Your recent articles on school acoustics (10 June, building.co.uk) really caught my eye
While it is excellent that Kevin McCloud is backing the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) “Sounds Good” campaign, the irony is that it’s often the grand designs that cause school acoustics to fail.
When bidding for projects, design teams will pull out all the stops to win the contract with inspiring and innovative learning environments. However, when it comes to start on site, these visions are frequently scaled down to deliver the project within budget – often at the expense of acoustics. Only 21% of local authorities surveyed in England could confirm that their new schools are BB93 compliant.
I agree with the NDCS that mandatory site testing should be introduced to identify failure before it is too late. Design teams and contractors should be encouraged to think about acoustics much earlier, by properly costing the materials out at design stage. As well as making bids more accurate, it would facilitate value engineering at a much earlier point and help to better protect the integrity of the acoustic design.
David Holder, CMS Acoustic Solutions