: New Construction
Cost: $26,000,000
Size: 84,672 sf
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

  • Provided vibration mitigation for mechanical systems to ensure sensitive research equipment isn’t adversely affected
  • Originally one of the “greenest” laboratory buildings in the US and is now a model of energy efficient design