Soundproofing a gymnasium is simply a matter of adding enough absorptive material to lower the reverb time and prevent wall to wall sound reflections. The hard flat, parallel surfaces are the main causes of echo and reverberation in architectural settings. This fact is precisely the reason gymnasiums commonly require acoustic treatment. This makes it difficult to understand speech or sound from an amplified sound system. Gyms play host to sporting events, physical education classes, guest speakers and even concerts. When filled with large groups of people, a room with a long reverb time makes it difficult to hear. This can be exhausting, but easily remedied.
Hearing clearly in a multipurpose gymnasium is extremely important. Adding sound absorptive acoustical material will help to lower reverberation time and improve speech intelligibility. AlphaEnviro® PVC Sound Baffles are often a first choice when treating multipurpose spaces. These baffles help to reduce the overall reverb time of the room while remaining up in the ceiling, out of the way. AlphaEnviro® Ripstop Acoustic Panels complement the PVC baffles. They reduce echo and reverberation in spaces by absorbing sound waves before they have a chance to bounce from wall to wall. These wall panels are suitable for gyms because they have a wipe able surface for easy cleaning. Also, the durable rip-stop sailcloth will stand up to abuse from things like basketballs and volleyballs. If the space is used for sporting events, materials to offer impact resistance should be considered.
Another popular way to treat gyms is with ceiling banners. These banners absorb sound and offer the same advantages as acoustical wall panels. These banners are hung horizontally along the ceiling. For a slightly different look with the same performance, acoustic baffles are a smart choice. They are similar to the banners, but suspended vertically from the ceiling using the two factory mounted grommets.
If you are looking for a higher end look for your facility, fabric wrapped panels make a great choice. They are available in an array of colors and sizes to match any decor. AlphaSorb® High Impact Panels are a good choice, if abuse resistant panels are required. Crosspoint™ Acoustical Wall Fabric is also great for high traffic areas like they lower portion of the gymnasium walls.
The objective for soundproofing a Gymnasium is to reduce the RT60 (Reverb time) and the reflections of sound on parallel walls by adding absorption to the room. Generally speaking, you are looking to achieve a reverb time (RT60) of about 2 seconds for general noise levels and 1-1.5 seconds for proper speech intelligibility. Reducing the reverb time does improve the overall acoustics. However, it is important to remember that material should spread evenly throughout the room on the walls and ceiling. This helps to prevent direct sound reflections from parallel surfaces. This will improve overall speech intelligibility and produce a comfortable and functional multipurpose room.