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A&E Center Updates

A resource for the community on noise mitigation and other Center updates

Posted by Susan Shutts at 2:51PM

Within the last week, the Office of Facilities received shipment of the variable frequency drives (VFDs) and connected them to the three fan motors on the cooling tower. The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) contractor is currently completing the software programming that will allow the VFDs to govern the speed of the fans—running them at a slower speed will help reduce the noise level. The slower speed will also produce sound frequencies that are less irritating to the ear.


Posted by Susan Shutts at 2:45PM

Ithaca College is aware of the noise being produced by the cooling tower for the new Athletics and Events Center and has been working with the building’s architectural and engineering firms as well as sound consultants to develop a noise-mitigation strategy. Sound consultants have already visited a number of homes in the Coddington Road and Northview Road area surrounding the college to take sound readings.

Here is the status of noise mitigation efforts to date:

  • The settings at which the cooling tower fans are set to kick on has been raised from 55 degrees up to 60 degrees outdoor ambient temperature, so that they do not operate as often.
  • The blades on all of the fans will be replaced with a style of blade that slices through the air rather than chops it, creating less noise.
  • Variable frequency drives will be installed on the three fan motors that do not already have them. This will help govern the speed of the fans and reduce the noise level by having the fans run at a slower speed. The slower speed will also produce sound frequencies that are less irritating to the ear. Two of the three new drives have been replaced so far.
  • The construction of a wall to help deflect and absorb the sound waves generated by the cooling tower is under consideration. This effort presents a design and construction challenge, so Ithaca College administrators are working with the architects and engineers to determine if this will be both feasible and beneficial.

With the commencement of the cooler fall weather and throughout the winter, of course, the fans will be operating much less frequently. We will continue, however, to explore and implement all appropriate options to reduce the level of sound produced by the cooling tower.

We sincerely appreciate the patience and understanding that our South Hill neighbors have shown as we work to resolve this issue. This is the largest building project in Ithaca College’s history, and we are justly proud of what it means for both the campus and wider Ithaca communities.

We will provide regular updates on the progress of our noise-mitigation plans and other information regarding the Athletics & Events Center on this blog. Specific questions or concerns regarding the Athletics and Events Center can be sent to me at 274-3111 or ahopson@ithaca.edu.

Sincerely,
Anthony Hopson
Assistant Vice President for Community and Government Relations
 

 


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