Long Island University’s Recreation & Wellness Center includes a NCAA competitive length swimming pool and a main floor basketball arena.
The acoustical design for the basketball space had to be appropriate for both sport and non-sport (i.e. concerts and graduation ceremonies) functions. During a basketball game, the primary acoustical requirement is that the space is ‘live’ enough to maintain the noise and excitement typical of games while ensuring that no one is disturbed by excessive noise. A space with such good speech reproduction is not generally conducive to good musical acoustics however, so we recommended that the acoustic requirements prioritize sports use. In order to add absorption, we recommended various absorptive finishes to the arena’s walls and ceilings. Another challenge in the 2nd floor basketball arena was controlling the floor vibration during events which may result in uncomfortable movement. In order to mitigate excessive movement, we worked with the structural engineer and architect to increase the natural frequency of the floor.
The swimming pool area consists of many hard reflective surfaces, including the water. In order for swimmers to hear a coach’s directions, the reverberation times needed to be controlled. Concerns were raised about using absorptive plasters in such a humid environment and maintenance of such a product above a double height pool space. We recommended that the underside of the 2nd floor slab be completely covered with absorptive panels and absorptive baffles be hung above the swimming pool and viewing area.