Oxford New College

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Oscar Elite chosen for its exceptionally smooth acoustic plaster finish for centuries old college building

Oscar Elite - A smooth synthetic acoustic plaster spray finish with the appearance of conventional painted plaster

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College acoustics

Acoustic treatment for colleges

New College is one of the largest Oxford colleges, with some 400 undergraduates and nearly 200 graduates.  It is, as all Oxford colleges, an autonomous, self-governing institution.  The College occupies a very attractive site near the centre of Oxford. The front quadrangle, dining hall, chapel and cloisters were built within a few years of the College's foundation; this was the first time that an entire scheme had been built in this way, and it formed a model for later colleges.

The main dining hall in the original wing of the building had always suffered from poor school acoustics, with escalating noise levels when fully occupied.  Meal times were unnecessarily stressful and potentially damaging to the hearing of all those in attendance, including the serving staff.

The college committee decided that the schools acoustic issue had to be addressed, but finding a product that would be in keeping with the centuries old building would prove to be a little more difficult.

Two points that were important:

  1. It had to be a compatible material amongst the centuries old stone walls and aging oak beams.
  2. Special care had to be taken not to damage the floor in the centre, which featured tiles dating back 500 years.

Oscar Elite acoustic plaster finish was presented to Oxford New Colleges’ committee and well received because Oscar Elite appears as normal flat white acoustic plaster.  Pigments can be added to achieve pastel colours but on this occasion this was not necessary.

Oscar Elite is a composite of 20mm of high density acoustic board sprayed with 2 coats of white acoustic plaster like finish that allows noise penetration for absorption by the acoustic board.

Thick polythene sheeting was laid to protect the floor and a thinner polythene masking to protect overspray on the beams and walls.  The access tower was moved around on large sheets of hard board for extra floor protection.

The results: superb school acoustics with minimum disruption.

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