Worship

Munster, Indiana

Completed

2006

Congregation Beth Israel is a newly constructed Jewish Synagogue in Munster, Indiana.  Their facility is highlighted by a beautiful sanctuary, which is flanked by two adjacent gathering spaces, and separated by movable partitions. With no complaints about the look and feel of the building, the acoustical performance of the space was a non-issue until they began holding services. Even after the first worship service, it was clear that the acoustics were a big problem and needed to be addressed. The shape and surfaces of the facility created an overly reverberant environment and resulted in poor speech intelligibility. Attendees had difficulty understanding the priest as he spoke.

Acoustics By Design was brought in to diagnose the problems from two standpoints: architectural acoustics, and audio system capabilities.  We needed to determine if the problems were coming from the structure or the sound system (or a combination thereof.) Our professional engineers used precision sound level meters to gauge the acoustical properties of the room. In addition, we incorporated 3D software to create mathematical models of the spaces.  This data enabled us to offer a number of solutions for increasing the overall speech intelligibility within the space. Our report provided recommendations for dramatically improving the acoustics of the facility without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of the sanctuary.