Gymnasium/Sports hall/Swimming pool (<1500 m³)

Sports hall, gymnasium. Project: Admiral Lord Nelson School, Portsmouth, UK. Photo: John Roberts

Physical training, ball games, swimming and water games are associated with high sound levels. It is important to be able to communicate – instructions must be able to be given and heard. Naturally, consideration must also be given to safety aspects when designing the right sound environment in these spaces.

  • Large open areas encourage conversation at a distance, which results in people tending to raise their voices, trying to be heard over others. Sound breeds sound, creating a disturbing "cocktail of noise".
  • Hard surface materials create problematic sound amplification and sound propagation. The sound is transported a long way and so disturbs a large number of people.
  • Hard flooring creates noisy footsteps.
Ecophon's suggestion
  • Reverberation time of 1.0 seconds. To achieve this, a full acoustic ceiling is needed of sound absorption class A (in accordance with EN ISO 11654).
  • Certain wall surfaces may also need to be fitted with sound absorbers to avoid flutter echoes.
  • In spaces of more than 1500 m3 a somewhat longer reverberation time must be accepted.
Building codes and standards
  • For gymnasia and sports halls Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) states that an unoccupied mid frequency (Tmf) reverberation time of <1.5 seconds must be achieved. This raises to <2 seconds unoccupied mid frequency (Tmf) reverberation time for swimming pools.
  • Swedish Standard 02 52 68 recommends a reverberation time of 1.0 or 1.2 seconds, depending on the selected quality level. This applies to normally furnished but unoccupied rooms. The above figure is the highest recommended value for the frequency range 250 - 4,000 Hz. At 125 Hz a value 20% higher is permitted.
Mechanical properties
  • Due to the risk of damage, the acoustic ceiling may need an impact resistant surface layer.
Product recommendation
Gymnasium and sports hall
Swimming pool
Alternative (Swimming pool)
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Sound in educational premises

Group of pupils, school, group study, education. Photo: Georg van der Weyden.

A good acoustic environment benefits both teaching and learning.

Ecophon references by - Building type

Architect: Farrell and Clark. Photo: Faraday Fotographic

See what good acoustics look like! Here we have sorted all references by Building type.