OVERVIEWThe New Accommodation Project from GCHQ was being built in Gloucestershire. It was a £340m building project whose size has been likened to the Wembley Stadium Complex. The development aspired to sustainable architecture and infrastructure targets. As well as the vast facilities required for its users there is an amazing vacuous central area.
AMS REMITConstruction of this site began in 2000. AMS Acoustics were brought on board by Wessex Fire in 2002 to design a Voice Alarm and Public Address system throughout the entire complex. Several areas would have high reverberation times and general circulation areas would have very high noise levels should an emergency trigger automatic smoke extraction.
DESIGN TARGETSThe system would need to provide high sound pressure levels in an emergency scenario; but also deliver STI values of 0.50 as a minimum in all areas. Some of the areas that we are not at liberty to disclose details of were an acoustic challenge and required new theory to be developed. The architect Gensler had a strong aesthetic vision and so loudspeaker choices were limited. Some 6,000 loudspeakers were installed.
COMMISSIONING RESULTSAll areas exceeded the STI minimum requirements and the SPL delivered during an emergency in the high noise zones was 94 dBA. The system was delivered with the most efficient loudspeakers and VACIE possible within physical constraints to uphold the project goal of sustainability.
SUBJECTIVE IMPRESSION"It sounds amazing, so clear. It’s so much better than we thought it would be"
(Dave Morgan – NAP Fire Systems Project Manager).