Gymnasiums are huge echo chambers unless you take action to absorb sound in all frequencies. Low and high frequency noises can be dampened well with insulating materials that are strategically placed in areas of noise.
Here are some of the acoustic and noise treatments available:
Flooring plays a crucial role in the acoustic qualities of a gymnasium. When you think about it, most sounds originate from the floor.
Hard flooring is bad for gymnasiums because a lot of noise is generated playing on it, but gymnasiums have to have a hard floor, so what should you do?
You can now get acoustic flooring that is insulated to dampen sound as much as possible. Some of the newest vinyl and polyurethane floors offer the same playing performance as a timber floor but absorb a lot more noise. You can also use an underlay to absorb shock and reduce the amount of noise transmitted.
Ceilings play an even more important role in the acoustic qualities of a gymnasium. We recommend installing ceiling banners to reduce noise. Not only can they be branded up to look good, they are cost-effective as well.
Alternatively, you can get special acoustic foam panels that stick to the ceiling. This is the same kind of foam used to insulate music rooms. The wedged pattern (different brands can have different patterns) absorb sound. Some acoustic panels also hang from the ceiling and absorb different frequencies. These are known as baffles.
Sound bounces around in empty spaces and gymnasiums are notorious for this. The best way to insulate walls to stop sound bouncing around is with acoustic wall panels. As with ceiling panels, these are made from foam.
Another good sound insulator is carpet. It might sound silly, but there is a reason why builders install carpet on the inside of their van cargo area. Carpet absorbs sound and is a much less slippery surface than stone or brick.
In addition to flooring, the ceiling and walls, the best way to transform your gymnasium from an echo chamber into a well-insulated space is by packing it with equipment. More equipment means less space for sound to bounce around.
If you can’t pack certain spaces with equipment, such as dance halls, you can move equipment to the side or install wall insulation. People also play a role in how much sound bounces around. More people in a large space equals less echo.