Big Acoustics in Small Spaces – Achieving HS Auditorium Design Goals with Space Constraints



When designing a high school auditorium there are several factors that determine the outcome of the final construction.  Prior to establishing acoustical design goals, the restrictions outlined from the design team typically start at budget and may extend to the size of the box in which the auditorium is to fit.  A fluent balance between design restrictions and internal acoustical goals is critical to create a successful end-product.

This case study shows the actions taken to increase the volume, provide custom diffusion, and isolate an auditorium from mechanical sources directly above the space.  Furthermore, critical acoustical metrics such as loudness, spaciousness, ITDG, intimacy, reverberation time, clarity, etc., were analyzed in design and measured post construction.  Results, based on ISO 3382-1 testing are provided, as are the noise control measures implemented to achieve the established set of design criteria.  The overall intent of this case study presentation is to exhibit how goals across each design team discipline can be met, through sometimes unwilling compromise, ultimately producing a rewarding end-result for acousticians, architects, engineers, and ownership.