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1 year ago

KEIM Edition No. 2: Schmuttertal Grammar School

  • Text
  • Grammar
  • Schmuttertal
  • Buildings
  • Diedorf
  • Florian
  • Wooden
  • Hermann
  • Pupils
  • Kaufmann
  • Nagler

SHHHHHH! ACOUSTICS The

SHHHHHH! ACOUSTICS The acoustics of school rooms has an influence on concentration and learning results. A new approach was also necessary for the building acoustics because the educational concept entailed less lecture-format lessons and more group work using all parts of the room. Soundproofing between the rooms is usually very important in schools. However, this made less sense in the learning environments for Schmuttertal Grammar School where the doors between the classrooms and the central “marketplace” usually stay open. Furthermore, the emergency exits between the classrooms also acted as an inevitable weakness in the acoustic concept. Attention therefore focused primarily on reducing the noise level in the rooms. Here the planners reverted to experience gained in Denmark and Sweden, two countries that already have several schools with open-plan learning environments. 26

ACOUSTICS Ceilings and walls are optimised for decentralised teaching which entails a certain noise impact. The aim was to achieve a short echo time so that the spoken word would be intelligible across short and longer distances. To this end, the end walls are lined with sound-absorbing wood wool panels and spruce strips with narrow spacing. The original design for the ceiling featured suspended felt baffles to keep the structure free and to use the space as a thermal accumulator. However, the baffles would not have been capable of absorbing sound sufficiently in the lowfrequency range, so that it was decided to use a flat ceiling lining with wood wool. The floor is designed with a 10 cm cement screed to act as accumulator instead. Does the acoustic concept also work in practice? Measurements in the completed building have shown that all the values calculated in advance are indeed met on site. And what do the teachers say subjectively about the noise level? They are most satisfied: they don’t have to tell the pupils to quieten down nearly so often in the new rooms. 27