Hush Acoustics Committed to better teaching and learning by taking care of acoustics in schools

Over the last 50 years there has been substantial research to show that noise and poor acoustic design in schools have a detrimental effect upon pupil’s academic performance and teachers’ vocal health. Children access an essential part of their learning by hearing and absorbing what the teacher says and through conversations that take place in the classroom. Therefore, the poorer the listening environment, the less pupils are likely to learn and retain information.

Poor classroom acoustics can create a negative learning environment for children and attention must also be drawn to those with Special Educational Needs, Hearing Impairments and also to those where English is an additional language. 71% of children on the Autism spectrum attend mainstream school and a survey carried out by the National Deaf Children’s Society on ‘barriers to learning’ in 2008, said over a third (34%) of parents with children with hearing impairments said they had concerns about the acoustics in their child’s school building. In London alone, it is estimated that over 50% of children attending school have English as an additional language.

Collectively we need to ensure that when we are designing schools, that considerations are made for all of the children’s needs and a number of modifications may need to be taken into account to make these environments, buildings and architecture acoustically friendly.

The Acoustic specification to minimise background noise, echo and reverberation will vary according to the level of focus that is required for the activity at hand, as well as the skill level and severity of the Educational needs of the individual.

The SEN and Disability Act 2001 in schools describes how schools must improve access to the physical environment by making specific developments and adaptations to buildings (including furniture and fittings) to facilitate the inclusion of identified children with special educational needs and disabilities. In any future modernisation, refurbishment or building plans, schools are required to place due importance on securing access for disabled pupils.

Hush Acoustics work with Architects & Specifiers to ensure that when a building is designed we meet the minimum requirements of Document E, Section 5 or Part G (across the UK) and when working in the Educational sector we offer advice and design guidance in line with the BB93 (acoustics in schools guidance) and have developed products and systems to ensure compliance with all aspects of acoustic legislation.

We offer a unique service to the Educational sector, we will attend the educational building, carry out an acoustic survey and work with all parties in the design team to give the pupils an educational environment to suit their requirements. Whether we are designing partitions and wall details to prevent noise transmitting from one area to another, preventing impact and airborne noises transmitting through floors in multi-floor schools or controlling reverberation and echo within an environment to improve ambient noise levels we will always design the solution to the requirements of the schools, the pupils and the environment that is suffering from poor acoustics.

The control of reverberation and echo noises are key to teaching and learning and to prevent disruption within a classroom. We have a wealth of


experience and examples of the work we have carried out within schools previously. We work closely with Head Teachers, Business Managers, Governing Bodies, Architects and Facilities Managers to solve the problem.

When we carry out the site survey, we will work out the surface materials and volumetric of the space and use our computer modelling software to calculate what the Reverberation Time (RT) is within the space, consequently how much treatment is needed to bring the area in line with the recommended RT Times for that type of environment.

We introduced our range of Hush Absorber products to tackle this issue. The Hush Absorber range of products reduces the reflection on the sound waves that bounce off all the hard surfaces within the area, reducing the reverberation issue. By introducing this range of products into the reverberant space, the RT Time is reduced and results in an increase in speech intelligibility, which in turn increases the ability for teaching and learning.

Hush have the ability and awareness to create more suitable spaces for those children with or without special educational needs. We seek to improve building designs & refurbishments with our expert knowledge to ensure a more inclusive environment and contribute to raising awareness of good acoustics in schools.

We are committed to controlling this ever growing issue of noisy educational environments and if this commitment would be of interest to you, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0151 933 2026 or visit our website at

TEL: 0151 933 2026 29


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