Noise from mechanical services is a common cause of degraded experience in presentation and learning spaces.
Lecture Theatres require high capacity air handling systems, which should typically operate at low velocity to minimise noise. Low velocity air handling systems invariably require larger and longer diffusers and larger ducts. This can present an acoustic and architectural challenge if not carefully planned at an early stage.
Air handling systems with local fan coil units (FCUs) mounted within the room or in the ceiling space are a potential risk to achieving the required internal noise criterion. Where practical, such units may be best relocated to outside the room envelope, or may otherwise need to be enclosed in an acoustically rated compartment designed to achieve a reduction in FCU noise.
Project engineers should take all steps to eliminate low frequency noise from mechanical plant, and to minimise the wide band noise generated by faster air flow in ducts and through diffusers. Vibration transmitted into the building from FCUs and other installed mechanical equipment must not cause sound levels to exceed the requirements project-defined background noise levels for detract from the functional requirements of the space (e.g. generate projector or camera shake due to vibration).