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Sound Innovation at Blackburn BSF School

A sound investment has been made at a new secondary school in Blackburn, with aim of helping its pupils to reach their full potential. Central Blackburn High School is benefitting from an acoustic ceiling system from Ecophon, part of leading international materials company Saint-Gobain, that’s been installed throughout the school.

A sound investment has been made at a new secondary school in Blackburn, with aim of helping its pupils to reach their full potential. Central Blackburn High School is benefitting from an acoustic ceiling system from Ecophon, part of leading international materials company Saint-Gobain, that’s been installed throughout the school.

Situated on a greenfield site, Central Blackburn High School (previously known as New East Blackburn) was part of the Blackburn, Darwen and Bolton BSF programme to deliver £210million of schools and school improvements across nine schools in Blackburn.

Construction began in January 2011 and the new school opened in September 2012, bringing together three existing school communities. It is now attended by 960 pupils, including 60 students with moderate learning difficulties.

The innovative school building, designed by Nicholas Hare Architects, aims to encourage the wellbeing and success of its pupils and incorporating a series of homebases and a three-storey heart space. It will also be used for learning and recreational purposes by the local community. Flexibility was a key part of the design, especially with regard to internal spaces and partitions. Learning environments are designed to allow for a variety of group combinations, big and small and to incorporate new technologies and teaching methods.

Lindsay Beck, Area Sales Manager at Saint-Gobain Ecophon says: “It was essential that the right balance of acoustic treatment was agreed to create a learning environment which allowed all pupils to thrive. We worked closely with architects Nicholas Hare and Balfour Beatty to come up with a solution that included a number of different products.”

As part of a tight 14 week programme which involved working at a height of up to nine metres, more than 6,000m² of Saint-Gobain Ecophon’s acoustic solutions were installed by Sound Interiors. The bulk of this was made up of Focus™ Ds and Focus™ Lp acoustic ceiling tiles, but also included a small amount of Sombra™ which has a black finish. Ecophon ran workshops at Sound Interior’s office and on-site to ensure installation of the Focus Lp tiles, a brand new product, ran as smoothly as possible.  Finally, some 400m² of Ecophon’s Wall Panels and Solo™ Baffles in various colours were also installed.

Lindsay continues: “Ecophon’s products were selected by the site team and the architects as being the most appropriate for the needs of the school. We’re also a trusted supply chain partner of Balfour Beatty and have put a great deal of effort and experience in to the research and development of products that meet the acoustic needs of a educational environments. In addition to this, Balfour Beatty specified our products for their high quality and for its ease of installation. Ultimately, our products sound good and look good too.”

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