Neighbors: New Bio Labs Are Too Noisy

Lecturer on the History of Science Maila L. Walter and her husband Edward S. Walter are attempting to deny Harvard a permit to occupy the newly-renovated Biological Laboratories.

The Walters, who live behind the biology labs on Francis Ave, are charging that the University lied in its application to expand and renovate the labs.

Since the renovation, the Walters say that the greater noise caused by fans on the building's roof has become unbearable. Mrs. Walter said she has even had trouble sleeping.

"Ever since the construction...I have been subjected to a relentless stream of noise coming from the fans at the biology labs," she wrote in a letter to Vice President and General Counsel Margaret H. Marshall last November. "The level of nighttime noise, as measured by both City of Cambridge and by Harvard's private acoustical contractor, exceeds legal limits."

Harvard officials cite more recent independent noise measurements which show the level of sound is legal.

But the Walters have asked the city's Board of Zoning Appeal to deny Harvard a permit to occupy the building.