Public Soundproofing London:
Building Regulations – Part E4 – Acoustic Conditions in Schools

Sound Absorption Panels School Hall

Client

Wimbledon Park Primary School

Project Brief

To design and install a sound absorbing system to reduce reverberation times inside the school’s main assembly hall, to comply with Building Regulations – Part E4 – Acoustic Conditions in Schools. (Resource areas in schools must provide adequate protection against noise disturbance, appropriate to their intended use. In terms of reverberation times, within a resource area in excess of 300m3, this equates to Tmf,max <=0.4 seconds).

To design and install a system compatible with the assembly hall’s day-to-day usage, notably, as a refectory and play area, i.e. involving activities likely to cause staining and impact damage to any application located too ‘close at hand’.

To design and install a system that’s fire-safe and sustainably sourced.

Ceiling-suspended acoustic panels

Methodology (in summary)

Site Survey:

A site survey was carried out, which included sound testing – measuring existing reverberation times at 3.1 seconds.

Design and Planning:

The data recorded was used to calculate the sound absorptive surface area coverage and configuration required inside the assembly hall. Accordingly, a ceiling-suspended system was designed, utilising fabric-wrapped acoustic panels (Class 0 fireproof rated).

A method statement, risk assessment and schedule of works were formulated, detailing the installation process.

Manufacture and Installation:

The system was installed, on schedule and to budget. On completion, it was tested and inspected to verify compliance with the pre-specified acoustic performance criteria.

Result

The system complied with Building Regulations – Part E4. Consequently, school staff and pupils can communicate more effectively, making activities, within the assembly hall, safer and more productive.

Because the acoustic panels were ceiling-suspended, they are less susceptible to staining and impact damage, i.e. compared with a wall-mounted application.

School staff noted that the “striking, yet simple” appearance of the panels provides a visually stimulating feature, that engages the children’s imaginations.

 

Alternative Configuration of Ceiling-Suspended Sound Absorbing Panels

Client – Lavender Hill Primary School

Primary school ceiling

Before

Acoustic ceiling-mounted panels

After

Sound-absorptive panels