Sporting Acoustics

How specifying the correct acoustics in sports halls can create a healthy environment and healthy children.

Photo: Photoslicious Piotr Skorek

One of the nosiest areas inside a school is invariably the sports hall. This is the one room which, apart from catering for all types of sport, can act as an assembly room, lecture theatre and entertainment venue. As the experts say, being physically active can help pupils lead healthier lives and has an important role to play in improving wellbeing.

Traditionally though, sports halls are often cold, echoing and not particularly welcoming. They are renowned for poor acoustics and with even a small number of children, the noise levels can be distracting. If acoustic absorption is wrong, discomfort and irritation will result from the reverberations. This is particularly true if the space is being used for any length of time because ambient noise can quickly make the environment uninhabitable. However, if they are designed well, the participants’ interest will increase.

A new primary school in Poland is a classic example of how the right materials can make a major contribution to the performance and look of the environment. Primary School 88 was designed by Polish architects Konopinski Stanistaw Biuoro for the Radarowa district of Warsaw.

To satisfy the highest demands for optimal acoustics, Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed across the ceiling and all the walls. The panels are made from the natural material wood, and cement extracted from Danish mineral resources and are highly effective in terms of sound absorption. At the same time, the wood wool panels create a healthy indoor climate and fit the structure and design of the space perfectly

In addition, full-height windows guarantee an abundance of natural daylight, thereby enhancing the bright and spacious performance and playing environment and ensuring optimal training conditions. The structure’s bright environment provides a natural setting for activity in all seasons, while an energy-efficient insulation package means comfortable climate-control, higher air quality, virtually no condensation, and lower overall operating costs on artificial lighting and HVAC.

A clever feature of the design is the use of bright green colour (RAL 6018) together with the unobtrusive and fine detailing of the natural wood panels. This adds a flair to the space as well as demarcation lines for sectioning off zones.