Farragut Elementary School needed to lower noise in their cafeteria, but also wanted to keep any acoustical treatment within the existing color scheme. They also wanted a material that did not require drilling into the block walls of the room. Mark Brock of Acoustical Solutions recommended a product that matched the colors exactly, and an installation method that didn’t require putting any hardware into the wall. Most importantly, however, the treatment lowered the noise level and made activities in the cafeteria more enjoyable for students and staff.
Any parent of an elementary school student can tell you that this age group can be hard to handle at times, especially in large groups. Knowing this, you can imagine the chaotic atmosphere of a cafeteria: hundreds of young children in one large room, all having to be fed in the course of an hour. Now imagine that the room creates intense echoes, and easily becomes so loud that you can’t communicate. This is the issue that the staff faced at Farragut Elementary.
“There was such an issue with the noise that the students were constantly being disciplined and any activity in the cafeteria was not pleasant for students or staff,” says Shirley Rupert of Above and Beyond Custom Interiors, “This was a grave concern with the parents and teachers”.
The Parent-Teacher Association at Farragut Elementary School contacted Above & Beyond for a solution, who in turn called Acoustical Solutions after researching acoustical treatment online.
Rupert presented the school’s dilemma to Mark Brock, architectural representative with Acoustical Solutions. Rupert also notified Mark of a few other requirements that had made it difficult to find a solution thus far:
Mark recommended EcoSorpt® Cotton Acoustic Panels for the Cafeteria. The panels are made of recycled cotton, are Class 1 Fire rated with no VOCs, and also earn LEED credits for the school’s facility.
EcoSorpt® Cotton Acoustic Panels have NRC ratings averaging 1.15, meaning they absorb virtually all of the noise energy that reaches them, preventing the reflection and reverberation of sound.
The panels also came in the school colors – medium blue and navy.
Best of all, EcoSorpt® Cotton Acoustic Panels could be installed with construction adhesive, without mechanical anchors or otherwise damaging the wall surface.
“The PTA has been pleased with all aspects of this project from price to results”, says Rupert, “Acoustical Solutions offered the colors that worked perfectly with the designs.”
The look of the panels was a hit, but most importantly, Rupert says, “The noise reduction was significant.”
And the issue that caused so much concern early in the research process was easily resolved:
“Installation was a significant factor. We were not allowed to install into the block walls making sure that the integrity of the fire safety was not compromised. Acoustical Solutions was perfect. Mark instructed us on installing using permanent glue. It held the fiber boards in place and gave us the flexibility of a creative design. From the design to installation Mark was available to counsel us,” said Rupert.