Library/Multimedia resource centre/Study room/Staff room

Ecophon official reference: college, library. Project: Mälardalens högskola, Sweden. Architect: White Arkitekter. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman. System: Focus DG.

These areas are the oasis of a teaching establishment, allowing self-study and relaxation between lessons. High priority is given to being able to concentrate in a quiet environment.

Acoustics
  • The open area may encourage conversation at a distance, while at the same time there are people moving around the whole area and going in and out, which creates disturbing 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 and scraping noises from chairs and tables.
Ecophon's suggestion
  • Reverberation time of 0.5 seconds. To achieve this, a full acoustic ceiling is needed of sound absorption class A (in accordance with EN ISO 11654).
Building codes and standards
  • UK regulations, Building Bulletin 93 (BB93), states that an unoccupied mid frequency (Tmf) reverberation time of <1.0 seconds must be achieved in libraries.
  • In study rooms an unoccupied mid frequency (Tmf) reverberation time of <0.8 seconds must be achieved. If these study rooms are also used specifically as rooms for teaching hearing impaired pupils then an unoccupied mid frequency (Tmf) reverberation time of <0.4 seconds must be achieved.
  • In staff rooms BB93 recommends an unoccupied mid frequency (Tmf) reverberation time of <1.0 (N.B. The extension of Part E of schedule to the building regulations 2000 to schools applies to teaching and learning spaces only. For ancillary spaces the values are for guidance only).
  • There are no regulations for multimedia resource centres in BB93, however open plan resource areas must achieve an unoccupied mid frequency (Tmf) reverberation time of <1.0 second.
  • Swedish Standard 02 52 68 recommends a reverberation time of 0.5 or 0.6 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.
Product recommendation
Alternative

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.