The Yang Science Centre at Abingdon School is a three-storey purpose-built science centre housing 21 science laboratories, along with prep rooms, project rooms and departmental offices. Adrian James Acoustics were appointed to provide acoustic design services from concept design through to completion. The development was assessed under BREEAM 2011, for which we were required to assess internal acoustics and plant noise to the nearest noise-sensitive residences.
The science laboratories on all three storeys were naturally ventilated with air intake via large areas of louvres in the north and west facades, exhausting through corridors to louvres on the south and east facades. This required very careful acoustic design to control both noise external noise ingress and crosstalk between teaching rooms and corridors.
The north facade of the building overlooks the school coach park and a busy suburban road, resulting in relatively high noise levels. We worked closely with the architect and mechanical engineer to specify acoustically-attenuated intake louvres, concealed behind timber weather louvres, and bespoke plenum chambers concealed behind laboratory benches. Highly-attenuating splitter silencers were concealed in bulkheads between the laboratories and corridors to control crosstalk.
Laboratories on the ground and first floors had exposed concrete soffits for thermal mass and night cooling. The essential acoustic absorption in these spaces was provided by suspended acoustic rafts with integrated strip lighting, resulting in a clean, uncluttered look. On the second floor, perforated plasterboard ceilings were used.
The Yang Science Centre was opened in 2015 and achieved the targeted BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’.
Client: Abingdon School
Architect: Hopkins Architects
Contract value: £15m
Images: Adrian James Acoustics