In schools, adequate acoustics are essential. Classrooms are the most important place in a school to have proper sound quality and speech intelligibility, but there are a number of other places in which schools need acoustical treatment. From cafeterias and gymnasiums to band rooms and auditoriums, we’ve treated every space in a school. We even stamp out classroom noise by treating school parking lots and courtyards where large chillers or generators are often far too loud. Read on to see some of our work and to learn about various approaches to improving school acoustics.
The hard parallel surfaces in a school’s lunchroom are perfect for bouncing voices and general noise throughout the space. this bouncing is called reverberation, and it can seriously reduce speech intelligibility, which is a big problem for both teachers and students. Here we see Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panels hanging from the ceiling. Hung from the ceiling at two points, these highly absorptive products are normally used in larger rooms.
Proper band and chorus room design should take into consideration not only what the room will sound like, but also how the music in that room will affect the adjoining rooms. Acoustical products used to treat how the room will sound are applied to the walls, corners and ceiling. They include acoustic wall panels, sound diffusers, acoustic ceiling tiles and bass traps. Acoustical products used to ensure the music doesn’t disturb adjoining classrooms can be installed inside the walls, floor or ceiling or on their surfaces. These products include sound blockers (as opposed to absorbers and diffusers) such as floor underlayment and high-mass vinyl.
Here we see Acoustic banners in a large university’s basketball/volleyball facility Hanging acoustic banners are the same as acoustic baffles, but while baffles are hung from two points, banners are hung from four. The Integrity Christian School in Newberg, WV, had a multipurpose room very similar to those found in most churches or schools.
However, due to the acoustics in the room, it wasn’t suitable for many purposes. Before acoustical treatment the room was used only for recreational purposes such as basketball because of the excessive reverberation or echo within the room. Click here to read about the room’s treatment and results.
With plays, band concerts, classes and much more happening in auditoriums, they are places in which speech intelligibility is vital. To the right you see a combination of custom-sized/custom-cut acoustic wall panels and hanging acoustic banners. Below you see and auditorium equipped with sound diffusers along the side walls and acoustic wall panels along the back wall. A combination of absorption and diffusion was used in this Woodberry Forest because too much absorption would have left the performance hall sounding ‘dead.’ The diffusers work to break up or disperse the sound that isn’t absorbed, making the room sound more ‘alive.’