How Architecture Influences Educational Experiences

Start Time: May 4, 2022

Thank you all for participating in our recent webinar, discussing the importance of architecture in education spaces.

Whether you would like to rewatch, or missed watching it live, we invite you to view the webinar recording below.

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Unfortunately, two participants due to speak on our webinar were unable to attend – James Brice, Head of Performing Arts at Knox Grammar, and Professor Paul Sanders, Professor of Architecture at Western Sydney University.

As mentioned in the webinar, we have linked below to the Knox Grammar video testimonial from James.

Also, we have had Paul record his segment, which we have inserted into the webinar recording, so you can now get the benefit of his knowledge also.

Whilst limited time was available for answering questions live on the webinar, we have secured other questions that were raised, and answered these for you here:


What about sliding bi-folder doors to divide spaces to create smaller rooms within a large hall concerning with acoustic issues?

Yes, this would definitely reduce sound travelling from one space to another within an overall area.  Operable walls can be rated as high as 45Rw, which means a huge 45 decibel reduction in sound that travels through the operable wall.

What is the seating capacity?

Knox Grammar Performing Arts Centre has a 750-seat capacity.  Pictures of this are available on the Supawood website.

How are the different reverberation times of AS1015 and Department of Education - like music hall and sports-teaching - balanced?

I presume this is referring to ASNZS 2107:2016 – Acoustics – Recommended design sound levels and reverberation times for building interiors.  This standard gives much more detail than the NSW Educational Facilities Standards and Guidelines.  ASNZS 2107 gives recommended reverberation times across all frequencies.  However, the NSW Educational Facilities Standards and Guidelines gives only an average reverberation time for the range of 500Hz to 1000Hz.

Are there any bass-trapping effects known of the vaults?

These vaults are not the ideal shape or position for bass-trapping.  Typically, bass-traps are positioned vertically on the walls and consist of a thin face of 3-6mm MDF over a supporting box, with only about 1% open area of perforations.  These boxes then act as a drum and absorb low frequency waves very well.  Supawood can supply these, but our standard Supacoustic product is typically used for medium to high or low to medium frequency absorption.

Are the examples of these School Buildings with Supawood timber linings using Performance Solutions for Fire Safety? If so, please expand on how the Supawood gets around this issue.

These school buildings meet the fire safety requirements by directly meeting the required AS5637.1 standard according to C1.10 by providing evidence in the form of tests and assessments from NATA certified laboratories as provided in the BCA under Clause A5.1 (1) (d).

Do you calculate population of the room in design?

Yes, the expected number of users of the room must be incorporated into the acoustic design.

If the room is sometimes full and sometimes nearly empty, as in a typical teaching or rehearsal situation, then both these scenarios must be accommodated within the overall acoustic design.  The changing requirements can be facilitated by, for example, pulling curtains over acoustic panels, or by having operable acoustic panels that slide out of the way, etc.


For more in-depth response to these questions, or if you have any of your own questions to ask,

please get in touch with Supawood technical staff by clicking the link below:

As mentioned in the webinar, a full whitepaper has been released, for both architects and education end users. If you would like a copy, please reach out to us here. We trust this brief summary is helpful in the meantime.

Once again, thank you for your interest!

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