Dewstow Primary School

Project Information

An innovative flexible open plan school full of technology provided a challenge acoustically, for which Willmott Dixon awarded an Innovation Award for “acoustic design in open plan teaching spaces” to MACH in 2012.

Project Details

Location: Caldecott, Monmouthshire
Client: Monmouthshire County Council
Architect: White Design
Contractor: Willmott Dixon
Contract Value: £6M
Completion Date: January 2013

The learning plazas are flexible, open plan teaching environments, with a variety of activity spaces giving the children the opportunity to learn through a variety of different ways. In order to deliver the best suited acoustics to the school MACH Acoustic spent a long time visiting schools and collaborating with the teachers to understand how they like to work.

MACH focused on key design techniques, looking at layouts to ensure distance between groups to avoid distraction, screens to break the line of sight whilst not fully partitioning off and soft treatments to reduce reverberation times, avoiding a build-up in noise and reducing sound propagation between classes.  The main aim was to ensure low levels of reverberation, good levels of communication within groups and sufficient speech privacy between classes.

Our Services

  • Site visits, detailed computer modelling and in depth design reports looking at acoustic implications of a variety of scenarios.
  • Review and proposal of a variety of acoustic treatment products and furnishings.
  • High performance design of music spaces.
  • Noise survey, all internal design aspects and pre-completion acoustic testing.
Dewstow Primary School

Our acoustic modelling looked extensively at multiple scenarios with several classes undertaking different activities simultaneously, this ensured that all bases were covered in the acoustic design.

MACH Acoustics also worked to ensure the high acoustic performance of all cellular spaces adjoining these open plan plazas, including designing to +5 dB in the music spaces.

MACH Acoustics have successful taken forward elements of the open plan design at Dewstow onto other similar projects, such as Wallscourt Farm Academy, for which MACH won an ANC award in 2015.

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