What is School Acoustics all about?
Good acoustics is an important aspect of designing buildings for education. Poor acoustics have a detrimental effect on the learning environment.
The “Essex Study” (http://www.batodfoundation.org.uk/docs/essex-study.pdf) has clearly shown that the acoustic character of a school is closely associated with good learning environments and pupil achievement.
Since the implementation of the 2003 Edition of Approved Document E of the Building Regulations, Requirement E4 from Part E has required that:
“Each room or other space in a school building shall be designed and constructed in such a way that it has the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its intended use.”
The primary design guidance for school acoustics is Building Bulletin 93 Acoustic Design for Schools.
A number of factors will generally be considered in any school design:
- Noise intrusion from outside
- Noise transmission between rooms
- Reverberation of rooms and other spaces
- Noise produced by mechanical equipment
- Special requirements for specific rooms such as drama, assembly and sports spaces.
What do we do for you?
At Acoustic Associates, we have considerable experience in assisting design teams to ensure that appropriate acoustic conditions are achieved in schools and educational facilities.
This may involve any of the following steps:
- Ambient noise surveys to determine external noise conditions
- Design of the building envelope, including glazing, to achieve appropriate levels within the building
- Advising on ventilation and building services, to ensure acceptable background noise levels in teaching and learning areas.
- Sound insulation between teaching spaces.
- Reverberation control within teaching spaces.
- Speech intelligibility within classrooms and other spaces used by students and staff.
We are often approached about solving acoustic issues in existing buildings, and we can provide both an assessment of the scale of any concern and then the best means of ameliorating the situation. Typical problems include:
- Sound transmission between classrooms
- Room acoustics (excessive reverberation & poor speech intelligibility)
- Building services (ventilation noise - self-generated and transference of noise from one room to another)
- Rain noise and external ‘break-in’ sounds
- Impact on surrounding areas (‘break-out’)
Please contact your local office where our consultants will be happy to discuss all aspects of acoustics within school environments or sound insulation within buildings, and explain the testing procedure.