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Sound solution for students

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An innovative acoustic ceiling design from Saint-Gobain Ecophon has given the newly opened International and Postgraduate Student Centre a contemporary new look as part of a complete refurbishment.

Spread over three floors, the building has been transformed into a state-of-the-art student centre to provide both teaching and social spaces which focus on and meet the needs of the students.

Working with Belfast-based Bradley McClure Architects, Ecophon’s Master Solo free hanging units and Focus E ceiling tiles were installed by Convery Ceilings. The acoustic ceilings have been used largely in the social and relaxation spaces on the second floor to minimise background noise so students who are studying won’t be disturbed. Ecophon’s ceilings also feature in some areas on the ground and first floors.

Alan Crampton, Ecophon’s Regional Manager for Ireland, said: ‘We worked in conjunction with Bradley McClure Architects to create a good acoustic environment in which students could socialise as well as study. With this in mind, our Master Solo free hanging units were installed directly above the bespoke desks in the second floor study space, to absorb unwanted noise and enable those working to concentrate without difficulty.

‘The rafts are suspended from the roof on wire so that they appear to be floating. Usually the gap from the roof to the raft is between one and two metres but in this case it was up to five metres in places which made the installation more challenging. The sloping nature of the ceiling also meant the wires had to be cut to different lengths to ensure each individual raft sat in a horizontal position.’

Chris Thompson, Project Architect from Bradley McClure Architects, said: ‘The University was very clear about creating a space which was explicitly for its students so the acoustic solution we chose needed to enable a range of activities to take place in one space. We worked closely with Ecophon to ensure that the ceiling solutions would provide the highest levels of sound absorption while also complimenting the overall design and aesthetic of the building.’  

Master Solo is based on a single sound-absorbing panel which can be simply and discreetly suspended from the ceiling either individually, together or at different levels, using adjustable bespoke wire hangers.

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