Rockfon solve demanding challenges with intelligent ceiling solutions

Recent economic growth in Cambridgeshire has led to huge demand for new educational facilities. An ambitious £37.5 million Littleport complex comprising special educational needs (SEN) and primary schools, an Academy and a leisure centre is nearing completion. Rockfon ceilings, baffles and wall panels are installed throughout the Academy and the SEN school which opened their doors in 2017. Rockfon products were chosen because they offer excellent sound control, Class A1 fire safety, durability and are environmentally friendly.

Littleport complex

Littleport Academy can accommodate up to 750 pupils. The state of the art SEN school has places for 110 pupils. The complex is one of the largest undertaken by contractor Morgan Sindall. “This is a community-focused project which provides not just a positive learning environment that can enhance the educational experience for children of all ages and abilities, but is also an inclusive hub with great leisure facilities for everyone to enjoy.” 

Special Educational Needs

When building schools suitable for children with special educational needs, more attention needs to be paid to the acoustics. SEN pupils are often sensitive listeners and can be easily distracted or distressed by too much noise. Installing sound absorbent finishes which offer the highest classification of sound absorption (Class A) in the learning areas helps create the appropriate sound environment where pupils can flourish.

Acoustic control in the classrooms

Our Rockfon Blanka® ceilings are perfect for all learning environments because they offer Class A sound absorption which significantly decreases reverberation levels, helping to increase speech intelligibility. At Littleport, they are installed in the atrium, classrooms, science laboratories and the woodwork rooms at the Academy and in the sensory room at the SEN school.

For areas of the school which demand the greatest level of acoustic control, for example, the auditorium and gymnasium, Rockfon Blanka® dB 40 is the ideal choice. The ceiling provides enhanced room to room sound insulation which helps reduce the transmission of noise into adjacent spaces. Its surface durability makes it more resistant to the demanding school environment.

The super white, smooth surface of Rockfon Blanka offers high light diffusion and reflectance to create a uniform and regular spread of light across the classroom. By creating the optimum lighting conditions, the ceiling improves the learning environment for pupils and contributes to a reduction in energy costs.

Ceiling installation

SCL Ceilings are the approved ceiling contractor for the schools. We worked closely with Contracts Manager Andy Golding who is very pleased with the outcome of the project. “The modern, innovative design of the school buildings provided us with a number of challenges. Rockfon helped us to overcome these. Their products met the specifications for each area including acoustic requirements and installation restrictions. They also achieve the look the architect wanted, contributing to the success of the project.”

One of the challenges faced was fitting an acoustic product in the double-height dining hall. The design of Rockfon Contour® baffles makes them easy to install at height and in tight spaces. The smooth, matt, white surface of the baffles provides excellent light reflection and blends in with the design of the hall.

Colourful acoustic design

Rockfon Color-all® wall panels offer Class A sound absorption and combined with the ceiling baffles, they prevent noise generated in the dining hall from spreading to other areas. Chosen in White and Breeze colours, these visually-appealing wall panels enhance the interior design helping create a comfortable place to dine.

Meeting high standards

Rockfon® Hygienic™ ceiling tiles are installed in the schools’ kitchen areas. They are specifically developed to meet the high sanitation standards required in hygienic areas. The ceiling’s robust surface can withstand the use of pressure cleaners as it repels water and dirt.

Rockfon® Koral™, a versatile, white micro-textured ceiling tile with a wipeable surface is easy to keep clean. This makes it ideal for damp areas which is why it’s installed in the hydrotherapy pool, toilets and showers. The ceiling is designed to withstand high humidity of 100% and the tiles can retain their shape even at high temperatures of 40°c. Rockfon Koral, like the majority of our other ceiling tiles, provides the highest class of sound absorption - Class A and achieves Class A1 for fire safety.

Impact resistance

The activity hall, activity suite and fitness room in the sports hall are built using hard reverberant materials that are subjected to tough wear and tear. Rockfon® Scholar™ ceilings offer Class A sound absorption which reduce the level of reverberation, creating an environment where people can exercise in acoustic comfort. The durable surface can also withstand some impact resistance from objects such as balls and the reinforced edges protect the tiles if removed for maintenance purposes.

If you’re working on a complex multi-purpose project, our team can provide advice and guidance on how to produce creative, acoustic ceiling designs that exceed relevant building requirements. For information on samples, specifications or to contact your area manager, visit www.rockfon.co.uk