The Lobby at Oxford University’s Oriental Institute was causing staff and students problems with its poor room acoustics. Oxford University contacted sound absorption and insulation experts Sound Reduction Systems Ltd (SRS) to take advantage of their offer of a free site visit to any UK school or educational establishment with a noise problem.
SRS Technical Director, Richard Sherwood, travelled to site to assess the problem – he commented:
“The intricate and unusual shape of the room, along with many hard, acoustically reflective surfaces, were causing a great deal of echo and reverberation within the lobby. This was making it difficult for staff and students to communicate effectively. However, it was clear that the introduction of Sonata absorbers would solve the problem.”
Richard prepared a report on the acoustics and submitted detailed proposals for remedial treatment, along with a design service to show how and where the panels could be installed for best effect – all of which is free under the terms of the SRS ‘Acoustics for Schools’ initiative.
The treatment consisted of Sonata Vario absorbers, fitted at high level to the walls by SRS’s specialist installers, Floorscan Acoustics. SRS also supplied a Sonata Memo board – a fully functional noticeboard that also acts as a high performance absorber.
Feedback on the service and the performance of the panels has been very positive – Phil Rust, of Oxford University Estates Directorate, commented:
“The installation of SRS Sonata panels and Memo board have improved the acoustics of the entrance hall by reducing reverberation to an acceptable level. It is now possible to utilise the circular entrance hall as a reception area. The improvements in sound absorption benefit not only the receptionist but also staff and students passing through the space and improve conditions on open landing areas above. SRS has helped us to achieve this transformation with minimal disruption and at a reasonable cost”
As part of their ‘Acoustics For Schools’ initiative, SRS offer all UK schools and educational establishments free of charge site visits, advice and specifications. Please contact them on 01204 380074, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in their 3-Step Acoustic Estimator form online at www.soundreduction.co.uk – You can also view a gallery of this project, and many other at www.flickr.com/soundreduction
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