Acoustical Design for High Schools
High schools present unique acoustic design challenges with spaces having their primary function as sound quality.
It’s essential to achieve a balance between sound absorption and reflection when designing a high school, especially the auditorium. If the space is too absorptive, the result can be a “dead space,” where too much sound is lost before it is heard by the audience. If a space is too reflective, it can be difficult to understand speech, as words begin to overlap with excessive reflections. The proper balance of these elements should result in a “fullness” of sound.
Over the years we have completed many high schools, both new and renovated. We provide architectural acoustics, HVAC noise mitigation, environmental noise control and audio/video system design. Auditoriums are always an area of special consideration for our high school clients. Performing arts spaces should be completed so that listeners at every seat will experience the same sound levels during a performance. We achieve this by using EASE for sound system design and CATT for architectural acoustics, the most advanced acoustic modeling tools for theaters. We develop a 3-D model of sound propagation that allows us to evaluate the shaping, absorption, reflection and diffusion characteristics of the space. Then we apply the appropriate level of affordable reflective, absorptive and scattering treatments to the design to achieve the desired acoustical result. The exacting nature of our method allows us to pinpoint the specific areas that need acoustical design support and materials. So, we don’t overdesign. Our recommendations minimize the amount of modifications and materials needed to enhance the sound quality of each space. This saves our clients time and money.