Expertise Facility Types

G.G. Brown Laboratories Addition

University of Michigan

"A marvel of modern acoustical engineering." - IDS Architects

This new facility houses The Center of Excellence in Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering, and includes a state-of-the-art Ultra-Low Vibration Facility. The unique and innovative vibration and noise control design for the ULV facility resulted in some of the lowest vibration amplitudes we've ever measured.
62,500 sq ft
Construction Cost
Project Link
Ambient Vibration Performance:
VC-M (0.01 micro-meters/sec)

The Challenge

The project included eight "Ultra Low Vibration" chambers with very stringent environmental requirements, including vibration, noise, temperature, and EMI.  The sensitive research in these labs requires vibration amplitudes no higher than NIST-A, which cannot be exceeded for even a fraction of a second over the course of long duration measurements.  Vehicles, including buses, passed nearby to the lab on a regular basis, posing an extreme challenge for meeting this criterion.  Extensive coordination with the design team and researchers, along with numerous field measurements and modeling were required to help develop a design that would achieve the users requirements.

Our Solution

The lab vibration requirements were met through a combination of structural measures, including a specialty slab and concrete pillar design, and negative stiffness isolators installed on top of the pillars.  The strict noise requirements were met with careful attention to HVAC noise control and the use of radiant panels to limit airflow into the spaces.  The end result was some of the lowest vibration amplitudes we've ever measured, with average ambient amplitudes meeting VC-M, and vibration from passing vehicles falling well below the maximum allowable limits.  The stable environments provided have already allowed for the achievement of two key scientific milestones: Quantifying heat fluxes at the nanoscale; and showing that light emitting diodes (LEDs) can be employed to cool electronic devices.