Of the all spaces requiring high speech intelligibility and acoustic comfort, parliamentary debating chambers are the most critical. Debating chambers are divrse, ranging from the upper and lower houses of national parliaments, through state parliaments to local government council chambers.
A principal reqirement of all debating chambers is that speech must be clearly heard and understood by all listeners. In technical terms, speech intelligibility inat every listener must be robust, and have the capcity to accomodate the wide range of operational circumstances that occur in parliamentary situations.
To achieve this robustness, the following issues must be addressed:
• high background noise levels due to uproar and interjections
• the chambers often present an acoustic environment that is hostile for speech
• talkers who speak a long way from or face away from microphones
• range of speaking styles and accents
• wide seating area of listeners
• architectural integration
• heritage constraints
• long listening periods necessitate good acoustic comfort for the listeners
• quality of sound that is commensure with the civic importance of the space
• need to provide talker localisation for members on the floor of the house
• Hansard recording quality must be ultra-clear
ICE Design Australia is one of the most skilled and experienced teams in the world with regard to designing technical solutions for parliamentary situations.
Our team’s experience includes projects for:
• New Zealand Parliament – Wellington
• Northern Territory Parliament – Darwin
• Australian Parliament House – Canberra
• NSW Legislative Assembly – Sydney
• NSW Legislative Council – Sydney
• City of Sydney Council Chambers – Sydney
• Solomon Islands Parliament – Honiara
• House of Representatives and Senate of Australian Parliament – Canberra
• ACT Legislative Assembly – Canberra
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