Top of the Class Acoustic Design: Chadwick International School in Vietnam

Originating from the USA, Chadwick International School’s third location is a state-of-the-art campus at the heart of the Ecopark in Hung Yen, just outside of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Designed for approximately 1,500 students, the campus aims to provide a learning environment that focuses on a student-centered, collaborative atmosphere of excellence, thus, making acoustic comfort play an indispensable part in its success.

Chadwick’s campus in Hung Yen, outdoor view

Why is noise control so important in schools?

In educational spaces, creating a comfortable environment for students and staff is a priority, and that’s why acoustic comfort becomes a crucial element.

Common noise challenges in school settings include reverberant spaces and noise transmissions between classrooms, which cause poor communication, lack of concentration, and listening discomfort.

Studies have shown that:

• Poor acoustics in classrooms can cause stress that affects students’ behaviors and mental performance.

• Even though 60% of classroom activities involve communication between students and teachers, an astounding 30% of what is said in class is lost due to bad acoustics.

Indeed, acoustics becomes a key differentiator for schools, as it improves overall student performance, which directly impacts the institution’s brand image.

View of the entire Chadwick Building from outside

Additionally, Chadwick invests in a Performing Art Center that includes a 603 seats theatre, a black box theater, a recording studio, and music and dance rehearsal rooms.

Of course, the Performing Art Center is dedicated to the growth of students’artistic and creative minds, through the study of drama, music, and dance. Therefore, offering them an environment suitable for the development of these artistic skills was very important.

What we did: acoustic design for the classrooms and beyond

We were brought on to manage the acoustic consultancy not only for the performing art center but also for the classrooms, library, canteen, and gym.

Our key objectives included:

• Ensuring disturbing noises do not travel between classrooms

• Reducing the reverberation time

Controlling equipment noise & vibrations

• Optimizing background noise in sensitive areas 

Facilities include theater & other performing art areas

We joined the project early and provided insights from the early concept stage, which was especially useful during the programming phase of the performing art center, as we needed to understand the type of performances that would be carried out to then define the right acoustic targets.

During the schematic and detailed design phases, we also provided guidelines for the architectural design, including acoustic specifications and markups for partitions and doors and treatments for specific areas.

Our team advised on the interior design finishes, coordinated with Perkins Eastman to select the best materials and products for each area, and provided technical support throughout the construction phase. 

The star of performing art areas – the theater (3D simulation by Delhom Acoustics)

The star of the Performing Art Center is its wonderful theater. By working closely with Perkins Eastman and dUCKS Scéno, we made sure that the architecture, scenography, and acoustics were designed hand-in-hand for a fully functional space. The goal here was to deliver a professional theater – much like the ones students who pursue a career in drama would encounter later on – but that could be fully operated by children of all ages.

This space was an especially fun experience for our team to create an unforgettable listening experience for the audience but also for the performers on stage, who need enough sound reflected to them to be able to play in tune with their counterparts.

Sound absorption treatments in classrooms aid speech intelligibility

Safe and sound: solutions for the future

A unique challenge with this project was the music room. Our engineers identified a double-door system as the best noise-insulating solution for this particular situation. However, to comply with Vietnamese fire regulations, a single door with a viewing window was required.

To overcome this, we worked with the general contractors to find the most effective composition for a single door – an innovative solution that can be used for similar projects in the future.

Our tailor-made single-door solution for the project

We are delighted to be able to dedicate our acoustics expertise to the well-being of the students & employees at Chadwick School. Many thanks to the client and all partners involved in this project, we look forward to bringing more of our valuable expertise to many more educational facilities!

Chadwick International School lobby, with integrated acoustic comfort.

To find out more about acoustics in schools, read our case study on George Maihos Schools in Toulouse. And if you have a similar project, get in touch at

Photos credit: Perkins Eastman