For the renovation of Duane Library at Fordham University, we surveyed the Great Hall in order to determine the existing conditions and assess potential acoustical issues. As part of the renovation, The Great Hall, formerly used as a reading room, was separated into an assembly space and main entrance and information area by the use of a low-height screen. The surrounding office and interview rooms are separated from the Great Hall area with doors.
Separating a large room into two smaller rooms presents a significant acoustical challenge because it is very difficult to prevent the noise in one area from being audible in the other, and the rood screen provides little, if any, noise separation. This may not necessarily be an issue when noise from an assembly is audible within the Information Desk area, however it may become a concern when noise in the entry and info desk area becomes a distraction to an assembly or lecture. In order to reduce this noise transmission, we specified a screen that was substantially higher to provide added noise separation. In addition, we recommended a carpet to prevent footfall noise as well.