School Design

Building Regulations Approved Document E applies to acoustic conditions in schools and states ‘each room or other space in a school building shall be designed and constructed in such a way that it has the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its intended use’. Section 8 of the same document then provides the additional comment that the normal way of satisfying requirement E4 is to meet the values for sound insulation, reverberation time and internal ambient noise which are given in section 1 of Building Bulletin 93.

The overall objective of BB93 is to provide acoustic conditions in schools that (i) permit clear communication of speech (ii) do not interfere with study activities. These two requirements need to be satisfied by paying attention to:-

  • Indoor ambient levels
  • Airborne sound insulation of walls and ceilings/floors
  • Impact sound insulation of floors
  • Room reverberation times
  • Sound absorption in corridors, entrance halls and stairwells
  • Speech intelligibility in open plan areas

School design assistance has been provided by JSP Consultants to local Architects in the form of the BB93 requirements for Indoor ambient levels, airborne sound insulation of walls and ceilings/floors, impact sound insulation of floors, room reverberation times and sound absorption in corridors, entrance halls and stairwells. Schools/colleges covered to date include Mangotsfield School (Bristol), Blackhorse School (Bristol), Blandford Primary School, Durweston Primary School (Blandford), Midsomer Norton Primary School, Weston All Saints School (Bath) and Kingston Maurwood College (Dorchester).