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Knauf AMF creates exceptional school interiors with Class A acoustics [Case Study]

Knauf AMF creates exceptional school interiors with Class A acoustics [Case Study]

Alyth Primary in Perthshire has undergone an £8.9 million transformation to unite the nursery, primary and community areas and create a protected external learning space. The principle of ‘shared learning’ is at the heart of the project and this is realised using open-plan classrooms, break-out areas and a terrace which extends from the first-floor library to overlook the central courtyard. To ensure this ambitious layout works acoustically, Heradesign® and Thermatex® ceilings from Knauf AMF are installed throughout to achieve the standards required by BB93 Acoustic Design of Schools.

An extension to the listed Victorian building is designed with large windows to accentuate the use of light. The natural materials used in the interior design combine with high levels of light to create a healthy atmosphere which helps motivate the pupils and aid concentration. Natural materials used in education buildings have been found to reduce stress levels. Heradesign® plays a key role in creating this positive ambience and are installed in the classrooms, gym hall and corridors.

JM Architects Associate Craig Tait specified Heradesign® and explains why: “We were initially attracted to the natural appearance of Heradesign® and the relationship it has with the timber linings elsewhere in the design. Its neutral colour adds a feeling of warmth to the interiors of the school.”

Heradesign® is a range of high-performance acoustic ceilings and wall absorbers manufactured from sustainable wood-wool from PEFC and FSC certified sources. The visible wood fibres give Heradesign® its distinctive, woven surface which can be produced in any colour. Heradesign® is perfect for educational buildings because it offers outstanding sound absorption, Class A1 impact resistance and a high fire safety rating.

The school’s open-plan spaces used for teaching and group activities are prone to unwanted noise which can disrupt learning. The Class A sound absorption of Heradesign® provides the necessary noise control to allow clear communication between the teacher and pupils in the classroom, which will have a positive effect on academic performance. The high impact performance of Heradesign® has been put to good use in the gym hall as it is durable and strong enough to withstand heavy-impact ball games.

Thermatex® Alpha One ceilings are fitted in the school’s circulation spaces. The smooth, white ceiling tiles offer over 88% light reflectance. There are two lights sources in the corridors: natural light from the skylights and artificial light. The ceiling’s high light reflectance optimises both sources of light and produces an even spread of light. Thermatex® Alpha One ceilings provide outstanding sound absorption and sound insulation to prevent the noise of footsteps and voices in the circulation areas disturbing lesson time in the adjacent classrooms.

The kitchen areas in the school require a ceiling that can withstand high-humidity. Thermatex® Aquatec offers the optimum solution as it is humidity resistant up to 100% RH. This means that the ceiling will retain its shape even in temperatures as high as 40°C. In addition, the ceiling’s smooth white surface is easy to clean. Thermatex® Aquatec can be manufactured with a hygienic coating, which is resistant to bacteria and fungi growth – offering a high level of hygiene and cleanliness – an essential requirement for areas where food is prepared and served.

Knauf AMF has unrivalled experience when it comes to creating inspirational interiors for education buildings that meet all the acoustic building regulations. For more information, visit or email

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Case Study Alyth Primary School 476 KB

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Stefan Lankl

Stefan Lankl
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