Challenges of the Emergency Helipad: Handling the Noise of a Relocated Helipad

Marc Newmark, MS – Principal Consultant, Acentech
Benjamin Davenny, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC – Principal Consultant, Acentech

In this session, Acentech will discuss some of the challenges faced by the need to relocate the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)’s emergency rooftop helipad, including the potential inadvertent disruption to patients and clinicians inside their healthcare facilities. Through the analysis of existing conditions near and directly below the institution’s Center for Women and Newborns existing helipad, researchers at Acentech were able to generate an understanding for how future sites can mitigate disturbances caused by this life-saving route to bring patients to receive critical care. It is understandably difficult to allocate resources to developing building design that are amenable to inaudible helicopter noise transmission. A delicate balance of feasibility, perception of noise and vibration, and cost can help set realistic noise goals for an issue of this magnitude. Attendees of this session will learn how the impact generated from a helicopter comes from more than the vehicle’s engine and the whirring of propeller blades—the intense, pulsating air pressure generated from helicopters also contributes to structureborne noise and vibration concerns for hospitals. In turn, attendees will also learn what can be done to evaluate and mitigate this common problem within the modern world of patient care.

Download Presentation