St. Nicholas School is a purpose built specialist school for children and young people, aged four to nineteen, who have severe, complex or profound and multiple learning disabilities.
Having seen an advert for SRS’s Acoustics for Schools initiative the school requested a free site visit to discuss possible solutions to a reverberation and echo problem that existed within their multi-purpose hall – SRS were more than happy to oblige and dispatched an acoustic expert within a matter of days.
The surface finishes within the school hall were almost all acoustically reflective, leaving nowhere for the sound to go. The problem was compounded by a number of other factors including the shape and physical dimensions of the hall.
Using information on surface finishes and room dimensions collected during the site visit and consultation SRS Technical Director Richard Sherwood MIOA was able to put together a detailed report with practical recommendations and a quotation.
The solution - SRS’s mineral fibre-free Sonata Acoustic absorbers. The school was especially keen not to have directly bonded absorbers and opted for Sonata Vario panels suspended from the pitched ceiling and on brackets to the walls. Suspended absorbers offer not only improved acoustic performance over those that are directly bonded but also are easily removed for maintenance and relocation. The icing on the cake was the use of Sonata Memo acoustic noticeboards at low level to reduce reflections across the room whilst still providing a surface that displays can be pinned to.
In total an area of over 50m2 of Sonata products we installed within the hall at St. Nicholas School by our expert installers. This reduced the modelled reverberation time (Tmf) from 2.24s to 0.96s – well within the guidance for reverberation times in multipurpose halls outlined in Building Bulletin 93 (The Acoustic Design of Schools).
Feedback so far has been excellent and both staff and pupils alike are enjoying the much improved acoustic conditions with the hall.
Gary Hinkley, Class Teacher comments: "prior to the installation the echo in the hall was frustrating and made Assemblies and Lunchtimes uncomfortable for both pupils and staff. However, using the hall is now a pleasure – most importantly it has helped the concentration levels of our hearing impaired pupils and reduced the feedback for those using hearing aids."
Nancy Tucker, Premises Manager for the School adds: “The process from first visit to installation was first class."
For further details on the Sonata range of Sound Absorption Solutions, the SRS School Acoustics initiative or any other acoustic 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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