Schools are changing. Not just in terms of the way they teach, but their entire dynamics are becoming more inline with the modern world to prepare young people for life as an adult.
One pioneering school in Stratford, East London is leading the way. This modern school teaches children from age 4 to young adults up to the age of 18, from all backgrounds.
Due to the versatile nature and ethos of the school, the building itself plays a valuable role in the teaching methods. This modern London school was built in 2012 and boasts some incredible open plan and flexible learning spaces, as well as traditional enclosed classrooms.
The London school is constantly evolving to suit its staff and pupils, so when there was a clear requirement for additional rooms, the school contacted JBH Refurbishments.
As a fit-out company that understands the nature of school refurbishments and school requirements, JBH was selected to design and complete the fit out of the head teacher’s office, a staff meeting room, a small classroom, general office and learning zones.
Situated above a large open plan hall/learning space, the school’s spacious, first floor corridor posed the ideal location to create two new offices. Not only did the corridor offer ample space, the new rooms would provide acoustic sound proofing to the hall below.
The London school also required:
- A large classroom on the ground floor to be partitioned into a smaller classroom and office space
- Various recesses within the open plan hall to be sectioned off with glazed partitioning and doors
Before any work could commence on site, the layout and positioning of the classroom and office fit out had to be meticulously planned. Upon assessment the JBH interior design team created several 3D CAD visuals. This would ensure the fit-out offered an efficient use of the space and met the head teacher’s vision.
Once the layout was agreed, the team researched suitable partitioning materials that would act as a sound barrier inside and out side of the new rooms.
The average classroom creates up to 60-70 RdB, so acoustic sound barriers play an important role in the overall school building. Sound panels are often advised as the solution, especially in large open plan spaces. However, they only reduce reverberations between 2-6 RdB, which is the equivalent of a rustle of leaves. Obviously, this is not enough for a school. Therefore, the acoustics were a key consideration in this school refurbishment.
Reverberations in open plan spaces can be difficult to control. Fortunately, in this situation the space was being divided. The best solution was to use two layers of sound block partitioning from first floor level, right up to ceiling height.
Standard partitioning offers 45 RdB sound absorption, which is the sound level comparable to a quiet office. The thick double-layer partitioning used in the school refurbishment London absorbed 48RdB, making a significant difference. To provide natural light, we used two sheets of 6mm glass to create a double glazed unit in the headteachers office and staff meeting room, which helped enhance the sound quality further.
The combination of double layer sound block partitioning and thick glazing meant the reverberation in the new rooms could be suitably absorbed. Furthermore, the new rooms now act as a practical sound barrier between the open plan hall below and the corridors. The additions have made a significant impact on the sound quality in the hall, neighbouring classrooms and the corridor.
As a result, the sound quality is much cleaner and crisper in these areas, making teaching and learning far more effective for the pupils at this South-East London School.
Further work to address the sound quality took place in the main hall/open plan learning space. The JBH Refurbishments team installed 10mm thick toughened glazed partitioning and doors to the recesses within the hall. Consequently, the once redundant recesses are now a practical learning space for the pupils and teachers.
With the partitioned walls constructed, the fit out of the new classroom and offices could commence. The classroom and office fit out involved:
- First and second fix electrics, including lighting and sockets
- Data cabling and dado rail installation
- Wall mounted air conditioning system and condenser by Mitsubishi Electric
- Decoration of the walls with trade matt white emulsion, white gloss skirting and door frames
The efficient use of space meant the hall’s open plan layout has not been affected by the addition of two new offices on the first floor. In-fact the use of acoustic office partitioning has enhanced the area and the surrounding classrooms. The school refurbishment was achieved in just six weeks, thanks to the efficient project managers and engineers at JBH Refurbishments.
JBH Refurbishments offers interior fit out services for school across the South East, including London. All of our project managers, engineers and onsite operative hold a full DBS check for our client’s peace of mind.