Lambeth Academy, London.

Lambeth Academy, London.

Architect: Howard Litchfield Partnership
Omega ceiling contractor: Advanced Interiors
Main contractor: MJ Gleeson
Type of works: Installation of Armstrong acoustic ceilings.

Lambeth Academy is designed to be at the forefront of education and will eventually become a centre for learning across the whole community. It incorporates a wide range of flexible learning spaces, with studios for dance, drama, art, design and graphics, in addition to science laboratories, computer suites, recording studios, and a Learning Resource Centre.

David Haskins, Associate at Howard Litchfield explains: “Schools can be particularly complex buildings and the specification has to take that into account – including the choice of ceiling. For example, acoustics are paramount in teaching classrooms, whereas hygiene and water resistance are essential in the shower blocks. We selected Armstrong as our supplier for the Lambeth Academy project because it was able to provide the full range of products that we needed to meet all of the building’s requirements.”

The specialist nature of the building meant that each element of the construction had to be carefully selected and Armstrong acoustic ceilings provided the solutions required.

Armstrong’s Dune Max tiles were used in the classrooms because of their acoustic properties, both in terms of sound absorption and attenuation, to ensure a good acoustic environment for teaching.

Rob Gardiner, Armstrong’s UK and ROI Technical Sales Manager says: “Meeting the reverberation time requirements of Building Bulletin 93 is an important part of school acoustic design. Armstrong Dune Max tiles, combined with the rest of the internal finishes, provided the optimum reverberation time, 0.6 seconds, that was desired in these teaching spaces and to meet the regulations. However, it is important to ensure that reflections from the ceiling are not overly reduced as this can affect the level of sound reaching those at the back of the classroom. Sound attenuation can also be important in reducing background noise from the ceiling void, and the Dune Max also provides this. Pupils can get the most of their lessons because of improved intelligibility – and teachers no longer have to shout to get the attention of the students in the back row.”

Aesthetics and acoustics were also key factors in the selection of Armstrong’s Madera tiles for the two assembly halls. The acoustic properties of these perforated wood tiles provided the right performance needed for these halls, but the low visibility of the perforations ensured that the tiles retained the high-quality look of the Madera tiles.

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