800-782-5742 Talk to an expert!

St. Christopher's School

The Issue

Noise from rehearsals in a music classroom began to bleed into an adjoining lecture classroom. An acoustic treatment became a must-have for St. Christopher’s school in Virginia.

Acoustical Solutions was able to stop the noise transfer between rooms as well as increase sound quality and speech intelligibility inside the lecture classroom.

The Challenge

St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia takes the arts very seriously. When rehearsals in the school’s music classroom became too loud for an adjoining classroom to host lessons and tests, stopping the music wasn’t an option.

Instead, administrators at the K-12 boy’s school contacted Acoustical Solutions. They explained that what they could hear in the classroom was mainly high frequencies—the pianos and flutes—and the biggest problem with the noise came when they needed silence for testing.

The cinder block wall that separated the rehearsal space from the classroom was ideal for allowing sound to transfer through. Block walls are hollow, so the noise was able to pass through easily.

Additionally, cinder block walls reflect the sound that doesn’t transfer through back into the room. This creates reverberation and echo in the rehearsal space, which seriously deteriorates speech intelligibility.

Fortunately, the classroom only had one cinder block wall. So, reverberation was minimal but still enough of a problem that it needed to be addressed.

The Solution

The solution was to cover the entire cinder block wall with custom made AlphaSorb® Barrier Acoustic Panels.

These acoustic panels are made of a sound barrier encased between two absorptive layers. This construction allows for the panels to offer both a Sound Transmission Coefficient (STC) and a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC).

These AlphaSorb® Barrier Acoustic Panels have an STC 29, indicating that the panels block enough noise energy so that normal speech in neighboring areas is not understood. Combining this sound blocking power with the existing wall creates an exceptionally dense sound barrier.

The NRC is .85 – 1.05, a result of the two absorptive layers. This number indicates that the panels will absorb anywhere from 85-100% t of the sound energy with which they come into contact. This reduces reverberation and increases speech intelligibility.

St Christopher’s School using AlphaSorb® Barrier Wall Panels to reduce ambient noise in room and block sound transmission in this classroom.

St Christopher’s School using AlphaSorb® Barrier Wall Panels to reduce ambient noise in room and block sound transmission in this classroom.

The Result

The combinations of STC and NRC worked exactly as planned: blocking the sound coming from the music room as well as reducing the minor reverberation in the room.

St. Christopher’s history teacher, Andrew Smith, agrees that the acoustical treatment worked:

“Since the sound wall was installed, I have heard absolutely no music of any kind from the rooms next door,” he explains, “proof positive of the desired effect.”


To learn more about how Acoustical Solutions can solve your noise control problems, use our contact form, call one of our Acoustical Sales Consultants at (800) 782-5742, or visit us on the web at acousticalsolutions.com.