• Home
  • Blog
  • School Noise Problems: Beyond The Classroom

School Noise Problems: Beyond The Classroom


Last month, we spoke at length about classroom acoustics. We discussed the negative impacts that noise has on the learning experience, such as …

  • Distracting from studies in classrooms
  • Breaking concentration during exams or in other quiet zones to negatively impact learning
  • Increased stress and the teacher having to raise their voice louder

Poor classroom acoustics can also lead to a negative feedback loop of noise so to hear what's being said, students and faculty alike must speak louder and louder.

The culprit? Hard and reflective surfaces that bounce noise around. Surprisingly, classrooms themselves can be the cause of the noise impacting other classrooms and learning spaces.

Think about it: Power tools and machinery used in metal or woodworking workshops, noise from music rooms, theatre workshops and band practice areas are all rife with noise.

But noise doesn’t stop at classrooms.

Beyond The Classroom: Other Noisy Learning Environments

It’s not just classrooms where noise is a problem. 

Other learning environments are impacted as well – such as multipurpose rooms, gymnasiums, even outdoor sports venues – by noise generated by building services, maintenance, and groundskeeping, in addition to traffic, construction, and airplane and airport noise.

We have had occasion to provide solutions for many inside noise problems, as well as finding ways to mitigate the impact of outdoor noise sources.

Outdoor Solutions

Soccer Fields: We were presented with a traffic noise problem impacting a college soccer field. The passing traffic made it difficult for the athletes to hear their coaches’ instructions during practices, as well as during games. 

We suggested lining the chain-link fence surrounding the field with outdoor sound barrier material installed directly onto the chain-link fence. While the traffic noise was not eliminated, the impact of the install was effective enough so that both the coaches and players commented on the improvement.

Air Conditioning Units: Units outside a Florida school’s classrooms were proving to be a major impediment to students and teachers communicating clearly. 

Given Florida weather, the AC units were running during most of the school year, from August through May. We enclosed the AC units with properly vented enclosures, built with a combination of sound barrier and sound absorption materials. Both materials were hydrophobic, meaning they were not impacted by the frequent and heavy Florida rainfall. 

The enclosures were so effective that other schools in the same school district contacted us to build and install similar enclosures for their outdoor AC systems.

Middle School: A middle school found itself directly in a new runway’s flight path after a recent airport expansion.

Since windows and doorways are frequently the weakest points in an effective soundproof envelope in any building, we were able to provide window inserts, as well as door sweeps that shore up the seams between windows, walls, and the bottoms of doors. 

The impact was immediate, easily measurable and – most importantly – while not inexpensive, the combination of the inserts and sweeps proved to be by far the most cost-effective solution for the entire school.

Indoor Solutions

As we have previously discussed in case studies about the range of acoustic treatments we have provided for interior spaces designed to mitigate two of the most common indoor noise problems, echo and reverberation, we have solved gymnasium, multipurpose room and classroom acoustic problems at schools all over the country.

Blocking or absorbing sound are two of the most common choices we have for improving indoor acoustics. However, it is frequently impractical to block indoor noise with sound barrier products. 

As such, applying absorbent products to soak up noise like a sponge is generally the best solution for mitigating indoor noise.

There are many types of absorbent products that are best suited for specific noise problems, safety constraints, different budgets and/or specific design needs. 

We manufacture our own REVRB® brand of acoustic panels, baffles and banners that have been used in schools all over the country in multiple indoor settings. From gymnasiums to auditoriums to classrooms, our REVRB® panels have been helping to improve the educational experience for students in preschools, elementary, middle and high schools, and college campuses for years.

But don’t just take our word for it. 

There is rarely a better testimonial for how effective our REVRB® Acoustical Panels are at minimizing echo and reverberation than a quote from the school itself, augmented by a video clip where one can clearly hear activities taking place in the gym which had been acoustically treated. 

And when our own REVRB® products are not best suited for a specific noise problem, we have many other options available to meet a school’s needs. 

We are gratified that the school was able to use their gym for chapel assemblies for the first time because of our REVRB® panels. So whether your noise problem starts inside or outside, contact us today let us help you address it!