When the pupils and teaching staff were suffering due to poor room acoustics at Stanley Road School in Worcester, they took advantage of the free site visit, advice and report currently on offer to all UK schools from the Sound Reduction Systems Ltd.
Qualified SRS technical representatives visited site and discussed the acoustic requirements of the hall, with consideration given to both the aesthetics and practicality of any possible solutions.
The room in question was a typical multipurpose school hall used for everything from assemblies and PE to activities that involved speech, singing, and the reproduction of music. There was a High vaulted “arched” ceiling, and an acoustically reflective parquet floor. Not only was the reverberation time too high, but the shape of the ceiling was making things worse by focusing sound towards the floor, causing serious speech intelligibility and acoustic clarity issues.
SRS’s exclusive reverberation modelling software allows their technicians to take away data such as room shape and volume along with material information such as the floor, wall and ceiling finishes and input that into the programme to create a simulation of the acoustic performance of the room. 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.
SRS Technical Sales Manager, Richard Sherwood, comments “The dining hall at Stanley Road was one of most reverberant halls that I had visited in some time. Having modelled the space, it was evident that it was especially poor in the speech frequency range, making it very difficult for pupils to understand the teachers and vice-versa. It was no wonder that the pupils and staff struggled to use the space and it was clear that a solution needed to be found urgently.”
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 <1.2s. As this school hall was existing, the target was set at <1.5s - greater than a halving of the reverberation time of the hall prior to any acoustic treatment.
To solve the acoustic issues at Stanley Road School, SRS proposed the use of Sonata, their high performance acoustic absorber range. Sonata Vario panels were suspended across the ceiling and Sonata Aurio was fixed on the walls to ensure good, even absorption across all frequencies. At Stanley Road the children get input into everything that happens within the school, and they were consulted prior to the install to decide upon which of the highly decorative fabrics colours to choose. The children certainly gave SRS a challenge when they requested a rainbow design, but they were delighted to help make it happen for them.
The Sonata absorbers were installed by Floorscan Acoustics Ltd and feedback has been very positive so far. Anne Potter, the Head at Stanley Road Primary School, comments: “Our hall is now a more pleasant place to be, the difference was noticeable from the very first day, and we have assemblies, lunches and PE under our very own rainbow.”
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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