Case Study: Weir Overcomes Noise Challenges

  • Jul 19, 2015

Weir SPM is a market leader in well service pumps and high pressure flow control equipment. The company’s new corporate headquarters in White Settlement, West Fort Worth Texas houses the primary data center for their global network of more than 40 offices, and offices for company executives, sales, finance, information technology and human resources.

Challenge: The new corporate headquarters was constructed on a vacant piece of land in the center of the existing industrial campus.

Solution: Locating the building in the center of the campus allows for easy access to all of the outlying manufacturing buildings that, in addition to manufacturing, also house several engineering offices that must coordinate with the offices inside the new building. The new building also provides dining and meeting facilities for the entire campus. The building’s unique three-story design allows for views both to and from the community and provides a vertical landmark for the city.

Challenge: The new building is located near the end of the runway of the adjoining Naval Air Station in Fort Worth, creating the greatest challenge the project faced: noise mitigation.

Solution: Without addressing the noise issue, normal activity within the building would impacted whenever jets flew past the building. The early designs for glazing, which were also critical in allowing for the required daylighting into the building, were also problematic in allowing sound to enter the building. The team investigated using the limited number of sound attenuating glazing systems available in the marketplace, before designing a system that combines two parallel glazing systems to negate the exterior sound. More than one of these systems was tested at a testing facility in Washington State to help the team select the most acoustically and cost friendly system to use. Foamed insulation was internally sprayed on the curtain wall, window aluminum frames and precast concrete panels. The solution performed better than expectations at a lower price point than the initially recommended system. Cast in place concrete construction was used throughout the facility to help to minimize the potential of noise transfer from outside the building inside. Similarly, precast concrete panels were used for cladding the exterior of the building. This, in conjunction with the glazing system, has significantly reduced the sound transmission into the building. The results of the team’s efforts have created an incredible acoustical environment to work in on the campus.

Challenge: Incorporate the maximum amount of natural light to the interior of the building.

Solution: Large areas of glass in the exterior walls allow light into the exterior office areas, and bring natural light into the interior of the atrium spaces. The atriums incorporate the lobbies and thus allow the light to enter deep into the building, while allowing visual access from all three floors to the center of the facility, giving the building an open appearance. Similarly, light wells were introduced into the interior open office areas to bring natural light from the roof above into the heart of the building.