The W Hotel at Union Square in New York City combines the Beaux-Arts style of the Guardian Life Building it was built into with the contemporary chic characteristic of this area and particular chain of hotels. However, because the hotel was situated in the heart of bustling Union Square, the acoustical environment needed to be modified to provide their guests with the peace and quiet expected of a luxury hotel. Cerami & Associates was invited to provide acoustical consulting services.
The majority of vibration and sound in the hotel did not originate from the outside environment, but from the popular restaurant and bar the hotel houses on its ground floor. The noise from the music playing in these spaces and the conversations trying to be held over it, made for a noise level of approximately NC-50+: about twice as loud as recommended for a restaurant. This sound would transfer through the ducts into the hotel rooms where patrons are trying to sleep. As a result, we recommended sound absorptive finishes for the walls inside the restaurant and bar, as well as acoustical lining for the ducts.
Another acoustical issue within the hotel was the mechanical room. The fans and air handling units were generating excessive noise and led us to recommend that the units be reevaluated for their static pressure requirements and that alternative fan types that are lower in overall sound power levels be looked into. We also recommended the construction of supply ductwork and lining. The pump and fan bases needed vibration isolation as well, for which we suggested the use of spring and neoprene hangers and mounts.