energising active performance: improving acoustics in sports halls

Bouncing balls, the instructor’s whistle, the squeak of heels on varnished floors – these are just some of the sounds you’ll find reverberating around the typical sports hall. But unlike other busy indoor spaces, for example offices and restaurants, acoustic control is often neglected in sports facilities.

Just as in commercial spaces, acoustic balance in sports halls is crucial to ensuring the wellbeing of occupants in an environment filled with noise.

why acoustic treatment in sports halls is so important

As an unfurnished open space, sports halls can be especially noisy, as the noise generated by users will rebound and echo off hard surfaces. For one, that spells practical problems; instructors or teachers will struggle to be heard above the noise. That’ll mean they’re forced to shout, raising the noise levels even further and potentially causing more stress for them and their class.

At the very least it will mean unproductive lessons for teachers and students, and in extreme circumstances it could even lead to tinnitus. Long term exposure to excessive noise levels can also have severe health effects. Hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes are all possible long-term health hazards caused by high noise volumes.

School sports hall noise regulations

There are regulatory aspects to consider as well. Schools face strict noise regulation requirements in the form of Building Bulletin 93 (BB93), which sets out the minimum performance standards for acoustics in school buildings.

With regards specifically to school sports facilities, section 1.6 of BB93 says that noise reverberation time should be limited to less than 2 or 1.5 seconds, depending on the size of the room, and sets objectives of ensuring that there can be clear communication between teacher and student, as well as between students.

Acoustic spray solutions for sports halls

Acoustic sprays like Oscar Acoustics’ range of SonaSpray products can help create the perfect environment for sports halls. SonaSpray works by absorbing sound energy instead of reflecting it, considerably reducing the time that noise reverberates around a space to make communication clearer and help schools meet BB93 requirements.

SonaSpray can be quickly applied to almost any surface for maximum convenience. It also helps building owners keep up with tightening legislation around sustainability, as SonaSpray is M1-classified as a Low Emitting Building Material and can help contribute towards sustainable design certifications like BREEAM, SKA, the Living Building Challenge and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

In indoor sports facilities, where there’s often a frenzy of noisy activity, it’s easy to overlook acoustics. But applying acoustic treatment can create an atmosphere that’s more enjoyable for students, less stressful for session leaders, and better for the wellbeing of everyone.

To find out more about how SonaSpray can improve the acoustic performance of your sports facilities, get in touch.

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