Chelmer Valley High School – Performing Arts Acoustic Upgrades

Key Facts:

Client Name: Chelmer Valley High School
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
Type of client: Education, Specialist Engineering and Leadership Academy
Discipline provided by M+C: Design | Procurement | Project Management
Value: £105,000
Contractors: Millane Contract Services Ltd
M+C Lead: Barry Lawrence

In a continuous cycle of improving buildings and facilities for the students that use them, Chelmer Valley High School appointed M+C to develop a suitable specification to enhance teaching conditions throughout the 8 class-bases and studios making up the Drama and Performing Arts faculty.

Recent studies have shown that many classrooms have poor acoustics – with studios and halls suffering in particular. As a result, children with normal hearing are often unable to make out what is being said in class. While adults will guess at missing words, children find it much harder to fill in the gaps and their educational development can suffer. Whilst new buildings will be designed to alleviate these issues through sound-deadening, existing buildings require retrospective upgrades in order to meet the needs of students.

M+C worked with Soundsorba – acoustic specialists providing sound control solutions for building interiors to develop bespoke measures for each classroom to ensure that acoustic reverberation times were minimised.

As a very busy part of the school, all works were delivered out of hours so as to minimise disruption to the school and not take any class-bases out of commission. Millane Contract Services worked with M+C to ensure that over a period of 4 weeks all works were completed to the highest standard, yet with no impact on the day-to-day operations of the performing arts facilities.

“Each room or other space in a school building shall have the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its normal use.”

Building Bulletin 93