What is Acoustic Walling?

The following provides information on the requirements for sound absorption in sports halls, gymnasia, dance studios and other normally unfurnished activity spaces.

For more specific information on the Dynamik Structural Internal Walling & Fabric Acoustic Sports Panels please visit the product page here.


Relevant Guidance

Relevant guidance is provided in the following publications:

  • Building Bulletin 93: Acoustic design of schools – Education Funding Agency & Department for Education, Feb. 2015
  • Acoustics of Schools: A design guide – Institute of Acoustics (IOA) & the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC), Nov. 2015
  • Affordable Sports Halls – Sport England, Jul. 2015

Aim Of The Performance Standard & Regulations

The overall objective of the performance standard is to ensure that the design and construction of school buildings provide acoustic conditions that enable effective teaching and learning.

It is now accepted that noise and poor acoustic design have a detrimental effect on pupils’ academic performance and teachers’ vocal health. Pupils with additional learning needs and hearing impaired pupils are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of poor acoustic design.

Practically speaking this means reverberation time (Tmf) which is set out in the below table for different room types.

Type of Room New build (Seconds) Refurbishment (Seconds)
Indoor Sports Hall (>530m2) ≤ 1.5 – 2.0 ≤ 2.0
Assembly/Multi-Purpose Hall 0.8 – 1.2 0.8 – 1.5
Gymnasium/Activity Studio ≤1.5 ≤ 2.0
Dance studio ≤1.2 ≤1.5
Drama studio ≤1.0 ≤1.0

What Do We Mean By Reverberation Time?

Reverberation time is one of the key determinants of room acoustic quality, and the factor to control with regard to sound absorption. It is the time it takes for a sound to reduce by 60db within a given space. It is measured at different frequencies since certain frequency ranges are more important than others.


How Can We Control Reverberation And Its Classification?

Typically reverberation is controlled by introducing sound absorbing surfaces. More effective absorbers and increased coverage within a room will lead to lower reverberation times. The amount of sound energy a material will absorb is known as the absorption coefficient.

The absorption coefficient for Dynamik Acoustic Fabric Panels is Class A over the frequency range of 500Hz to 2000Hz.


Practical Implications

Once the size of a room and the absorption characteristics of the finishes within the room are known, an acoustician can predict the reverberation time. They can then calculate the amount of sound absorbing material to be included within a room based on the class of material specified but also to meet a particular room’s usage and a designer’s preference.

We have experience of working with acousticians to achieve a practical workable solution.

Sound absorption should be distributed within a room at a minimum of 25% from the walls, 30% from the soffit and the remaining 45% provided by finishes on any of the room surfaces. It is beneficial for the sound absorption materials to be installed at a lower level rather than higher to improve their effectiveness.

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