Six focus areas: How Troldtekt contributes to a better indoor climate in schools

Children spend about 20 per cent of their waking hours in school. School architecture is therefore very important for their learning and well-being.

Read how Troldtekt acoustic solutions help to improve the acoustics, air quality, lighting, design, durability and operating economy in school buildings. Moreover, these are all areas that contribute to a school’s overall sustainability.

Schoolchildren are our future

There is therefore every reason to ensure that they have the best possible facilities in which to develop and learn. Very few would disagree with this. Nevertheless, many school buildings are so dilapidated that it affects learning. Most schools, for example, have problems with poor air quality – and researchers have documented that this has a negative impact on both absence due to illness and learning.

Fortunately, there are schools that offer world-class facilities. At these schools, the local school authorities and their consultants have done their homework and chosen the best possible solutions. To create environments where the acoustics, air quality, lighting, design, durability and operating economy go hand in hand.

Striking the right balance between these criteria is important to create a healthy environment, but none of them can stand alone. Therefore, it makes sense to choose solutions that kill several birds with one stone. Here you can see how, by using Troldtekt acoustic solutions, it is possible to create the best conditions for learning while simultaneously being able to document the sustainability of school buildings.

1. Superior acoustics: Quiet enough to hear what is being said

A classroom filled with eager pupils can be a noisy place. Sounds are reflected from walls and ceilings, and most of what the teacher and pupils hear is reflected sound. Therefore, it is crucial that the reverberation time in the classroom is short – that the sound quickly ‘dies out’ in the room.

If a room has a long reverberation time, spoken words will not die out before the next words reach the listener. The result is poor speech intelligibility, and it becomes difficult for the listener to understand what is being said. Hard, smooth surfaces such as concrete, glass and plaster produce long reverberation times because the sound is reflected many times before it disappears.

Absorbs 80-90 per cent of the sound

If, on the other hand, the surfaces in the room have an open surface structure – such as that found on Troldtekt acoustic panels – on the ceilings and/or the walls, the sound will quickly fade out. This results in a short reverberation time and very good acoustics. While a concrete ceiling only absorbs 1-2 per cent of the sound, a Troldtekt ceiling will typically absorb 80-90 per cent.

The optimum effect is achieved by installing the acoustic ceiling 200-300 mm below the fixed ceiling, and when the Troldtekt panels come with a mineral wool backing. If you choose Troldtekt Plus acoustic panels, the mineral wool is glued to the back of the actual panel, making it much easier for tradesmen to handle compared to when the mineral wool is in loose batts. Troldtekt Plus acoustic panels have an installation height of only 43 mm, and provide very effective sound absorption in rooms which do not have space for a 200-300 mm cavity between the acoustic panels and the ceiling.

  • Troldtekt acoustic panels absorb sound due to their open structure.
  • Effective sound absorption results in short reverberation times.
  • A short reverberation time makes it easier to hear what people are saying.

2. Design: A special look in classrooms etc.

In most rooms, the ceiling is the largest contiguous surface. Therefore, it makes sense to cover it with a material that ensures superior acoustics while also enhancing the aesthetics of the room. Troldtekt does both, and affords architects considerable freedom of design. Troldtekt on the walls can be an effective supplement to the acoustic ceilings in large school areas.

Wide choice of colours and designs

Troldtekt can be supplied in natural wood or as painted panels. Natural wood panels can in principle be painted in any colour to match the colour scheme used in the school.

In addition, Troldtekt offers a range of industrially produced design solutions which, through the way in which they are installed as well as their colours, patterns or milled grooves in the surface, add character to a room. This gives clients and architects considerable flexibility to make their own mark on the interior design.

  • The ceiling surface can ensure good acoustics and also enhance the aesthetics.
  • Troldtekt supplies unpainted acoustic panels as well as custom-painted panels.
  • Troldtekt design solutions give you the freedom to design characterful rooms.

3. Air quality: An indoor climate free of harmful chemicals

Troldtekt acoustic panels help to ensure the right air humidity, and thus help to make the room feel more comfortable. This is because Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool is able to absorb and release moisture.

At the same time, Troldtekt is documented as being free of substances which are harmful to humans or the environment. In connection with Troldtekt’s Cradle to Cradle certification, all the substances in the panels have been analysed down to 100 parts per million. Troldtekt has also earned several international indoor climate labels – including one from Danish Indoor Climate Labelling (under the Danish Technological Institute) in the best categories within degassing and particle emission.

Troldtekt has also received the UK organisation Allergy UK’s Allergy Friendly Product Award, and is categorised as class A in the Swedish SundaHus Material Data database, which lists products with a minimum impact on health and the environment. In addition, Troldtekt has been assessed as ‘recommended’ by Byggvarubedömningen, a Swedish online database that aims to promote the choice of eco-friendly building materials.

  • Troldtekt acoustic panels help to regulate the air humidity in the room – and guarantee an indoor climate without harmful chemicals.
  • Troldtekt has met the criteria for several international indoor climate labels.

4. Light: Combination of daylight and artificial light

Daylight in the classroom is healthy, and leads to improved academic performance. In northern Europe however, many classes are held when it is gloomy outside. Therefore, artificial light sources are an important supplement to natural lighting.

White or pale-coloured ceilings and walls enhance both natural and artificial lighting conditions. This is because light colours reflect light more effectively. White walls and ceilings also allow indirect lighting, which has a positive effect on pupils’ academic performance.

When you choose white-painted or pale Troldtekt acoustic panels, they will reflect a lot of the light. White-painted Troldtekt panels reflect approx. 71 per cent, while Troldtekt natural wood acoustic panels reflect approx. 55 per cent of the light.

  • Pale ceilings and walls enhance both natural and artificial lighting conditions.
  • White-painted and pale Troldtekt acoustic panels reflect a high proportion of light.

5. Durability: A naturally strong material

Troldtekt is a robust material that combines the strength of cement with the breathability of wood. As a result, the lifespan of the acoustic panels is at least 75 years.

Ideal for swimming pools ...

In addition to the fact that Troldtekt acoustic panels can absorb and release moisture, they are very resilient to even the most humid environments – such as shower rooms and swimming pools.

The Danish Technological Institute, which is accredited by the national accreditation body in Denmark (DANAK), has documented that Troldtekt panels can be installed in rooms with a moisture level of up to 98 per cent (+/- 2 per cent) combined with temperatures as high as 40°C. Troldtekt has thus achieved the highest CE marking level (D) for water resistance.

In addition, the acoustic panels do not rot, and do not attract fungal growth or other microorganisms.

… and sports halls with ball games

Troldtekt acoustic panels have been tested for the certification to withstand ball impacts in accordance with the German ‘Prüfung der Ballwurfsicherheit, DIN 18032 Teil 3, Sportshallen für Turnen und Spiele’ (requirements and testing of ball impact safety, DIN 18032, Part 3, sports facilities).

  • Troldtekt is a robust material with a lifespan of at least 75 years.
  • The acoustic panels are tested to withstand humidity levels of up to 98 per cent (+/- 2 per cent) combined with temperatures of up to at least 40°C.
  • Troldtekt has been tested to withstand hard ball impacts without being damaged.

6. Economy: An affordable indoor climate

One thing is what you would like, another thing is your budget. This is what it’s like at many schools faced with the prospect of having to renovate or build new. Therefore, it makes sense to choose materials that address two, three or more problems at once. Troldtekt is a good option in this respect, as it combines good acoustics with a range of other benefits as described above.

As Troldtekt is also simple and cheap to install and virtually maintenance-free, the overall life cycle cost of choosing the solution is sound. In many buildings, Troldtekt holds up so well that the ceilings can stay where they are following major renovation work – even in repurposed buildings.

Lots of sustainability for your money

Many clients – including public sector enterprises – require that their projects meet the requirements for sustainability certification. Troldtekt makes a documented contribution to the points score in leading international certifications such as DGNB, LEED, BREEAM and Sweden Green Building Council.

The engineering company Ramboll has mapped how Troldtekt contributes to meeting many of the criteria and to earning points in the individual schemes.

Part of the explanation is the significant contribution made by the acoustic panels to a healthy indoor climate. In addition, the ability of Troldtekt – via its Cradle to Cradle certification – to document its material health in detail carries considerable weight. Also that Troldtekt, with its environmental product declarations (EPDs), is very transparent about the environmental impact of its acoustic panels in the different phases of the product lifespan.

  • Troldtekt helps to address several indoor climate challenges at once.
  • Troldtekt is simple and cheap to install and virtually maintenance-free.
  • Troldtekt makes a documented contribution to the points score in leading international certifications.