Echohush Soundproofing Courtroom

The challenges

Pyrotek was commissioned by the Australian Capital Territory Law Courts to improve the acoustics of the Magistrates Courtroom. Prior to the acoustic treatment of the room, Magistrates found that the clarity of sound, in particular speech, was poor due to a high level of reverberation (a persistent build-up of echoes). This was not only a problem for the seated audience but also degraded the quality of court recordings.

The solutions

Pyrotek conducted an impulse response test to measure the level of reverberation within the courtroom. Ideal reverberation time is between 0.4 to 0.8 seconds; however, the Magistrate’s court recorded a time of 1.4 seconds. The exceptionally high reverberation time was notably due to the hard interior walls that reflected sound around the court room, causing the clarity of sound and speech to be indistinct.

To solve the acoustic issues Pyrotek installed a number of fabric-faced and timber panels from the Echohush range onto the walls and ceiling, in an attempt to absorb the echoes overpowering the room. Approximately 50 m² of Echohush Panel and Echohush Metro panels were installed in the room which had an approximate floor area of 225 m².

The Echohush range combines acoustics with aesthetics. The decorative and functional panels maintain the courtroom’s polished and themed interior whilst still carrying out their function of noise control.

The results

Upon completion, the reverberation time in the courtroom had been significantly reduced to 0.5 seconds. This meant that unwanted sound reflections decayed faster to allow for better acoustic performance of the courtroom. Speech in the room now has greater clarity, allowing both the magistrate and the court monitors to carry out proceedings in a more efficient manner. Magistrates are able to hear parties in question clearly without disruption from reflecting echoes.

By adding as little as 50 m² of panels, Pyrotek was able to achieve a level of noise control that enhanced courtroom procedures whilst enriching room aesthetics through Echohush’s unique and decorative panel designs.

Pleased with the result, the ACT Law Courts commissioned Pyrotek to soundproof a second courtroom.