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How to control echo reverberation in pools and schools

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How to control echo reverberation in pools and schools

Throw a whole bunch of children together and what do you get? Apart from pure chaos, one of the most noticeable outcomes is noise. Kids are noisy, and the more of them in one spot, the louder it gets. Add in an enclosed space like a classroom or indoor swimming pool, and you’ve a headache for parents and workers, literally.

Why is noise worse when indoors?

The answer to that is reverberation, the ongoing echoing of noise that prolongs the sound as the echoes combine with the original noise. You’ve all experienced it, most likely in the shower, with that lovely sound you get as your singing reverberates in the tight space. The main factor here is that the echo must return to the listener quickly, meaning that the issue is only prevalent in smallish spaces. Like a classroom, hall or pool.

Reducing reverberation

The only way to reduce reverberation is to minimise the amount of reflected sound that returns to the listener. The most commonly used approach is to reduce the amount of reflected sound from surfaces within the room by adding an additional material, a sound absorber.

Focus on the ceiling:

To reduce reverberation down to acceptable levels generally requires this material to be installed in the ceiling, as this is often the largest reflecting surface in rooms. By minimising the echoes returning from the roof, you can quickly cut down on the overall noise in places like schools and pools.

Pick your material wisely:

Sound absorbing materials come in many different forms. However, many of these materials aren’t suited to certain conditions. For instance, polyester and glass fibre sound absorbing materials lose performance when wet. This mak them ill-suited for high-humidity situations like pools. Wood, wool and cement products can have considerable weight, up to 40kg/m2. This makes them difficult to suspend and retrofit to ceilings.

Soundproof Warehouse’s pick:

This leaves us with our personal favourite, both for its versatility and durability: polyethylene foam. And our product of choice is the Stratocell Whipser® FR laminated polyethylene foam. With a wide range of sizes and thicknesses available, it is incredibly light weight, water resistant and flame retardant. This makes it the perfect solution for almost any application, easily incorporating into ceiling tiles or as standalone acoustic panels.

If you’re looking for more information on Stratocell Whisper® FR sound absorbing panels, or any other soundproofing materials and installation advice, then get in touch with us here at Soundproofing Warehouse. We have a huge range of quality soundproofing products that can be installed quickly, easily and often at a fraction of the cost of other custom-built solutions. Just email us at info@soundproofingwarehouse.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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