We were appointed by Mill Hill School to solve noise issues at the McClure Music School and make significant improvements. This Arts & Crafts-style building dates from the beginning of the twentieth century and consists of a recital room, two classrooms and 11 music practice / teaching rooms. Following our initial work, we were also asked to design a studio system for recordings.
We met with the project team and school staff, in particular those in the music department. It was important to discuss and develop all acoustic aspects of the brief and crucial to ensure that as far as possible the accommodation would meet the aspirations of the staff using it.
A first visit to the music school established existing noise levels, and we examined a separating wall, floor and flanking constructions. We took initial sound insulation measurements as necessary and proposed internal layouts for the music rooms. These took into account acoustic and other practical requirements, creating an appropriate layout.
Acoustic criteria were established for ambient noise, sound insulation and room acoustics with reference to Building Bulletin 93. Our design sought to achieve acoustic excellence rather than mere compliance with regulations.
We developed wall and floor designs, drawing on our experience to suggest improvements to the original design. One option was to use modular practice rooms as an alternative to traditional construction, so we advised on the cost comparisons. Our advice on acoustic specifications for doors and windows led to cost savings. We also commented on the noise control of ventilation systems to achieve internal noise criteria and minimise cross-talk between rooms. We calculated reverberation times in music practice rooms and classrooms and advised on acoustic finishes to achieve room acoustic criteria in these spaces.
By using 3D computer modelling we were able to develop the acoustic design of the space, providing options on the selection of materials and acoustic elements.
After receiving our report, the school commissioned a second report designing a studio system. We offered a range of bespoke options, including detailed potential costs.
Client: Mill Hill School Foundation
Images: Adrian James Acoustics