Reverberation in gymnasia

W.J. Gastmeier, D.R. Aitken


Gymnasia for public use are constructed and renovated on a regular basis, but the acoustical results are not always satisfactory or consistent. This paper examines this situation by presenting and discussing two case studies. In the first study, measurements of reverberation inside five public school gymnasia were carried out in the Mississauga area. The gymnasia were all geometrically alike, and had been constructed from typical building materials. Four of the gymnasia had been acoustically treated and were considered by the teaching staff of each to provide an adequate acoustical environment for typical activities. The remaining gymnasium was acoustically untreated, and its acoustic environment was considered by the staff to seriously impede its use. A brief literature review conducted to determine criteria specific to gymnasia revealed a notable lack of published information, both in terms of the traditional descriptor, the reverberation time (RT60), and in terms of more recently developed descriptors based on early/late arrival ratios. The measurement results and the subjective opinions expressed by each school's staff were used to determine reverberation criteria for a gymnasium, and to investigate the effectiveness of typical control measures. A second similar case study is presented. The results are discussed in terms of the relevance of various descriptors and potential building code implications


architectural acoustics; reverberation; acoustical environment; public school gymnasia; Mississauga area; reverberation time; early/late arrival ratios; subjective opinions; building code implications

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