Project name: Golden Bay Rec Centre Acoustic Panels
Fabric used: Batyline Aw
Fabric Supplied by: Baytex
Installation Company: Absolute Energy
Install acoustic panels in a gymnasium & squash court inside a new-build community recreational centre.
The building is of a lightweight steel structure. Typically, gymnasiums like this have very poor acoustics. This particular facility is in a small town & therefore needs to be multi functional. More attention is being paid to acoustics &, with an aging population, this becomes increasingly important.
The acoustic solution needed to be lightweight to ensure not too much strain was put on the lightweight structure, practical in terms of cleaning & well performing in an earthquake situation.
We manufactured eight panels for the main gymnasium, two end panels to enclose the eight panel area (to prevent birds nesting in it) & a separation wall above the squash courts.
The client requested us to advise the ceiling installers on what was required so that they could install the acoustic panels. This saved on costs as the hall was remote from us all & would have required a considerable amount of travel cost.
What is unique or complex about the project?
Whilst this product has been used before around the world, it is relatively new to the New Zealand market & has yet to reach widespread acceptance amongst those who specify such materials. How can something so lightweight perform as the test results & statements from the manufacturer indicate?
There was a high level of suspicion from the installers – the construction company is one we have a long term relationship with so they were on-board & in fact, specified it after presentations by us to them in the past & a test run on a popular bar in town.
On our part, we had to accept the measurements of someone who did not know or trust our product. We addressed this in our quote to eliminate the risk to us.
The installation was not what we would have done – it is not tensioned as smoothly as we would have done it. The installing company has a very different company culture to ours in terms of quality of finish. They were not our sub-contractors – in this situation there is little that can be done.
What were the results of the project?
The results however were phenomenal – there was an opening party with 300 – 400 people in attendance & the general view was that it was a very soft atmosphere with people being able to hear each other. The band remarked during sound checks how great it was & the only reverberation they were getting was off the concrete side wall.
The squash courts have a top gallery & the Facility Manager told me that they can have meetings in this gallery area whilst people are playing squash & not be bothered by the noise. Squash courts are notoriously noisy places.
We haven’t carried out any formal testing of the acoustic performance however the client & the end users all seem to be very happy.
We are currently working on the design of another sports facility with this construction company.
Is there any other relevant information?
When I was touring the centre with the Facility Manager he pointed out some bird poo on the squash court panel. He was worried about getting it off. Relax, I said, it’s PVC mesh. You can clean it easily. Here’s how… Our fabrics are so brilliant!!!