Echohush in hard to treat Church Space

The challenges

A common problem in multi-use spaces is to determine the acceptable acoustic conditions to suit the range of uses. The problem can be measured as reverberation time or decay time of reflected sound energy.

The Hornsby Uniting Church in New South Wales, faced an ongoing problem with its public spaces. The main public areas comprise two halls separated by a thin, movable wall. On one side of the dividing wall, a carpeted space hosts devotional services; on the other, a wooden-floored hall echoes to activities, meetings and other loud goings-on. The noise got so bad that worshippers couldn’t understand what their priest was saying. As complaints increased, the Church’s trustees asked RSA Acoustics/SLR Consulting to conduct an assessment of the problem.
Investigation showed that the hall did not lend itself to acoustical wall treatment. The side walls were predominantly of face brick construction with glazed windows, providing very little area for treatment, and drapes would not provide sufficient areas of absorption nor would they be in keeping with the interior design of the space. The timber floor and carpet covering were not effective options.

RSA Acoustics /SLR Consulting took measurements that showed the space was excessively live with reverberation times exceeding 2 seconds in all the mid-range frequencies. The solution then was to install materials with good absorptive properties.
Traditional ceiling tile products, while offering a partial solution, could not be installed in sufficient quantity to achieve the results.

The solutions

The most effective area for treatment was the plasterboard ceiling. There were two options available: absorptive panels suspended from the ceiling; or absorptive panels directly fixed to the existing ceiling.
Considering the high pitched roof, Echohush Cosmo panels were selected, as their high NRC of .90 made them the most suitable and best performing soundproofing product for the job.
Six groups of nine panels were required to reduce the reverberation time and installation was carried out by James Gifford, of Gifcon Constructions.

These light, sturdy panels are manufactured from laser cut metal which is robust, non-burning, and easily installed. Decorative slots in the panel allow the acoustic cavity infill to absorb noise energy. The client chose Pacifica (one of six designs) in Riversand (one of many colours) to complement the room’s decor.

The results

Ceiling-mounted Echohush Cosmo insulation has achieved what RSA Acoustics/SLR Consulting required - now when the dividing wall is opened to create a combined space for big events, echoes from the wood-floored section are minimised and don’t affect the carpeted section.
To the delight of the Clergy and parishioners, the installation both looks great and works.

Echohush Cosmo solves noise problems in a myriad of situations, from schools, bars, restaurants and call centres, to studios, showrooms and (home and commercial) theatres: anywhere you need enhanced privacy and acoustics.

To the delight of the Clergy and parishioners, the installation both looks great and works.