Duke University Baldwin Auditorium Renovations, Durham, NC
The transformation of Baldwin Auditorium into an acoustically superior world-class musical venue was a LEED® silver registered project. The existing venue had poor acoustics, and the project team virtually remade it – changing the very shape of the interior, redesigning and relocating mechanical equipment configuration, and renovating the unusual coffered dome. Those were complemented by a focus on intricate structural modifications and special finishes, all through an intricate sequenced process.
This project included an elaborate system of air supply designed to eliminate air noise from the auditorium. A mechanical vault was built adjacent to the existing auditorium to house all mechanical equipment eliminating vibration and equipment humming from the space. Large ducts were utilized to supply the under‐floor plenum, as well as to return the air for cycling. The plenum pressurizes forcing air vertically, under very low pressure, through the swirl diffusers in the floor of the auditorium. At full delivery, there is absolutely no air noise or vibration in the auditorium. Vibration isolators and sound proof material strategically located assist the delivery system silence. The project team used BIM technology to locate the large ductwork and ensure other services had a place to be installed and serve the building. Given the minimal structural clearances of the basement area, numerous clashes were detected from one service to another as well as clashing services with structure. After team consultation and approval from the acoustical engineer, all large ductwork and other building services fit perfectly and worked properly to service this high performance building. (copied from award write-up and application)