Acoustic Solutions

The problem with noisy university rooms and lecture theatres

When we picture the rooms of a university, we think of large, open lecture halls, tutorial rooms and auditoriums, filled with chatty students and lots of noise. This is because the traditional design of a university room is similar to that of an echo chamber.

Rows of seats with hard desks descend toward the presenter’s lectern. The unobstructed noise of student voices hits the front of the wall, commonly a whiteboard or lecture screen, which then bounces straight back toward the students. This bouncing of sound between surfaces, known as reverberation, creates an echo in the space, reducing the audibility of speech.  

The result? Students have difficulty hearing and comprehending the lesson, lose focus, and miss important information. The presenter, faced with echo and distracted students, strains their voice in order to be heard. This scenario has the propensity to cause a range of flow-on effects, both on academic performance and mental wellbeing.  

The result? Students have difficulty hearing and comprehending the lesson, lose focus, and miss important information.

How to treat a noisy tutorial room or lecture theatre

An optimised soundscape allows university students and educators to get the most out of their classes. Speech intelligibility is a crucial consideration when treating the acoustics of a university space, ensuring students can clearly hear and be heard in any learning environment.  

Acoufelt’s interior soundscaping products are designed to absorb sound in a multitude of university environments, and can be installed in any number of lecture halls, tutorial rooms and study spaces to reduce noise levels and foster a pleasant and more productive soundscape. Not only do Acoufelt offer a full suite of floor, wall, furniture, and ceiling products, but we can also assist with acoustic consultations, delivery, installation, furniture removal, as well as a number of other services. We also offer custom designs across each of our product collections. 

Acoustic QuietBack™ Carpet Tiles

The floor often represents the largest practical surface for acoustic treatment. Installing acoustic carpet tiles can be advantageous in multi-level spaces to absorb sounds of footfall, as well as other mid-frequency sounds. 

The highest performing commercially graded acoustic carpet tiles in the Acoufelt floor offering feature QuietBack™. Our QuietBack™ carpet tiles offer a minimum NRC range of 0.35-0.40 and are offered across a range of designs, colorways and thicknesses. Our carpet tiles have also been designed to be comfortable underfoot, and have a backing made from a minimum 80% recycled PET material. 

Our most popular carpet tile collections for the university sector include ‘Elemental’, ‘Monitor’, ‘Flinders’ and ‘MultiStorey’.  

Acoustic Wall Products

Walls offer an immense variety of opportunities for acoustic treatment with Acoufelt’s broad range of products, available in a multitude of sizes, colors, prints, cuts, and designs.  

Depending on your acoustic and aesthetic needs, select from our full color panels, printed panels, wall shapes and wall tiles. Sheets of full color panels or Opus acoustic pinboards are effective for sound generated by voice, and should be installed to sit at or above head height. For the best acoustic results, install panels on adjacent walls at least two metres high. For spaces requiring a more flexible solution, opt for shapes or tiles, which can be quickly and easily installed around any glass or other wall fixtures. 

Acoustic Ceiling Products

Depending on the ceiling system available to you, Acoufelt offers a mix of practical, easy-install acoustic ceiling products, such as tiles, panels, clouds and baffles.  

For rooms with a ceiling grid system, drop-in ceiling tiles are a simple but effective solution; available in both full color and printed options. High performing acoustic ceiling panels can also be stuck directly to the ceiling without sagging or drooping, offering an excellent NRC value of up to 0.85.  

View more of our University projects:

This Bangkok University used a holistic approach to preserving the acoustic integrity of their lecture rooms. Where speech intelligibility and limiting echo is a must, the University opted to treat both walls and ceiling, selecting printed shapes and custom cut acoustic ceiling tiles. The geometric shapes add a modern, aesthetic touch whilst also contributing to the rooms’ optimized soundscape.   

Understanding the importance of adaptive learning, Nexus architecture designed a central, open-plan communal space for students to gather and collaborate at New Zealand’s Massey University. However, as with all large shared spaces, the acoustic concerns needed to be addressed. Acoufelt’s ‘Flinders’ QuietBack carpet tiles in colorIkara Place’ were selected for their seamless pattern, installed in a monolithic design throughout the open area.  

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