New England Conservatory – Student Life and Performance Center New England Conservatory of Music

The New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) was founded in 1867 and is the oldest independent school of music in the United States. A campus planning initiative completed in 2010 included an assessment of space needs and proposed the phased construction of two new buildings. Following a conceptual design for the two buildings performed by Ann Beha Architects (ABA), in association with Gensler, the design team proceeded with full design services for the Phase I building: New Student Life & Performance Center.

The new, mixed-use facility will be a 12-story high-rise of 135,000 gross square feet. The building will house community and learning spaces on the first three floors, and student residential spaces on floors above. The community and learning spaces will include three performance spaces – a 200-seat Black Box Theater, Orchestra Rehearsal Room, and Ensemble Room/ Recording Studio – as well as a Library Resource Center and flexible use Dining Commons. Student residential floors will include a mixture of double and single rooms as well as quad semi-suites with total of 252 beds. Building HVAC systems will include independent central heating and cooling plants. Heating hot water will be produced by condensing-type natural gas boilers. Chilled water will be produced by an air-cooled water chiller. Both systems with be designed with primary variable flow water distribution systems. Performance spaces will be provided with dedicated air-handling systems carefully designed with consideration for noise levels in these acoustically critical spaces. Other community and learning spaces will be provided with variable air volume-type air distribution systems. Student residences will be served by dedicated fan-coil units with high-efficiency ECM motors and central ventilation air handling systems utilizing exhaust air energy recovery. Air handling systems for all non-dormitory areas will include an air-side economizer. The building is will be fully sprinklered and protected by an addressable fire alarm system. The building will be equipped with an independent 350kW emergency generator to serve life safety systems. Electrical service will include a utility vault within the building with two 1000kVA transformers. Occupancy, vacancy, and daylight-sensing controls are specified for lighting systems to conserve energy.

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Location: Boston, MA

Completion Date: 2016

Architects: Ann Beha Architects, Gensler