Project: Oostburg Multifunctional Centre
Country/city: Netherlands / Oostburg
Architect: Frencken Scholl Architecten.
Installer: Afbouwned BV
Photographer: Hugo de Jong
The new building of the Oostburg multifunctional centre (MFC) in the Zeeland municipality of Sluis has housed two primary schools, a day nursery and the Municipal Health Centre since 2015. The Oostburg MFC was designed by Frencken Scholl Architects. Huub Frencken chose Ecophon's latest solution, specifically developed for room acoustics in education: Gedina A with Extra Bass.
Noise levels are now good everywhere, even when a lot of children are running around and playing. Other users from the building are also pleased. It was all very well thought out.
Marc van Vlierberghe, Head of Sint Bavo primary school
Multifunctional and future-proof
“From the design brief to delivery, we made sure clients’ and users’ wishes were translated into a fully usable and pleasant building, including the interior design and colour schemes. The building is multifunctional and future-proof and can easily absorb growth or decline in the number of users. In the end we opted for an attractive, familiar, calm basic design in consultation with the users, bringing out the colours and features specific to each purpose,” says Huub Frencken.
The aim expressed with regard to the “PvE Frisse Scholen” indoor climate guidelinewas category B (Cat. C is acceptable, cat. B is good and cat. A is very good). The guideline helps schools draw up the appropriate requirements for achieving a pleasant, healthy indoor climate.
Since 2015, the design brief has included a stricter acoustic specification, involving a specific line of approach for the ceilings in category B and A with regard to the extra requirement for low-frequency sound. The result: optimum comfort for teachers when speaking and optimum comfort for students when listening.
“Together with Ecophon, we’ve given a great deal of thought to room acoustics. With our extensive experience in educational buildings, we understand better than anyone how good room acoustics have an impact on the quality of working and learning. They keep the atmosphere calm and save teachers’ voices and energy,” says Huub Frencken.
The “PvE Frisse Scholen” guideline requires that the ceiling is slightly higher than normal. This made high demands on the acoustic properties.
Recommendations from Ecophon to follow the guideline
Ecophon provided advice from an early stage on the design of Gedina A with Extra Bass. Koen Smulders from Ecophon: “The Extra Bass is a sealed glass wool core (600 x 1200 mm) that is placed above the grid ceiling system in a U shape along the walls. This provides coverage of an equivalent of around 50% of the floor area, enough to ensure better absorption of low-frequency sound. This makes speech even more distinct. In education, knowledge is transferred through speech, so speech clarity is essential. This solution suits budgets that are being adopted in The Netherlands for ceilings in schools.”
“All aspects of the building have been improved,” says Marc van Vlierberghe, Head of the Sint Bavo primary school and one of the users. “We’re now working in larger, higher classrooms. And a lot of glass has been used in the design, without any curtains. Everything is spacious and also more hygienic. The floors are flat and hard, with no floor covering. Yet the noise levels and acoustics have been very good right from the start. This is partly due to the ceilings."
The good acoustics enhance everyone’s wellbeing, preventing complaints about vocal load and problems with concentration. The ‘PvE Frisse Scholen’ indoor climate guidelineeffectively helps to achieve this.
Marc van Vlierberghe, Head of the Sint Bavo primary school