Acentech Designs Acoustics and AV Systems for Drexel University LeBow College of Business

Drexel Uniersity:  Lebow Atrium Interior (credit: Jeffry Torato)

Drexel University: Lebow Atrium Interior / photo by Jeffry Torato

Cambridge, MA – Acentech, a nationally recognized multidisciplinary acoustics, audiovisual systems design, and vibration consulting firm, has provided consulting services for Drexel University LeBow College of Business in downtown Philadelphia. Collaborating with Voith & Mactavish Architects and Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Acentech consulted on interior room acoustics, sound isolation, mechanical system noise control, and audiovisual system design for Drexel’s Gerri C. LeBow Hall, the new 177,500sf home of the LeBow College of Business.

Designed around a central five-story atrium accessible from main entrances at the three corners of the building, the new LeBow Hall includes a mock trading room, a 300-seat auditorium, a 160-seat multipurpose space, and a 100-seat lecture hall. The building also houses classrooms, a behavioral research lab, a recording studio, student lounges, collaboration/study rooms, a dean’s suite, and faculty offices.

The acoustical design of the atrium was aimed at achieving conditions suitable for a pass-through, casual meeting area as well as minimizing sound build-up generated by activity when the space is used for large gatherings. The teaching spaces promote good speech intelligibility via natural acoustics, while allowing for sufficiently “dry” conditions necessary for recording and playback. In the studios, Acentech’s recommendations pertained specifically to appropriate surface finishes, sufficiently low background sound levels, and demising constructions that provide adequate levels of sound isolation. In the dean’s suite and faculty offices, achieving the university end user-desired levels of acoustical privacy was the primary focus.


Distributed audiovisual systems were included in most of the teaching spaces to minimize spatial requirements and provide for operational flexibility, with specialized designs in the Bloomberg Terminal Trading Room and studios. The study rooms and conference rooms support audiovisual presentation and collaboration activities. Students may reserve the collaboration rooms via an electronic scheduling system that interfaces with the audiovisual control system for access management. The multi-purpose room and the adjacent pre-function space both have systems that can be used for large presentations as well as social functions. University communications are supported by several digital signage displays throughout the building