Acoustic treatment for South Tees NHS Hospitals Foundation

STRIVE partnership

The STRIVE Academic Centre is based at The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough and forms part of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. STRIVE brings together all of the Trusts learning, research, training development functions into one; building partnerships with leading organisations and stakeholders across the NHS, education and clinical industry landscapes. Further enhancing the NHS through extensive research to make clinical treatment-based advances, STRIVE is at the forefront of James Cook’s development strategy.

Having recently provided the James Cook David Kenward Lecture Theatre with an urgent Microsoft Teams upgrade during the height of the pandemic, Visavvi were the natural choice for installing a sound solution to the difficult acoustics in the STRIVE centre.

Challenge

The low ceiling, plastered walls and hard surfaces in the room presented an acoustic challenge when it came to holding meetings and sessions – causing echoes and reverberations around the room. Visavvi were invited by the client to help find a solution for reducing reverberation time, without compromising on the room’s aesthetics.

During a consultation with the client, our expert team worked closely with our specialist partner Quadra to advise on a variety of designs and styles that would align with the rest of the hospital. Once we had taken precise measurements, we were able to assess the best possible solution and draw up an upgraded room plan with the clients' needs closely in mind.

Our acoustic specialists undertook a full and detailed acoustic survey within the room. With limited free space due to existing wall furniture, AV screens, a hard surfaced folding dividing wall and low ceilings – this was not an easy environment to resolve. To ensure perfect accuracy, a detailed survey report was produced which formed the specification of the acoustic conditioning required.

acoustic panels

Solution

We installed multiple custom sized ceiling acoustic panels direct onto the ceiling tiles to retain the ceiling height. This resulted in an incredibly clean look that blends in seamlessly with the ceiling which produced an acoustic reduction of 33%. Realising there was more scope to make a bigger impact, acoustic wall tiles were placed - again visually blended into the environment - reducing the reverberation time by a further 20%.

John Andrews, Visavvi Account Manager, commented "A key element was to ensure total continuity throughout the James Cook building. Often retrospectively adding acoustic tiles and panels can look like an afterthought, but with the right eye you can really bring some sophistication to the room. We colour matched the panels on the wall with the exact same colours used in the David Kenward Lecture Theatre and you can hardly notice them."

Result

"We had two meeting/seminar rooms which had really bad acoustics. The two rooms can be opened into one large seminar room via a folding door system in the centre. We wanted to address the reverb issues, so we brought Visavvi in to discuss the options. Visavvi and their partner Quadra provided us with a detailed report alongside calculations and drawings to demonstrate the level of reverb we would experience with and without treatment. The installation as with previous Visavvi projects was slick and smooth, and the guys worked around the room bookings which meant we didn’t have to cancel any pre-booked training.

The result is a fantastic space that is both practical and visually appealing which meets our main goal of reducing reverb within the room. Since COVID19 and social distancing arrived a lot of our practical teaching sessions have been connected from site to site over video conferencing and the acoustic treatment has meant we can hold sessions with confidence in the acoustics of the room."

John Pulling, Technical & Facilities Manager, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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