Bellevue, WA

NAC | Architecture
Bellevue School District

Creating Spaces Conducive to Learning and Expression

Bellevue High School is a partially new, partially renovated 196,000 square foot, grade 9-12 school with approximately 1400 students and 120 staff members.  The $92,000,000 building, which opened in 2012, features a new performing arts center, classrooms and support areas.  The structure utilizes an innovative thermal displacement ventilation system for energy efficiency and acoustical performance.


SSA Acoustics provided comprehensive architectural and mechanical acoustics, and audio/visual system recommendations, throughout the school.  For example, HVAC equipment was placed just above the classrooms in the design.  Washington Administrative Code requires that background noise level in school classrooms stays below 45 dB(A).  The design team needed a plan on how to mitigate noise from this equipment.  The budget for the school was limited, so any materials recommended for the mitigation also needed to be cost effective.


SSA reviewed the sound levels of the HVAC equipment.  We then built an analytical model to evaluate the path of sound from machines to the interior of the classrooms below.  Based on this evaluation, we recommended the use of a composite metal deck with a 2.5 inch concrete topping above the height of the HVAC flutes to reduce the sound transmission.  Because the thermal displacement ventilation system selected produces less noise than standard HVAC systems, no additional floor/assembly modifications were recommended or needed, saving time and money.


NAC | Architecture is an architecture, electrical engineering, interior design and planning firm with expertise in education, healthcare and community recreation.   In our years of business, SSA has been invited to provide acoustical design recommendations on over twenty K-12 schools by NAC.