When Aedas Building Consultancy got involved in the refurbishment of Brownhill Primary School, they became aware of a reverberation and echo problem with the multi-purpose hall within the building. Having come across this problem before, they knew exactly who to contact for free consultancy and advice – Sound Reduction Systems Ltd – who offer all UK schools free of charge site visits and advice under the terms of their ‘Acoustics for Schools’ initiative.
Upon receiving the call from Aedas, SRS Ltd sent a member of their technical and installation team to Brownhill school to meet with Headteacher Georgina Winterburn to view the problem area, take measurements and discuss possible solutions. SRS Ltd Technical Director Richard Sherwood visited site and commented:
“The hall was typical of many of this type – a large, open space with many harsh, acoustically reflective surfaces. This was creating a great deal of reverberation and echo making it an uncomfortable environment to teach and learn in.”
After processing the information taken away from site, SRS were then able to present Mrs Winterburn with a detailed report, graphical predictions of the acoustic performance of the hall, both before and after treatment, a prosed layout design and, finally, cost for the supply and install of all materials.
The proposal involved the distribution of 54sqm of Sonata Vario acoustic absorbers across the walls and ceiling of the hall. The Sonata Vario is a raft type absorber that stands proud of the walls and ceiling, giving the impression that the absorbers are floating. This technique opens up the back of the panel to absorb sound, and ensures greater performance than standard, directly bonded panels. All sonata panels are manufactured from non-shedding acoustic foam as opposed to mineral fibre making them perfect for school environments.
The size and colour of the panels were chosen to compliment the aesthetics of the hall and fit around the motivational graphics already selected by the school. Once installed, Headteacher Mrs Winterburn commented: -
"Our hall was a large noisy place especially during lunchtimes with in excess of 150 children eating and talking. With a high ceiling and no soft surfaces, although the children weren’t shouting, it always felt uncomfortably loud and, for very young children it was a daunting place to be. The installation of Sonata acoustic panels has significantly changed this. The hall now feels and sounds like a vibrant place, still the volume associated with large numbers of children in one space but no longer sounding as though all the children are shouting. Children can hear each other talking and if someone is shouting we can pinpoint where the sound is coming from. When using the hall for PE or other lessons, voices are no longer lost in the void therefore making it easier to have discussions and when children are doing presentations they can be heard much more clearly.
I would definitely recommend the installation of Sonata acoustic panels to help reduce noise and improve the lunchtime experience in primary schools."
For further details on the Sonata range of products including soundproofing for walls, ceilings, and floors, the initiative or any other school acoustics issue you may have, please get in touch with us for free, professional advice on 01204 380074, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.soundreduction.co.uk where all information is available for download.
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