Improve Classroom Acoustics
Acoustics play an important role in the education process. Learning is most productive in classrooms that are free of acoustic distractions. While limiting distractions can be a bit tricky, adding acoustic treatment to a classroom can help to tone down distractions, making them less bothersome.
The American National Standards Institute created the ANSI S12.60-2002, Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools Standards, detailing the criteria for creating for optimizing speech understanding in classroom settings. The ANSI determined the following criteria:
- Unoccupied classroom levels must not exceed 35 dBA
- The signal-to-noise ratio (the difference between the teacher's voice and the background noise) should be at least +15 dB at the child's ears
- Unoccupied classroom reverberation must not surpass 0.6 seconds in smaller classrooms or 0.7 seconds in larger rooms
While the ANSI standards are currently voluntary, it has become a common standard adopted by many school districts as construction and renovation requirements.
How can Audimute help?
While we can’t prevent distractions from happening in a classroom setting, we do provide products that will make these distractions much less bothersome. Adding sound absorption to a classroom will help lower reverberation time and limit the amount of sound freely bouncing throughout the room. Absorption products such as Acoustic Panels are designed to reduce echo and reverberation by limiting sound reflections within a space. When treating classroom walls, it’s a good idea to start with roughly 15-20% wall coverage, adding additional treatment if necessary.
If you have limited wall space available in your classroom, ceiling treatment may be a better option to consider. Suspended options such as Acoustic Clouds or Acoustic Baffles are great for spaces with high ceilings. Suspending sound absorption can often be more effective, as both sides of the absorption material will be exposed to sound. Ceiling tiles can also be a great option to consider if you are looking to add sound absorption to a ceiling.
Effectively treating classroom acoustics can be tricky. For more information about acoustic treatments or for assistance with your project, please give our Acoustic Specialist team a call at (866)505-6883, or feel free to fill out our online Room Analysis Form for personalized sound advice.
"For the large classroom, we created custom 4'x6' image panels using photos of models (headshots) that line the long wall on one side of the room. This bare wall was causing the sound to bounce off and reverberate back into the room. The custom decorative panels not only served to control the acoustics but also provide inspiration for the students and instructors alike...We are very pleased with the panels in the Washhouse and Presentation Hall, they made the difference we were looking for!"
"I have a family child care home. Putting 5 toddlers in one room could get loud. That's before music and movement or a screaming tantrum. I bought the sound panels (kit) with some grant $$. It's wonderful!!!!"