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CASE STUDY

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CASE STUDY

I. Existing Conditions
a. Brief History1

The College of Science was set up as a separate college of University of the


Philippines Diliman on October 6, 1983 during the term of Senator Edgardo Angara
as UP President. Presently, the college is comprised of eleven constituent units,
namely: National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS), National Institute of
Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (NIMBB), The Marine Science Institute (MSI),
National Institute of Physics (NIP), Natural Sciences Research Institute (NSRI),
Institute of Biology (IB), Institute of Chemistry (IC), Institute of Environmental
Science & Meteorology (IESM), Institute of Mathematics (IM), Materials Science &
Engineering Program (MSEP), and Science & Society Program (SSP).

Since then, it has occupied a 21.9 hectare area in the south sector of UP
Diliman adjacent to the UP [South] Technology Incubation Park. On 8 December
2006, the area was declared as the National Science Complex by President
Macapagal-Arroyo by an executive order (EO 583). It is currently being completed at
a total cost of 1.7 billion pesos, using funds that have been provided by the national
government in FY 2006, 2008 and 2009. Construction started in March 2007 with the
final building to be completed in January 2012.

b. Architect/Acoustical Consultant

The College of Science Administration Building, which


houses the College of Science Auditorium—more familiarly called
CS Audi by UP students—was designed by Architect Francisco J.
Nakpil, son of Juan J. Nakpil, the Philippines’ first National Artist
for architecture.

1
College Info. The U.P. College of Science. Web. 20 Feb. 2011.
<http://www.science.upd.edu.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=27>.
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CASE STUDY

c. Use/Activities

The CS Auditorium is primarily used as a lecture space for GE subjects


offered by the College of Science, namely for the courses of Natural Sciences 1,
Natural Sciences 2, and Science, Technology and Society (STS). Below is the schedule
of classes held in the CS Auditorium for the second semester of AY 2010-2011:

Other uses include functions, special lectures, seminars, etc. primarily of the
College of Science, and secondarily of users outside of the College, as this space is
rentable.

d. Average Number of Users & Seating Layout/Capacity

The average number of users is 100 people at any given time (i.e., class
lecture), though seating capacity is double that figure. The auditorium can seat 220
people. Additional mono-block chairs are stacked at the back of the theatre—this
enables the venue to accommodate more than the designated 220 people seating
capacity.

Typical Seat Plan.

Typical Seat Plan

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e. Location of Sound Source/s

Stage View

The main location of the sound source is the speaker who is situated on the
stage. To improve the audibility of the sound, speakers and sound-enhancing
equipment are used.

f. Average Distance (Source to Receiver)

The average distance from the sound source to a receiver seated at the
center of the seating area is approximately 6 meters.

g. Use of Ceiling Reflectors

The CS Auditorium makes use of ceiling reflectors that are of plywood


material. These are tilted in such a way that sound distribution is maximized
throughout the space.

Ceiling Reflectors

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Spot Detail of a Typical Reflector

The reflector panels are approximately tilted at nine degrees from the
horizontal. Pin lights are installed at their midpoints, and they are suspended from the
ceiling slab at a distance of about 0.25 meters. Typically, the panels are ½” thick plywood
panels 1.50 meters in length on 2” x 2” wood nailers.

h. Use of Splayed Walls

The walls use ½” thick and 0.20 m wide tanguile wood planks on wood nailers
spaced at 0.25 meters on center in order to treat them acoustically and effectively
diffusing sound throughout the space.

Wall Panels in Actuality

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CASE STUDY

Spot Detail of a Typical Wall Finish

i. Slope of Floors

The slope of the floor is at approximately 6.3 degrees. The floor is stepped at
approximately 0.11m per riser.

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j. Height of Stage

View from the stage and view of the stage upon entry through right entrance of auditorium.

The height of the stage is approximately 0.90 meters.

k. Sound Paths (Geometric Acoustics)

Sound Paths in Plan

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CASE STUDY

Sound Paths in Section

The sound is transmitted and reflected off the walls and the ceiling of the
auditorium rather well. The rear wall of the auditorium is, however, treated to
diffuse sound. This shall be addressed later on in the recommendations.

l. Assumed/Perceived RT
Below is the calculated absorption of the auditorium, together with the
assumed reverberation time.

area
(sq.m) material NRC absorption
floor 152 Vinyl Tiles & Rubber on Concrete 0.05 7.6
ceiling 263 1/2 inch thick plywood 0.3 78.9
stage 13.5 1/2 inch thick plywood 0.3 4.05
rear wall 14.4 Wood Panel Diffusers 0.3 4.32
side wall 45.864 Tanguile Wood Planks 0.4 18.3456
27.89736 Spraytex Textured Concrete 0.08 2.2317888
curtains 3.6 2 Layer Suede Curtains 0.55 1.98
window 1.68 0
door 2.4 0
front wall 13 Tanguile Wood Planks 0.4 5.2
curtains 8.32 0
seats 100 Leather Upholstered Seats 0.5 50
A 172.6273888 sabs

REVERBERATION TIME
Volume = Floor Area * Average Height
684.45 cubic meters

RT = 0.16V/A
RT = 0.634384 seconds

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CASE STUDY

Using a decibel meter, several trials were made in the auditorium in


different locations as specified in the diagram below to determine where best and
worst spots with respect to transmission of sound were:

The results are as follows:

CONDITION: No sound source/speaker talking


seat area trial 1 trial 2 trial 3 average
1 56.3 57 56.5 56.6
2 51 51.4 51.2 51.2
3 53.6 53 53.3 53.3
4 49.1 50 49.5 49.53333
5 48 50 49 49
6 47 48 49 48
CONDITION: Normal Speaking Voice
1 68.9 69 73.9 70.6
2 67.8 75.3 72.3 71.8
3 67 64 67.5 66.16667
4 67.7 67.4 68 67.7
5 65 64 60 63
6 67 67 63 65.66667
CONDITION: With Microphone
1 85.6 88.3 83.2 85.7
2 74.5 86.8 77.2 79.5
3 83.9 84.6 84 84.16667
4 84.6 74.2 82 80.26667
5 80.4 85.4 82.4 82.73333
6 73.9 80.4 83.7 79.33333

LOCATION: Center Aisle


CONDITION: without microphone
trial 1 trial 2 trial 3 average
70.7 68.6 66.3 68.53333
75.9 76.6 83.7 78.73333

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CASE STUDY

The results show that when the sound source is transmitting sound without
any artificial amplification technology, the area designated “2”, nearest to the sound
source is the optimum spot to be in. Meanwhile, when sound amplification systems
are used, the area designated “3”, the areas on the sides closest to the speakers, are
the locations where the sound is loudest.

m. Potential Acoustical Defects

Potential acoustical defects include perhaps the fact that the rear end of the
auditorium is treated with diffusive material when ideally it should be absorptive.
Also, noise coming from inside the storage room can be heard from the auditorium
space, even if noise coming from the auditorium proper cannot be heard when
inside the storage room. Apart from that, however, there are no major acoustical
defects present in the auditorium.

n. Noise Sources Within and Outside the Space

The noise from inside the space mainly comes from the HVAC or air
conditioning system and the 100 students seated inside the class. Outside of the
space, noise sources can come from people loitering in the atrium.

o. Type of Sound Amplification System

The sound amplification system used is essentially a combination central-


distributed loudspeaker system. A loudspeaker is installed right above the sound
source and secondary speakers are located around the auditorium, as will be seen in
the next section.

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CASE STUDY

Location of Speaker at the Center of the Stage

Left: Amplification System Control; Right: Wireless Microphone Control System

p. Location of Speakers

Two large speakers (Bose) are attached on the left and right walls of the
stage, just outside the equipment rooms. Two pairs of smaller speakers are located
on the front left and right side walls of the seating area and the left and right back
corners of the room. The main control room of the sound equipment is located in a
small room (tech booth) near the entrance of the auditorium.

Speaker Locations

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CASE STUDY

q. Lighting, AC, etc.

Lighting is composed of:


 fluorescent lamps with egg crate baffles
 spotlights (stand-alone units)
 pin lights
 emergency lights

Air conditioning units by Carrier are suspended on the right, left and rear
walls. Smoke detectors are also installed.

r. Materials and Material Properties

Material Location Acoustic Properties Photograph


Rubber on Concrete Floor NRC: 0.05

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CASE STUDY

Vinyl Tiles Floor (Seats) NRC: 0.05

1/2 in thick plywood Ceiling NRC: 0.30

Spraytex Textured Walls NRC: 0.08


Concrete

Leather Upholstered Seats Seats NRC: 0.50

Tanguile Wood Planks Walls NRC: 0.40

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Wood Panel Diffusers Rear Wall NRC: 0.30

2-Layer Suede Curtains Stage/Side Walls NRC: 0.55

s. Auxiliary Spaces

Auxiliary spaces include the tech/media room located on the right of the stage,
the storage room on the equivalent left, and the backstage immediately at the rear of
the stage.

The tech/media room houses the controls for the sound systems (i.e., speakers,
microphone settings, etc.). It has surfaces that are not treated acoustically; they are
highly reflective concrete surfaces. The door leading to the booth is louvered, which
allows sound from inside the tech room to escape into the auditorium space.

The storage room is similar in size and shape of the tech/media room. It houses
the controls and switch panels for the electric circuits of the auditorium. Sound coming
from the interior of the storage room is easily heard from the seating area.

The backstage is separated from the stage proper by two layers of suede fabric
curtains. It stores additional equipment and chairs, and the computer that is directly
linked to the overhead projector. Wooden planks are installed on the lower half of the
walls for diffusive purposes.

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II. Survey
Looking for different issues involving acoustics in the College of Science Auditorium,
the researchers had conducted a survey involving the users, 50 UP Diliman students who
have taken classes, a seminar or watched a play in the College of Science Auditorium.
Convenience sampling was used through a web survey.

Most of the respondents had used CS Auditorium as a venue of one of their classes,
namely, Natural Science 1 (NatSci1), Natural Science 2 (NatSci2) or Science, Technology and
Society (STS).

The diagram that follows was given to the survey participants to identify where they
normally chose to sat:

The results showed:

Users' Seating Preference


28
30
25
20
15 11 Users
10 5 5
2 3
5 1
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 Other

Most of the 50 participants sat at the area designated 4, in the middle sitting area.
Twenty-six respondents (51%) choose to sit in the center of either right or left wing of the
auditorium while the least and only two of the respondents (4%) usually sit in the front of
either right or left wing. Ten respondents (20%) sit either at the left most or right most part

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CASE STUDY

of the auditorium, followed by the center at the front with ten percent of the respondents.
The leftmost or rightmost area at the back, the center at the back, and the leftmost or
rightmost seats in the front are chosen by eight percent, six percent, and four percent of the
respondents, respectively.

As students, the most common factors to where students seat in a classroom are,
the seatmates, the distance from the stage or the black/whiteboard, or the distance from
the lecturer, and the position of air conditioner.

Loudness of Sound
34
35
30
25
20 15
15 Users
10
5 2
0 0
0
Very Loud Loud Average Soft Very Soft

Thirty-three of the respondents (70%) say that the loudness of sound in the
auditorium is average, twelve (26%) say it is loud, two of the respondents say the loudness
of the sound is soft.

Clarity of Sound
28
30
25
20 15
15
10 5 Users
3
5 0
0
Very Clear Clear Average Unclear Very
Unclear

A majority of the participants found the clarity of sound to be average, while


the next big portion of them found the sound clarity to be clear. A few were
dissatisfied.

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Quality of Sound

35 31
30
25
20 16
15 Users
10 4
5 0 0
0
Very Pleasant Average Unpleasant Very
Pleasant Unpleasant

More than half of the participants found the quality of sound to be average, while
sixteen of them found it to be pleasant. Only four participants said it to be unpleasant. Loudness,
clarity and quality could be attributed of course to the sound source, who is the lecturer. But the
Sound Amplification System is a big deal with regard to the sound heard by the receiver.

Satisfaction with Lighting


25
25

20

15

10 7 Users
4 4
5
0
0
Very Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very
Satisfied Dissatisfied

Twenty-five participants were satisfied with the lighting of the auditorium. Overall,
however, there was more or less no complaint about lighting.

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Improvements Wanted
23
25 21
20 17

15 10
8
10 6
5
0 Users

Most of the participants answered that if they had the power to change or improve
anything in the auditorium, they would do so with respect to the entrance and exit points of the
auditorium. The seats were also seen to have room for improvement, perhaps because getting
to a middle seat when the row is already more or less filled can prove to be a challenge,
especially since space is quite tight from row to row if the seats are not folded. Also, since there
is a center aisle, students usually opt to occupy the seats in the center. The seats also produce
creaking sounds, and some collapsible desks are dilapidated and no longer functional.

The auditorium’s sound system was also a popular choice in wanting improvement, but
this is perhaps due more to frequent technical difficulties than in actual acoustical defects.

Frequent noises heard within the auditorium included the murmur of students being the
most popular noise complaint, followed by the microphone feedback, then the sound of the air
conditioning system. Echoing, or more appropriately, reverberation, was the next complaint.
One student identified the creaking of seats to be something he noticed, and another
complained of the static noise coming from the sound system. Another noticed the “buzz” in the
room, most likely caused by the combination of sounds coming from the air conditioning and the
sound system.

A majority of the participants agreed that should there be a noise immediately beside,
behind or in front of them apart from the sound coming from the sound of the source (e.g.,
lecturer), they would notice it right away.

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III. Recommendations
Reduction of Noise
The diffusive area of the auditorium is not effective in absorbing and distributing the
sound. The plywood planks 1.20 meters above the ground is effective in absorbing low
frequency sounds, however, high frequency sounds as well as noise from 100 students can't be
abated by that alone. Acoustical blankets and fabrics should be added on the surrounding walls
of the auditorium to increase sound absorption. These suggestions should hopefully reduce the
“buzz” coming from the air conditioning units, and the surrounding murmur usually coming from
the audience themselves.

Manipulation of Sound through Reflectors


The back wall of the stage is comprised of a suede curtain and the same diffusive
material from the surrounding walls of the auditorium. To increase the reflectivity of the sound
from the stage, polished wooden doors should replace the curtains in accessing the backstage to
the stage. Also, the diffusive plywood material on the walls beside the stage should be removed
and left as bare concrete.

Improved Circulation
Overall, the auditorium is highly accessible with 2 double doors for access and 2 fire
exit doors at the back in case of emergencies. There is a sufficient number of aisles for the
students to go around; 1.20 meters wide on the sides and 1 meter on the center aisle.

Improved Seating Layout


Since the best sound quality can be found on the center, we proposed the removal of
the center aisle and instead put 2 auxiliary aisles after 5 seats on the left and right sides of the
auditorium.

Change of Materials
There should be an increase use of absorptive materials on the diffusive walls to
propagate the absorption of high frequency sounds. The same would be done on the back wall
which is mainly diffusive in nature with its ribbed characteristics to increase sound absorption
and prevent back reflections.

Improved Sound Amplification Systems


Install built-in speakers to lessen eye-sores because of hanging speakers. Perhaps there
could even be an upgrade of the system, to reduce frequency of feedback and the

Acoustical Treatment in Auxiliary Spaces


The tech room and the equivalent storage should be made more sound-proof to lessen
the possibility of sound emanating from that space from escaping into the auditorium proper. An
anteroom could be devised, so that the auditorium can be more sound-proof and protected
from external noise disturbances.

Additional Storage
Additional storage space can be rethought so that the mono-block chairs at the rear of the
auditorium and other larger equipment will not remain exposed there as an aesthetic eyesore
for the next few years.

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Optimum RT
The optimum RT would still remain to be 0.634384 seconds, whereas the optimum
absorption is 173.83 sabines.

Recommended Materials

Material Description Location Acoustic Photograph


Properties
Ecosoft  Durable Seating NRC=.35
Acoustic  Fire resistant area
Carpet Tile  Superior Sound
Absorption
 Stain Protector
and Soil
repellent

Sound  Moister and Back wall NRC= 0.15


Channels bacteria resistant
Acoustic  Anti-allergic
Fabric  100% Solution
Dyed Post-
Consumer
Recycled Polyester
 Applied directly to
surface
Rubber Dot tiles are 500 x 500mm Ramp NRC=.05
Smooth Tile and 2.7mm thick. also
available in static
dispersion and noise
reduction.

Maple wood Tongue and Groove Stage floor NRC=0.15

Fireproof  To be used in Air NRC=0.45


acoustic ventilation ducts conditioner
insulation sound insulation ducts and
foam are required vents
together.

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Auditorium  Fabric Upholstery Seating NRC=0.60


Seating  With collapsible Area
desk

Vinyl  Coextruded anti Tread


Luminous slip vinyl insert nosing
Nosing with 8mm
luminous strip
used to highlight
edge of step in
case of power
failure .

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