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Heritage Buildings
& Performance Spaces

The acoustic design of public buildings such as courts, churches, theatres, meeting rooms and conference facilities is fundamental to ensuring clarity and intelligibility of speech and control of interference from external noise. 

Buildings, such as churches, chapels and auditoria, are often challenging acoustically. Whilst the classical church may have long reverberation times, which makes organ recitals and choral voice sound good, they can often then struggle to achieve clarity and intelligibility of speech naturally. Good acoustic conditions in such spaces often need defining to meet the needs of those using the space, but improving speech intelligibility without compromising the main use of the space is an essential result that the acoustician can provide. This will benefit the congregation and the speaker who is trying to reach their audience without straining their voice.

Case Study: St George the Martyr Church, Newbury

St George the Martyr Church in Newbury carried out a significant refurbishment of its existing church building, including a provision for improving the acoustics within the main hall space where people were finding it difficult to hear speech. The small church was renowned for its warmth and for the acoustics that supported the sound of the choir, so the brief was to improve the space for speech without affecting its use.

The pulpit in St George the Martyr Church, Newbury. The church's interior is small, and the walls are painted white.


"It has proved to have immediate acoustic benefits and allayed the fears of a number of members of the congregation about too much deadening of the sound. Speech is now much more intelligible and the qualities of the choir are more discernible. A fantastic improvement".

Bruce Blaine, St George The Martyr, Newbury

The empty main hall in the Lighthouse. there are over 2400 seats.

Case Study: The Lighthouse, Poole

Sustainable Acoustics acted as the acoustic specialists for the refurbishment of the well-known Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts.  We work alongside award-winning architect Design Engine to assist in the £5.3 million refurbishment of the iconic building, Britain’s largest regional arts centre.


"It has been a real pleasure to work with Peter and Louise at Sustainable Acoustics on the Lighthouse refurbishment project... They absolutely got it, and gently ensured, by working collaboratively with us, that we did too."

Elspeth McBain, CEO, Lighthouse Centre for The Arts

Case Study: Yeoman Warders' Lodgings, Tower of London

Historic Royal Palaces required stringent noise conditions to be met within the Yeoman Warders' homes situated within the walls of the Tower of London. Events take place in a marquee that is within 3m of the houses at its closest point, and the arrow slits in the walls allow sound through into the premises with ease. A temporary acoustic enclosure was designed and placed within the marquee, and tight control of bass frequencies was achieved to allow the event to happen without complaint. 

Tower of London - Part of the Historic R

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