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The Noise Challenge of Building a Top-level University Within an Industrial & Airport Zone

This is the story of how AIRBUS managed to build their BREEAM Leadership University Campus at the heart of an airport & manufacturing zone, without suffering from noise pollution coming from the nearby runways and A380 assembly plant.

In this article, we will give you an insider view on the way AIRBUS Group managed the acoustics of this 14,000 square meters project by partnering with Delhom Acoustique’s engineering team, to prevent potential noise impacts and deliver students with “noise-free” areas.

When aerospace-pioneer AIRBUS Group launched the project, we teamed up with Valode & Pistre Architects, Calvo Tran Van and VP Design to make sure the acoustics of this 14,000sqm training center would offer proper acoustic comfort to their students & staff and achieve the acoustic credits of the BREEAM certification.

This entailed a complete study of the acoustic aspects from concept to end of construction, to improve the external and internal sound insulation, listening comfort and internal room acoustics, and a control of technical equipment noise in the campus’ key areas such as: the conference center, offices, hotel residences, training rooms and public areas.

Each year, an astounding 20,000 Airbus employees have access to the university’s programs, developed for all levels, from production to top management teams. Therefore, the center was built with 150 hotel rooms, a restaurant and sports complex, an auditorium, and a convention & event center for 700 people. These large and complex spaces had to be considered during the design stage to optimize the acoustics and prevent any acoustic discomfort.

One of the acoustic challenges faced during the project came from the large event room that would be built next to the quiet hotel area, and other training rooms. Thus, optimizing the sound insulation performance of the building to properly block noisy spaces from leaking into sensitive areas was a key part of the acoustic design. Noisy equipment was also located close to the hotel and training rooms, so the creation of dedicated technical rooms and the careful selection of materials and positioning was paramount to significantly reduce their impact on these sensitive spaces.

Due to the proximity of the location to the airport runways and assembly lines, our team also carried out on-site environmental noise measurements to accurately simulate and predict the outdoor noise impact on the project. Façade sound insulation played a big part of our acoustic study, as our team set the acoustic objectives to deliver a comfortable building, as well as save costs on the façade materials.

Finally, our team worked very closely with the interior designers of the project, to preserve the aesthetic design intentions of the different spaces, while still achieving the BREEAM acoustic targets. A careful integration of acoustic materials into the interior design materials made the spaces sound as great as they look.

It was a truly gratifying experience for our team to be able to work on this challenging and quality demanding project, where each acoustic aspect called on our problem-solving skills and acoustic knowledge. Airbus’ Leadership University became a memorable project that our team at Delhom Acoustique had the privilege to work on, alongside a team of professional and like-minded consultants.

How did Western Academy of Beijing‘s noisy school atrium turn into a beautiful space for kids to play, enjoy and learn? Discover it in this article!