High School Noise Isolation Analysis
Walnut Hills High School renovations and addition included a two-story music and education addition, a gymnasium, and a natatorium. IMEG provided acoustic engineering services for six large instrumental music education rooms, one of which doubles as a black box performance space; eight individual music practice rooms; two ensemble music rooms, and a large gymnasium. The acoustical recommendations included improving room acoustics and noise isolation for the individual spaces and working with the mechanical engineer to ensure the HVAC system met recommended noise and vibration levels. By collaborating with the design team, IMEG was able to formulate cost effective solutions to meet the client’s goals for room acoustics and noise isolation.
The acoustics of the performance spaces was of particular concern. The second-floor music rooms feature a clerestory, which is intended to provide natural lighting to these spaces. This feature presented an acoustical design challenge: provide a ceiling design option that would enable the clerestory to provide ample lighting but also provide early sound reflections to the musicians for a proper musical space. IMEG’s solution was a low-cost custom ceiling cloud arrangement, providing the right combination of light and sound reflectance and diffusion of sound. Based on meetings with the educators, IMEG provided specific recommendations for each performance space to best meet the acoustical needs of performers in that space.