What we did

This project centred on the construction of a new, purpose-built 377 seat lecture theatre for the School of Medicine at Cardiff University, one of the largest medical schools in the UK.

With the lecture theatre’s basic design concept already known, we were brought in to help the design team:

  • Optimise the internal design of the theatre for natural speech intelligibility;
  • Address specific noise and vibration requirements including low background noise;
  • Carry out site inspections to ensure the integrity of the acoustic design plan was maintained throughout the build process;
  • Conduct pre-completion acoustic commissioning tests to demonstrate achievement of both the client’s desired noise and vibration levels and those set by the Local Authority and Government.

Acoustic features of this project

In our design review and subsequent guidance, we:

  • Used CATT acoustic sound modelling software to investigate the optimum:
    • Placement of acoustic panels overhead and to the rear walls;
    • Layout of the lecture seating.
  • Analysed the effect of mechanical and external noise intrusion in our assessment;
  • Provided internal acoustical design recommendations to:
    • Enhance speech projection without necessarily using voice amplification;
    • Make any mechanical noise as unobtrusive as possible;
    • Minimise noise from neighbouring rooms and corridors.

The project team

Architect: Powell Dobson
Main Contractor: Leadbetter Construction
Acoustics: Adnitt Acoustics