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School Acoustics

BB93 – Acoustic Performance of Schools

Acoustic South East are proven providers of quality consultancy services regarding School Acoustics.

What is School Acoustics all about?

Good acoustics is an important aspect of designing buildings for education, poor acoustics have a detrimental effect on the learning environment.

The “Essex Study” (https://www.batodfoundation.org.uk/docs/essex-study.pdf) has clearly shown that the acoustic character of a school is closely associated with good learning environments and pupil achievement.

Since the implementation of the 2003 Edition of Approved Document E of the Building Regulations, Requirement E4 from Part E has required that:

“Each room or other space in a school building shall be designed and constructed in such a way that it has the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its intended use.”The primary design guidance for school acoustics is contained within ‘Acoustics of Schools – a Design Guide’ (2015) and ‘BB93 – Acoustic Performance of Schools: Performance Standards’ (2014).

A number of factors will generally be considered in any school design:

  • Noise intrusion from outside
  • Noise transmission between rooms
  • Reverberation of rooms and other spaces
  • Noise produced by mechanical equipment
  • Special requirements for specific rooms such as drama, assembly and sports spaces
  • Whether there is a need for provision for hearing-impaired students

What do we do for you?

At Acoustic South East, we have considerable experience in assisting design teams to ensure that appropriate acoustic conditions are achieved in schools and educational facilities.

This may involve any of the following steps:

  • Ambient noise surveys to determine external noise conditions
  • Design of the building envelope, including glazing, to achieve appropriate levels within the building
  • Advising on ventilation and building services, to ensure acceptable background noise levels in teaching and learning areas.
  • Sound insulation between teaching spaces.
  • Reverberation control within teaching spaces.
  • Speech intelligibility.

Remedial Treatments

We are often approached about solving acoustic issues in existing buildings, and we can provide both an assessment of the scale of any concern and then the best means of ameliorating the situation. Typical problems include:

  • Sound transmission between classrooms
  • Room acoustics (excessive reverberation & poor speech intelligibility)
  • Building services (ventilation noise – self-generated and transference of noise from one room to another)
  • Rain noise and external ‘break-in’ sounds
  • Impact on surrounding areas (‘break-out’)

If these problems sound familiar to you, please do not hesitate to call us.

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