Acoustics should always be a consideration for schools, particularly classrooms, to create healthy learning environments. For schools for deaf and hard of hearing students, acoustics are imperative.
This classroom at Phoenix Group For Deaf Children’s facilities in Hertfordshire was experiencing a clamorous sound environment, owing largely to prominent windows and plasterboard walls. For the hard of hearing children, the echo in the space needed to be curtailed to allow easy communication with teachers.
Outlined in the UK Government’s acoustic design for schools guidelines, ordinary classrooms should have a reverberation time of less than 0.6 seconds to facilitate healthy learning. For classrooms used by hearing impaired students, this is reduced to 0.4 seconds and below.
Therefore, greater density of acoustic treatment was needed at Phoenix’s classrooms. To achieve this strict reverberation guidelines, we installed overlapping Class A acoustic absorbers to the classroom’s ceiling. We complemented the ceiling panels with wall panels that spanned the classroom’s length.
The density of high-performance panels achieved the requisite reverberation time.
Feedback from teachers and students has emphasised the aural clarity in the classroom and the greater ease of communication provided.