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Kenn Centre Multipurpose Hall, Devon

Kenn Centre Multipurpose Hall, Devon

Contractor: Martin Luck Group
Type of works: supply and installation of suspended ceiling and acoustic wall panels for the improvement of sound absorption.

The Kenn Centre Multipurpose Hall was built with the intention of using it not only as a sports hall, but for seminars, classes, receptions and other activities. However, because of the poor acoustics within the space, the hall was practically unusable. There was a high level of reverberation due to the hard surfaces of the hall to the extent that speech, just few metres away, was unintelligible. Most of the surfaces within the hall were reflective and this resulted in a build-up of energy within the hall. This made it exceptionally difficult for anyone with less than perfect hearing to cope with speech or music within this environment.

A spokesperson said: “The problem was that they had very bad acoustics in their main conference hall because of the wide open space and smooth open walls. They wanted to achieve a happy medium between being able to use it for recreational sports like badminton, indoor mat bowls etc, but still be able to rent it out to customers for large conferences as Exeter is lacking in affordable conference centres. The reverberation was horrendous so we contacted one of our suppliers, Acoustics at Work, to provide an FOC acoustic assessment.”

A combination of suspended ceiling panels and acoustic wall panels were used in order to solve the reverberation time and speech intelligibility problems. The client was anxious to maintain a clean, aesthetically pleasing look in the hall, and was happy that the solution did not involve ruining this.

A reverberation time study of the hall was carried out and it was found that the values far exceeded the ideal. This indicated the need for 825 acoustic absorption points to be added to the space appropriately.

Music was played in the hall at various times in the installation. It went from being unintelligible, muddy noise at the beginning of the installation to clear and comfortable by the end of the installation.

Ian Harris, Account Manager at Martin Luck Group said, “The aesthetic and acoustic results are great. It has changed just a sports hall into a contemporary professional meeting area as well.”

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