Acentech Completes Sound System Design for Dartmouth College Athletic Projects

Ann McClure's picture


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Acentech Inc., a nationally recognized multi-disciplinary acoustics, audiovisual systems design, and vibration consulting firm, announced today that it has completed consulting work for two projects at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire: Memorial Field and the Dartmouth Softball Park. With the completion of these projects, Acentech and Dartmouth College have collaborated on more than 30 projects in the last 10 years.

Originally built in 1893 and renovated as recently as 2006, Dartmouth College’s Memorial Field was constructed as a tribute to the Dartmouth students and alumni who died serving in World War I. In the past year, Acentech provided sound system design, sound emissions modeling, and regulatory compliance verification for the historic stadium, which remains the largest athletic field in northern New England. The stadium seats 13,000 spectators and consists of a football field and track.

To address the shortcomings of the stadium’s outdated sound system, Acentech designed a new sound system that greatly improves speech intelligibility and pattern control of the loudspeakers and provides greater listening coverage for the audience and athletes. The improved sound system is used for live announcements, referee’s calls, and playbacks of pre-recorded announcements, music, and marketing messages. The sound system interfaces with an existing on-field marketing sound system, which broadcasts messages to the field and stands.

Through optimal design and computer modeling, the new system directs sound into the stadium rather than the adjacent neighborhoods, complying with the Town of Hanover’s Noise Ordinance. After installation, Acentech measured the resulting sound levels, confirming compliance with the Town’s sound level requirements.

On another corner of the campus, Acentech provided sound emissions modeling and public address (PA) system design recommendations for the Dartmouth Softball Park, a newly constructed National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) compliant softball field that includes a FieldTurf playing surface and seating for 400 fans wrapped around the infield.

The inclusion of a PA system, to provide announcements and play-by-play summaries during games, presented a concern to the surrounding residential neighbors and the Town of Hanover Planning Board. Working closely with Dartmouth College and the PA system designers, Acentech successfully minimized acoustical impacts of the PA system to the community. Acentech recommended the design of the system to include numerous noise reducing features including sound level limiters, selectively aimed loudspeakers, and limitations on the hours of usage of the system, to comply with the Town of Hanover’s sound level requirements. Acentech predicted compliance of the design to the Town by modeling the PA system within acoustical analysis software that provided graphical output showing the estimated sound levels to the surrounding environment. After the PA system was installed, the sound level measurements confirmed that the PA system met the Town’s sound level goals while providing effective coverage of sound to the spectators and players on the field.

About Acentech

Acentech Inc. is a multi-disciplinary acoustics, audiovisual systems design, and vibration consulting firm providing a wide range of services. The company serves a diverse group of clients from its offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Trevose, Pennsylvania; and Westlake Village, California. With a professional staff of more than 50 consultants, Acentech is one of the oldest and largest organizations of its type: an unequaled resource to engineers, architects, and designers worldwide. For more information, please visit