Charlie was failing math.
The problem was inappropriate levels of classroom noise and/or reverberation, which can compromise not only speech perception, but also reading scores, spelling ability, behavior, attention and concentration in children with normal hearing.
The fix came from acoustic comfort built into the classroom design. Appropriate environmental acoustics in the classroom mean teachers and students can hear one another easily. Noisy ventilation systems are eliminated, and the design minimizes the amount of disruptive outdoor and indoor noise affecting the classroom.
Noise kept Anna's students
The problem was poor acoustics in older schools, along with new schools where acoustics were not a design priority. Students who can't hear can't learn. Students and teachers facing poor acoustic conditions fail to achieve academic goals, and teachers are challenged to compensate for a loud environment by raising voice levels.
The fix came from creating a learning environment where teachers experience less voice fatigue. By incorporating sound-insulating and sound-absorbing materials to reduce noise disturbances while simultaneously projecting the teacher's voice into the room, classrooms are transformed into spaces where the learning experience is maximized.
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas
One of the largest facilities ever constructed on the Texas A&M University campus, the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences building was designed to attract world-class scientists to Texas A&M. When designing the new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences building, architectural firm Perkins + Will needed a way to combine both high acoustical quality and innovative aesthetics. In response to these needs, the architects developed a unique suspended cloud-style ceiling design that offers high sound absorption for the space. The building, which was designed with the goal of receiving LEED Silver certification, utilizes two different CertainTeed Ceilings products in its design, including CertainTeed's Ecophon® Master™ Solo S ceiling panels in the building's 285-seat auditorium. Manufactured from high-density fiberglass, the panels deliver superior sound absorption with a .95 Noise Reduction Coefficient.
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Temple University School
A classroom in the Temple University School of Architecture had such dramatic reverberation issues that professors and students could not communicate. The noise level in the classroom caused professors and students to repeat themselves constantly in order to be heard or understood. Concrete floors and ceilings that were open to the structure were all sound reflective, compromising speech intelligibility. Noise from nearby spaces also infiltrated the classroom, adding to the reverberation of voices and ambient noise. Poor design and an overhead sprinkler system limited renovation options that might improve acoustics.
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School of Visual Arts
New York, New York
New York architecture firm Spacesmith, LLP faced many challenges in remodeling the New York City School of Visual Arts. Design for the 5,000-square-foot space required maximizing speech intelligibility while containing sound in a 55-seat radial auditorium. The floor plan included a combination of classrooms and open spaces. Adding sound absorption without detracting from the look emerged as a critical design component. Ecophon® Solo™ free-hanging fiberglass ceiling clouds were hung in place of a suspended ceiling in the auditorium and configured for easy access to HVAC/mechanical equipment. Ecophon® Focus™ E high-density fiberglass ceiling panels provided high sound absorption and light reflectance in faculty offices and a study area. With CertainTeed wall and ceiling products, the project team was able to deliver a good acoustical strategy, resulting in an effective learning environment.
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Linden Hall Academy
Linden Hall Academy is the oldest all-girls school in the U.S., dating back to 1746. Acoustics, lighting and flexible design were essential to the renovation plans of architects Chambers & Associates, based in Manheim, Pennsylvania. Installing Ecophon® Texona™ acoustical fiberglass wall panels in the classrooms corrected poor sound reverberation and difficulty with speech comprehension. Most classrooms had drywall ceilings, which were easily replaced with fiberglass panels to provide an excellent alternative solution for reducing unwanted noise without hanging an acoustical ceiling. Free-hanging acoustical fiberglass ceiling panels were hung beneath an open plenum in the school's hallways and open gathering spaces to set them apart from classrooms. The high sound absorption of the fiberglass panels heightened speech privacy, making it easier for students and instructors to converse.
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