Schools integrate a variety of spaces such as classrooms, gymnasiums, canteens and offices, each having their own requirements. Given the variety of occupants in schools, both the vast age differences among students, and between teachers, school design can be a complicated and demanding architectural project.
Whether a new build or refurbishment project, schools are built for the long term and need to take into account future needs. Building materials need to be easy to maintain, flexible, adaptable and robust.
A quieter environment for learning
In recent years, there have been a number of studies detailing the influence that a school’s building has on students, both how it enhances and interferes with the learning process. We see that, among other things, excessively noisy conditions can impact a student's health, the way they think and their overall academic performance.
Whether employing the classical teaching method or a more dynamic and collaborative learning environment, having the right noise levels in the classroom is important. It influences a teacher's ability to impart knowledge and a student's ability to learn. A study that investigated the impacts of classroom noise pollution on academic achievement found that noise in the classroom above 41 dB began negatively affecting test results. For example, a research team in France found that for every 10 dB increase in noise pollution, 8-9 year-old students performed 5.5 points lower on their national standardised test.
To improve the noisy conditions of the classroom, we have to design learning environments with products that help absorb and control the sound.
Durability and safety
As well as providing great sound absorption and dampening unwanted sounds, surfaces in schools need to offer durability. They need to be able to withstand the rough treatment commonly found in schools, as well as meet fire performance requirements, ensuring peace of mind for parents, teachers and students.
Design and management
The design challenges of creating a flexible, modern educational space mean that the design and build decisions should be taken with a long-term view, encouraging optimisation that makes it easier for building maintenance, increasing the focus on finding the most favourable products.
Building for success
By understanding the demands of a building and how the space will impact the occupants, we have the ability to reduce or even offset any negative effects.
By harmonising a classroom with sound absorbing, durable material, we protect students by creating a learning environment that is built for success.