Education is a key area of concern when it comes to poor acoustics and can take many forms.. From distractions caused as a result of rainfall hitting a roof to inaudible conversations in the class room as a result of excessive reverberation.
From a nursery school to a university, poor acoustics within the education sector can affect both students and teachers in the following negative ways:
- Speech intelligibility
- Reduced levels of concentration
- A detrimental effect on health and well being
- Reduced teaching/learning environment
What is expected of acoustics in relation to standards?
BB93 explains the minimum performance standards for acoustics of a school building (a copy can be downloaded here from the government website) and defines the type of establishment that is applicable to these regulations.
The document refers to all aspects of acoustics from the building envelope to the performance of an individual space. It does not, however, supersede or replace other building standards that may also be relevant.
Approved Document E forms part of the building regulations that covers acoustics (Resistance to Sound) and schools are referred to in section E4. A copy of Approved Document E can be downloaded from the government website here.
Additional information can be found on the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) website in the publication Acoustics of Schools: a design guide
How can we assist?
New builds – Design and modelling advice at the planning stages is essential to ensure that all acoustic elements are taken into account.
Alterations and Extensions – Whilst the existing structure may not need to comply with current standards, any new elements will, and we can help to ensure these meet required standards. We can also advise on how acoustics between the existing and new structures may be compromised or improved.
Refurbishment – Where the actual building envelope is not being altered we can provide assistance to ensure the rooms or areas can be improved to meet required performance levels.
What we do?
1. Ensure that the proposed site is suitable through undertaking an Environmental Noise Assessment
2. Assess and advise on the building facade including doors and windows to ensure they meet requirements
3. Provide advice on internal partitions (floors and walls), doors and glazing to ensure a correct level of sound reduction is achieved
4. Assess internal rooms and spaces for reverberation and provide options for suitable solutions.