School Acoustics

/School Acoustics
School Acoustics 2017-07-14T15:24:37+00:00

Acoustics In Schools –  Solutions For Healthy Aural Environments

Masses of research has been done into school acoustics, and with good reason. Studies continually show us that school environments without acoustic panelling and poor sound affects both students and teachers alike. A Heriot-Watt University study found that in extreme cases, 70% of consonants spoken by teachers cannot be heard by students. Additionally, INQA provide a study of 1,200 teachers that shows over 80% believe that noise generated by students imposes a significant strain on their teaching and that Primary school children displayed a deterioration in performance of up to 25% when the memory task was accompanied by background noises.

These numbers are startling, and demonstrate just how important a healthy acoustic environment is to facilitating healthy learning.

Our school acoustic solutions cover all of the main spaces found in schools:

  The Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) is the definitive guide for acoustic design of schools. The guidelines are self-described as representing a “significant tightening of the regulation of acoustic designs in schools, to reflect…that teaching and learning are acoustically demanding activities”. Introduced in 2003, Adherence to BB93 Regulations is mandatory in the design of new school spaces.

School Room

  • Nursery
  • Primary School Rooms (General)
  • Secondary School (General)
  • Open Plan Teaching/Resource Areas
  • Lecture rooms (50+ people)
  • Classrooms for hearing impaired (including speech therapy rooms)

Upper Limit For Upper Ambient Noise Level (dB)

  • ≤ 35
  • ≤ 35
  • ≤ 35
  • ≤ 40
  • ≤ 30
  • ≤ 30
Noise is considered harmful when it reaches a decibel level of 70 and above. The Acoustical society of America’s guidelines recommend that in classrooms, target speech and environmental noise combined, should not reach above 70 decibels.

Without acoustic consideration, the ambient noises level in school environments can disrupt the learning process. This is because signal (speech) is often drowned out by high levels of ambient noise. It is recommended that speech should be at least 15 dB loudeer than ambient noise if a good speech intelligibility index is to be met.

If a classroom has ambient noise levels of 45dB, a teacher would have to raise their voice to 65dB to be properly heard – straining the voice. The raising of the voice compounds high ambient noise levels in the room and can create uncomfortable environments harmful to the learning process.

Healthy education needs effective communication; effective communication requires a quiet environment. It’s simple enough, yet with studies revealing that up to 70% of consonants spoke by teachers go unheard, something isn’t adding up; and the majority of the time it’s a lack of sound absorption that is posing an impediment to student learning and development. Without absorptive materials, sound bounces off hard surfaces, prolonging reverberation time and affecting speech intelligibility. Below is a table outlining the ideal reverberation time for various school rooms.

School Room

  • Nursery
  • Primary School Rooms (General)
  •  Secondary School (General)
  • Open Plan Teaching/Resource Areas
  • Lecture rooms (50+ people)
  • Classrooms for hearing impaired (including speech therapy rooms)


  • < 0.6
  • < 0.6
  • < 0.8
  • < 1.0
  • < 1.0 
  • < 0.4

Our Work In Schools

Why Choose Us

  • Our acoustic survey, full design and no obligation quotation service is completely free of charge throughout the UK.
  • We focus on design, creating innovative, visually pleasing installations.
  • Our noise assessment and design process ensures we specify the exact quantity of acoustic treatment required. Ensuring there is little waste and our customers are not over spending.
  • We work closely with the leading acoustic product manufacturers to get the best prices for our customers.
  • Our installers have a wealth of experience and knowledge meaning they can install even the most complex of acoustic systems.

What Clients Say

It has made a huge difference for both the dining hall and the gym. Everyone loves it – especially the teachers!!
Chantelle, Langford Primary School
The installation went very smoothly from beginning to end. Staff tried out the acoustics on Friday evening and reported back that they could detect a real difference.
Sharon, Castlebar School
Thank you so much for the works that you have done, we had our nativity play this morning and the difference in the hall was amazing, thank you again
Leasa, Palmarsh Primary School
We are absolutely delighted with the work! What a difference to the acoustics of the hall – so much better! 
Dianne, Drummuir Village Hall, Scotland
We are delighted with the work and attention to detail – especially in designing an interesting and aesthetic layout. There is also, of course, a considerable improvement in acoustic performance.
Jim, Desford Community Hall
Thank you very much for your work it has made a vast amount of difference to the atmosphere and means quite a lot of people can work in the same room without annoying each other
Anne, Longhurst Group
The panels have made a significant difference to the noise level in the restaurant and we have had lots of positive feedback from customers. I would like to thank you and your team for providing this solution and the high level of service.
Anna, Brodie Country Fair Restaurant

We offer a range of acoustic solutions for schools in London and the UK. Contact us to get a quote or to arrange a free-of-charge acoustic survey and consultation.

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