Bringing Acoustic Engineering for Georges Mailhos Schools in Toulouse

In order to adapt to the demographic growth of the Malepère district, the municipality of Toulouse city in France undertook the construction of a new school complex. The project included 8 kindergarten and 10 primary classrooms, a dormitory area for younger students’ nap time, as well as a multi-purpose leisure center.

Toulouse’s City Council aimed for a high environmental quality approach, specifically targeting the level 9 HQE standard. In terms of acoustics, this HQE target was challenging due to the location of the site being adjacent to several noise sources (highways and railways). For our acoustic engineering team, this was the greatest challenge of the project.

Georges Mailhos Schools in Toulouse
Georges Mailhos Schools in Toulouse

To carry out their mission successfully, our acousticians addressed the following issues: .

Firstly, their mission consisted in protecting the school from external noise. In order to solve this, our engineers considered the insulation of the building envelope. Given the proximity of the noisy transportation infrastructure, it became imperative to implement a reinforced façade insulation.

By working from the early concept stage of the project, we were able to adapt the layout of the school, so part of our advice included placing sensitive areas further away from the parts of the building most exposed to outside noise.

For example, dormitories would be positioned on the furthest opposite side of the noise sources, as too much noise can impact the concentration or rest of the school children. This solution, which did not involve the installation of additional acoustic insulation materials, helped the client to reduce construction costs.

Georges Mailhos Schools in Toulouse
Georges Mailhos Schools in Toulouse

Additionally, classrooms were also given special attention, as they are an essential space for student learning. Both false ceiling and vertical treatments helped to ensure acoustic comfort and made it a perfect place for the young academics. However, it is also important to take into account other areas of the school to ensure that students can rest comfortably.

Therefore, we implemented absorbent materials on the underside of the playgrounds and on the outside vertical walls of the school yard. This helped to attenuate the noise generated by children’s enthusiasm during breaks, reducing fatigue and loss of attention thereafter.

Educational spaces, resting and activity rooms, dining areas, medical and administrative offices, all received absorbent ceiling and floor treatments in order to control reverberation times. This ensured good speech intelligibility and reduced high noise levels.

acoustic solutions for schools
Georges Mailhos Schools in Toulouse

All in all, we were delighted to contribute to the well-being of the students at Malepère School by improving their learning environment. Many thanks to the Town Council of Toulouse for the trust they have placed in our team, we certainly hope to continue offering acoustic comfort to both students and teachers!

Do you want to discover more about acoustic design in schools? Then check out what we did for this school project!

Photos credit: Architect SCP Dompnier Lemaire

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