Focus F and other suspended ceiling systems from the range of Ecophon Limited have been utilised for the construction of a large new music practice and recording facility that was completed recently at a high achieving and oversubscribed school in Lichfield.

The King Edward VI School music block was officially opened in January by Paul Silverthorne, professor of viola at London’s Royal Academy of Music and former student of the school. It was designed by the Design, Maintenance & Construction Consultancy of Staffordshire County Council and built by Thomas Vale Construction, with Ceilings and Interiors from Tamworth appointed as the specialist installer of the Ecophon systems. The ceiling systems were specified for their excellent acoustic performance as well as the fresh appearance, allowing them to blend with the interior design and hardwearing characteristics. The acoustic consultant retained by the council to advise on the issues of attenuation and control of reverberation was RW Gregory.

Staffordshire County Council’s Project Contract Administrator (Architectural), Mr Kevin Horne, recounts: “We commissioned a report from a specialist acoustic consultant, RW Gregory in Birmingham, and they recommended the use of the Ecophon tiles in a number of areas to deal with sound control issues: such as where we had exposed steel beams high up above the rehearsal areas.”

The building, which has a total floor area in the region of 500 square metres, comprises three large studios, an ensemble room, six practice rooms, a store, corridors and office accommodation. The design brief set strict reverberation times of 0.6-1.2 seconds and <0.8 seconds to be achieved in the studios and practice rooms

The project employed the Focus F and Advantage E systems in combination with Ecophon Master A Gamma tiles, addressing all areas of the structure including the plant room.

Commenting on the success of the project Steve Barr, Business Manager for King Edward VI School, said, “Overall we are very pleased with our new music block and when a professional jazz group hired facilities from us, over the Christmas period, the band members were so pleased with the acoustics they booked the same slot for next year.”

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