Trying to teach two separate classes of young children in the same room at a school in Brighton was a challenging task, made almost impossibly difficult by poor acoustics. The installation of an Ecophon suspended ceiling has, however, provided the solution.

The successful exercise was carried out at Queen’s Park Primary School in Brighton. It followed a proposal from one of the Governors with previous experience of Ecophon products and their positive acoustic performance.

Following analysis of the classroom’s acoustic characteristics by Ecophon’s local technical representative, Advantage A tiles were installed using one of the manufacturer’s grid systems. The results have transformed the learning environment for teachers and pupils alike.

Architect Amy Gordon of the Miller Bourne Partnership is also a Governor of the school: “The room was shared by year one and year two, and was entirely finished with hard surfaces apart from the carpet. The sound was bouncing all over the place and the children were finding it very difficult to hear their own teacher without being distracted by the teacher and pupils in the other class. There were also downstand beams and a lot of old pipework, so it was not very attractive as well as being an acoustic nightmare.”

The architect therefore suggested installing a new ceiling and Ecophon carried out calculations showing that the reverberation time would come down from over a second to approximately 0.55 seconds. The school was not convinced something so simple could make a real difference - but has been delighted by the results!

The architect had used Ecophon on a number of other schools projects and therefore knew Advantage was a good product and that it would provide the solution to the school’s problems. The installation was completed over the October half term by Parker Ceilings, one of Ecophon’s EPIC (Ecophon Partnership in Contracting) contractors. This ensures work is only carried out by fully trained and experienced ceiling system installers. Following the installation, the difference was immediately noticed. “One of the teachers described moving from one room into the classroom concerned like walking into cotton wool. We are now talking to Ecophon about the possible provision of some acoustic panels and an acoustic ceiling for the main assembly hall,” says Amy Gordon. The installation was funded by Queen’s Park School’s own maintenance budget.

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