Charlton School opened in September 2001 and is a Group 7 Community Special (ages 11–19) School, maintained by the London Borough of Greenwich, for students with low incidence special educational needs. When the pupils and teaching staff were suffering due to poor room acoustics within the large sports hall at Charlton School, Assistant Deputy Headteacher/Head of Physical Education Deborah Reid, decided to take Sound Reduction Systems Ltd (SRS) up on their current offer of free site visits to any UK school to see if they could help solve the problem.
Richard Sherwood of the SRS Technical Department visited site to take measurements and note the various surfaces before discussing the acoustic requirements of the hall, and any considerations that would need to be given in terms of aesthetics and practicality.
The room in question was a large, open sports hall, used by the children for their Games lessons as well as practicing and training for the schools various sports teams. As is typical in most buildings for this purpose, the hall had a lot of hard, acoustically reflective surfaces on the walls, floors and ceilings and as soon as any number of children entered the space, the noise echoed and reverberated around the hall making for a very unpleasant environment.
The data taken from the site visit is inputted into SRS’s reverberation modelling software, and by adjusting the level of absorption within the equation, SRS can specify, to the exact panel, the area of absorption that is required to achieve the desired result. A report, quote and layout suggestion is then emailed to the school for their consideration.
Building Bulleting 93 (BB93), the document that specifies acoustic conditions within schools, recommends that the reverberation time for a newly built multi-purpose school hall should be <1.5s – and the proposed treatment was sufficient to meet this standard.
To treat the sports hall at Charlton School, SRS proposed the use of 126m2 Sonata, their high performance acoustic absorber range. Sonata Vario panels were suspended across the ceiling and also fixed at high level on the walls to ensure good, even absorption across all frequencies. From the many different colours available, the school chose ‘Smoke’ which they thought would look the best in the hall.
The Sonata absorbers were installed by Floorscan Acoustics Ltd and feedback has been very positive so far. Deputy Head, Deborah Reid commented:
“We have recently held a whole school assembly with 250 people in the hall and the impact on the reduced noise delivery was noted by parents and governors. The Physical Education Department have noted the difference in student behaviours particularly with students who have Autism as the noise level has been greatly reduced and this allows the sessions to be calmer and with less background feed.”
For further details on the Sonata range of products, 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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