Chinese Central Television (CCTV) decided to make a significant increase in the quantity of original programming produced in the United States, for both U.S. and Chinese distribution. This necessitated an expansion of their broadcast presence in Washington, D.C., from a single studio in a 3000sq-ft facility, to a multiple studio newsgathering facility of 35,000sq ft with two studios and two control rooms. The new location provides a 24/7 workspace with a back-up generator and a self-contained cooling system. The studios have adequate cooling for the set and LED lighting, and meet studio acoustical standards.
As is typical in downtown D.C. buildings, the slab to slab clearance was 10ft, 10in, and less at post-tensioning and column capitols. Set design requirements prohibited placing the ductwork in the ceiling. This restriction resulted in using an innovative “wrap around” installation approach, maximizing both space and functionality. The end result was a clean space with only a 2in Unistrut grid secured to the underside of the slab. The Unistrut follows the slab’s ups and downs to make best use of the height throughout the space.
Several factors required the mechanical equipment room be located adjacent to the main studio. This presented design challenges for sound and vibration transmission into the studio. The mechanical and acoustical engineers worked closely to address these issues. Solutions included: oversized lined ductwork, sound attenuators, equipment inertia bases, floating floor slab and spring isolation. In addition, the studio cooling unit was equipped with a variable speed drive, which can modulate fan speed as required to fine-tune air-flow quantities to address any sound issues. These design elements were incorporated into an already compact mechanical room, which required a well-planned room design.
Low ceiling studio height required ducting arrangements that would maximize sight lines. By running the studio duct above adjacent rooms, utilizing side wall diffusers and a side wall duct, a cross fl ow air pattern was developed, moving air across the studio back to the return air opening on the opposite wall.
The studios required a controlled noise level to enable CCTV to perform its technical functions without interruption from noise. The city’s height limitation required creative use of space to fit the program into the slab height available. Minimal noise from vertically adjacent tenants enabled the studios to be optimized for camera, set and lighting angles without need for specialty floor construction. The HVAC units locate directly adjacent to the studio for limitation of crossing ducts and efficiency, requiring the fan unit and pumps to be mounted on a floating concrete floor for noise control, and for return air to use an in-wall vertically oriented attenuated return air plenum. The end result is a noise level consistent with user requirements and quiet enough to record and broadcast all programs without concern for neighbors, heat load or HVAC operation.