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Hounslow Schools Expansion Programme

The London Borough of Hounslow and Pick Everard used WBM’s acoustic expertise to help them deliver the first phase of a multi-million pound expansion programme on ten primary and SEN schools between 2013 and 2015. These schools include: Crane Park Primary; Feltham Hill Infant & Nursery; Feltham Hill Junior (now Oak Hill Academy); Grove Park Primary; Norwood Green Infant & Nursery; Norwood Green Junior; Sparrow Farm Infant & Nursery; Sparrow Farm Junior; Springwell Infant & Nursery; and Springwell Junior. The schools are in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport and exposed to elevated levels of aircraft noise.

Project brief:  WBM was retained to provide a full range of professional acoustic consultancy services to ensure that all of the schools met the performance requirements of BB93. As well as the necessary BB93 assessments, two of the sites also had to meet BREEAM criteria.

Our involvement included undertaking detailed and thorough baseline noise surveys. The results of these surveys were used to determine external noise data to represent the worst case activity from Heathrow Airport, as well as obtaining representative background noise levels for adjacent noise sensitive properties in order to set limits for external plant noise.

WBM provided initial advice regarding the acoustic performance for the primary and SEN schools, which became more detailed as the projects developed. We worked closely with Pick Everard regarding the soundproofing of the building envelope to control external noise ingress, and also regarding the acoustic issues of building services, internal sound insulation and control of reverberation. During the construction phase, we continued to provide support on the acoustic aspects of the project.

Once construction was completed, acoustic testing was undertaken by WBM to demonstrate compliance with BB93 for the Local Authority and BREEAM.

Acoustic aspects:  The most challenging aspect of these schools was the exposure to high external noise levels due to aircraft activity associated with Heathrow Airport. WBM worked closely with Pick Everard to ensure close attention to detail associated with the building envelope and the control of external noise ingress. In addition, the requirement for exposed thermal mass meant that the control of reverberation had to be achieved using novel suspended rafts and wall panels rather than conventional lay-in-grid ceilings.

Outcome:  The result was high quality learning environments for pupils in the primary and SEN schools, which are now successfully operating with their first intake in September 2014.

Feltham Hill Infant and Nursery school was nominated for an RICS 2015 London regional award for innovation.

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