ST. BRENDAN’S SCHOOL
Princeton Community Middle School, located in the Cincinnati suburbs, was in the process of renovating/completing expansion. Working alongside the project team, Hufcor designed, manufactured and installed a series of their GA1 Omni-directional movable glass walls to create a flexible learning environment that met LEED daylighting requirements.
The answer was Hufcor’s GA1 omni-directional movable glass panels. The panels provide the needed flexibility, to open up space for large-group learning and to divide into small classrooms for small-group teaching.
The insulated glass inserts meet LEED daylighting requirements and is designed to stop as high as 44 dB of sound from traveling from one room to another. The panels effectively keep the ambient sound levels within the rooms at levels required (35 dB) for optimal learning. To further control sound flanking, the operable partitions use a lever closure panel, an expandable closure that provides force across the entire system to squeeze the panels together. The 200 pounds of force create a tight panel-to-panel bond, preventing sound from leaking between the panel joints.
Although the movable glass wall panels don’t impede students’ direct access to daylight, even if located within interior sections of the small learning communities, glass panel surfaces often cause rooms to have higher reflectivity times (RT). Higher RT may lower the overall speech intelligibility index (SII) levels, since nearly all sound waves are reflected back from the solid-glass surfaces into the classrooms. Better SII levels mean better hearing and comprehension. To reduce RT, the acoustical consulting team used highly absorptive ceiling tiles to provide much of the sound absorption required to improve speech intelligibility to levels recommended by the ASA.
The acoustical glass wall also uses mullions to match the fixed storefront glass system used throughout much of the building. The bottom section contains a translucent polycarbonate that is more durable than the upper clear-glass section.
Combining the benefits of room flexibility, daylighting, acoustical performance, and accessibility, acoustical glass walls helped create an effective learning atmosphere at Princeton Community Middle School.