Nishkam Primary Free School

Sanctuary Acoustics has been commissioned by the Nishkam Education Trust to act as appointed acoustic engineers in relation to the design, construction and pre-completion testing of a new multi-faith primary free school situated on the Soho Road in Birmingham.
This will be the first Sikh ethos school of its kind in the Midlands.
The school comprises of two mid-nineteenth century Grade II listed buildings to the front of the site overlooking the busy Soho Road with a purpose built lower ground level extension to the rear. The old and new buildings are to be connected by a new glazed circulation space incorporating a stairwell and a lift.
Sanctuary Acoustics conducted environmental noise surveys as part of the planning application. The environmental noise data was also used in the assessment of the proposed façade design for the new purpose built extension and to determine if the façade would be able to attenuate sufficient amounts of external or background noise from entering the teaching rooms. A full BB93 assessment was conducted on the school design. On completion of the project, pre-completion sound insulation testing was conducted.
The extension is to comprise of four classrooms, a sports hall, entrance hall, an entrance lobby as well as other circulation spaces and ancillary rooms.
Acoustically this has been a very interesting project, when considering the age of the listed buildings, traffic noise on Soho Road and how the listed building is to be connected to the new extension, but in particular how space on the site is to be utilised.
The roof of the lower ground extension is used as a play area which initially raised concerns acoustically with four classrooms immediately below should there be simultaneous use of both the play area and classrooms for teaching. Impact tests on the roof/ceiling structure proved that impact attention into the classrooms below was good with an L’nTw 26dB.