Education and Schools
Communication is the key fundamental that underpins the process of educating, and acoustics are key to good communication. Good acoustics in the classroom or lecture hall allow the Teacher or Lecturer to communicate effectively without having to strain the voice, with the student being afforded clear, intelligible speech. As learning turns more towards group learning, the same demands are placed on the acoustic design of the learning space in that each member of the group must be heard clearly. Hearing is always central to learning, and good acoustic design ensures the right balance between speaking and being heard.
Allegro Acoustics referred to the depth of our experience in educational acoustic design when advising the Department of Education and Skills on the design criteria outlined in Technical Guidance Document TGD-021-5, Acoustic Design of Schools. This current document is the key acoustic design guideline for second and third level educational facilities in the Republic of Ireland. We typically provide the following services in respect of acoustic design for schools:
- Assessment of school designs to TGD-021-5 with recommendations where necessary to achieve the TGD-021-5 criteria values.
- Sound insulation assessment of walls, floors, door sets and glazed partitions throughout educational facilities to ensure that the appropriate degree of sound insulation and isolation is achieved between spaces.
- Reverberation assessments for learning and sports facilities including classrooms, lecture halls, PE and Sports Halls, music rooms, common areas, arts and media spaces.
- Intrusive noise assessments for schools located in high noise areas such as the city centre or close to a major thoroughfare. This process includes the acoustic specification and design of façade elements including glazing, trickle vents, mixed mode and passive ventilation means.
- M&E Noise assessments whereby noise levels are calculated in education spaces and the calculated noise level is compared with the TGD-021-5 criteria. This is of particular importance for large, multi-purpose halls which may be used for performance and oratory.
- Rain noise assessments for educational facility roofs. This is of particular importance where a lightweight metal deck roofing is employed.
- Acoustic testing of newly built or renovated educational facilities to ensure that the acoustic design criteria has been achieved, and if not, conclusion of measures that can applied retroactively to improve performance to the criteria level.
- Design and assessment to Technical Guidance Document TGD-021-5, Acoustic Design of Schools (Department of Education and Skills, Republic of Ireland, 2015) and BB93: Acoustic design of schools – performance standards (Department for Education, United Kingdom, 2015).