The Menai Bridge Scout and Guide Community Hall on Anglesey is a brand new replacement for the previous building that had been outgrown but whilst offering more space and much better facilities it became clear that the final challenge was to get the building’s acoustics right. Whilst showing the new multi-purpose hall to the children and members of the local community as it was being finished, the committee noticed it suffered from excessive reverberation and echo so they contacted Sound Reduction Systems for some free advice.
Although the new building is splendid, it also has the classic characteristics that we’ve become familiar with that lead to disruptive reverberation, it’s a large airy room with predominantly hard surfaces so that there is very little to absorb sound. When occupied by a group of children it becomes increasingly difficult to follow instructions and guidance, and puts stress on those supervising the session. Architect John Allan sent over plans and photographs to Toby Makin (who is a member of the Institute of Acoustics) in our technical department to gauge the extent of the problem. As the project was nearing completion, it was important to get an accurate indication of the solutions required.
Using the breadth of his experience in building acoustics and academic knowledge, Toby was able to take this information to produce a detailed report that quantified the extent of the reverberation problem and find the most acoustically effective and cost effective sound absorption solution.
“We have laboratory test data for the absorptive performance of our sound absorption panels which allows is to accurately mathematically model their performance in any given situation. Particularly for community projects like this, where budgets are limited, we want our clients to achieve the full potential of our products.”
Toby calculated that Menai Bridge Scout and Guide Hall would benefit most from using Sonata Vario sound absorption panels that would be evenly distributed on the walls and the ceiling of the hall to produce a very noticeable improvement and more than halve the initial reverberation time. Sonata Vario is the perfect absorber for this type of application, it is made from acoustic foam rather than a fibrous absorbent mineral wool and is thus much more robust when hit by the inevitable football or shuttlecock. Sonata Vario is a raft absorber, it stands slightly off the walls and ceilings to work much more efficiently and thus requires fewer absorbers for a given degree of improvement. Finally, both the architects and the management committee were impressed with the aesthetics of the panels that complement the sensitive design of the hall.
“We were delighted with the friendly and professional approach that Sound Reduction Systems took to assisting us finish this project that we have worked on for a number of years. Thanks to Toby’s detailed analysis of the hall acoustics we were able to use less sound absorption panels than we anticipated. The results have been fantastic.”
The proof of the pudding came when Toby was invited to the hall to present a seminar about building acoustics to the architects who designed it and many of their colleagues from building control. As well as enlightening the audience about the acoustics, he was able to measure the acoustic performance of the hall to corroborate his calculations.
The Menai Bridge Scout and Guide Community Hall is now an asset to the local community and Sound Reduction Systems have been delighted to be part of the process.
For further details on the Sonata range of products 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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