Project: Rainey Grammar Sports Hall
Country/city: UK / Magherafelt
Architect: Keys & Monaghan
Main Contractor: Chris Campbell, Dixons Contractors
Ceiling contractor: Neil Millen, R&N Systems
Photographer: Gordon McAvoy
Project size: 300 m²
February 2017 saw the on-schedule completion of a new state-of-the-art sports complex built in the existing grounds of Rainey Grammar School in Magherafelt. The facility includes a fitness suite, four-court sports hall and learning spaces with IT provision. The activities that take place in a sports hall can be very noisy. These high sound levels make it difficult for students and teachers to hear and make themselves heard without having to shout. Any acoustic solution must also be impact-resistant and secure due to the activities and repetitive ball hitting that take place in this environment.
Justin Maguire from architects Keys & Monaghan explained: “We realised the hall was a vast volume with primarily hard, highly reverberant surfaces. We understand the importance of sound and effective communication for sports and particularly sport education/ tuition. Excessive sound reverberation would make the sports hall environment much more difficult for teaching and the participants. Of course, the hall will have multiple uses within the school, not only for sports but for school examinations and whole school events, so the acoustics had to accommodate this too.” Shane Cryer, Ecophon’s Education Concept Developer worked closely with the architects in the early stages of the project. He carried out acoustic calculations to demonstrate how Ecophon products could address the reverberation issues in the sports hall.
We chose Super G because the product is attractive and would achieve the acoustic performance we required.
Justin Maguire said: “We chose Super G because the product is attractive and would achieve the acoustic performance we required and, with the warranty assurance, it was robust enough to withstand the impact of ball games.” The aim of the acoustic solution in the sports hall was to keep the sound level as low as possible, reduce echoes, and allow people to speak at a normal volume and still make themselves heard. Super G is impact-resistant ceiling and wall panels that offer Class 1A impact resistance and have a glass wool core of Class A sound absorbing material.
“We found every aspect of working with Ecophon very personable, professional and efficient. The original CPD* and personal meeting with Ecophon’s Alan Crampton and his team was important. They had a clear understanding of what we required and were quickly able to offer options. The acoustic design and technical specification from the technical team was prompt. The team were readily available for further queries. The follow up courtesy calls and correspondence regarding delivery times and colour choices were both prompt and appreciated,” said Justin Maguire. He added: “We are very happy with the finished product. It provides a neutral environment for all hall sports. The acoustics for sports activities are very good.” The finished sports hall has been well-received and the project was selected for publication in Perspective, the Journal of the RSUA.
* Ecophon offers a range of RIBA approved Continuing Professional Development seminars to architects on acoustics and acoustic applications.