A different kind of project

The primary goal for the new, state-of-the-art Royal Birmingham Conservatoire was to provide a building with one of the highest levels of acoustic attenuation in the world.

This is essential for providing the right environment for the reproduction of music and this project forms part of the continuing redevelopment of Birmingham.

There were challenges with regards to glazing, however, and Bennetts carried out extensive acoustic testing to achieve the required sound reduction figures – as high as Rw 68dB for the composite curtain wall system designs.

The building envelope used Kawneer AA100 curtain walling and AA720 window systems that provide thermal enhancement along with acoustic performance. These systems, combined with engineered acoustic baffles within secondary glazing reveals, helped to reduce sound transmission further.

Early engagement with the main contractor Galliford Try helped the design alignment process and ensured any challenges were ironed out early on.

Lionel Grant, managing director at Bennett Architectural, said: “Birmingham Conservatoire is located on a busy city centre road. Therefore, it was vital we got the acoustics right to keep that sound out.”