Northern Beaches Christian School, Sydney

Market SectorEducation
CompletionJanuary 2011
Project Value$ 25,000
ClientNorthern Beaches Christian School
ArchitectBVN Donovan Hill Architecture
ProductStratopanel seamless perforated plasterboard

The open learning space at Northern Beaches Christian School caters to as many as 180 students at any one time. In creating it, the designers knew acoustics would be vital – and found a solution in Cleaneo.

Project architect Catherine Downie, of BVN Donovan Hill Architecture, explains that the goal for the school’s progressive learning environment, called “The Zone”, was to create an agile, flexible space where learning could occur in any place at any time.

“With 180 young students there’s a lot of noise and energy in the space,” Downie says. “The acoustics treatment had to attenuate that so that students could work both individually and within groups, and ensure neither would impact negatively on the other.”

Downie says she was attracted to Knauf’s Cleaneo panels with alternating perforation from an aesthetic perspective – but adds that after initial research the product “ticked all the boxes” in terms of performance requirements.

“When we were in the process of specifying a ceiling product I found Knauf to be incredibly helpful,” she says. “They were happy to discuss all the parameters the ceiling had to meet, and they were able to provide the hard data we needed.”

Anne Knock, Northern Beaches Christian School’s director of development, adds that the effective acoustic treatment in The Zone has enabled the school to centralise teaching and learning in a fun and motivating environment.

“When I went to school it was one teacher, 30 kids in a box,” Knock says. “Now we actually have to think about the world our students are going into and structure their learning to cater for this.”

“That’s not just the content and delivery of curriculum, it’s also the physical space they’re in … and quality acoustics was crucial for effective learning to occur.”