The visitor centre at Dunham Massey is a relatively new building which opened its door in 2014. Since opening, visitors and staff had reported it difficult to hold conversations in the entrance area and the café areas. This was an unfortunate side effect of using acoustically hard finishes in conjunction with an open plan layout, producing very reverberant or ‘live’ spaces.
RBA Acoustics were asked to undertake an acoustic review of the spaces to understand the effect of introducing acoustically absorptive panels and their potential effectiveness in order to understand the costs of remedial works.
To do this, we carried out a series of impulse sound measurements and used this data to calibrate 3D acoustic models of both the entrance area and the café. The results of these models were then used to provide advice to The National Trust on how effective each solution would be, and the level of treatment which we considered to be suitable given the restraints of the interior finishes.
Since installing acoustic treatment, a significant improvement to the spaces has been noted and it is now far easier to hold a conversation.