SigNET’s sophisticated Integrity voice alarm system is now in operation at Eastbourne’s famous Towner Gallery.

Established in 1923, the South East’s most celebrated art museum moved to a new state-of-the-art building adjacent to the Eastbourne Congress Theatre in 2009. With an invaluable collection of 4000 pieces of art including paintings by Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore, the installation of life-safety-equipment was obviously a top priority.

SigNET’s Integrity voice alarm system was specified and leading specialist acoustic installation company, Clarity UK, were awarded the contract.

Integrity is a UK-manufactured multi-purpose voice alarm/public address and background music system. In the event of an emergency, the system will evacuate the entire site. However, it is also used for day-to-day paging and to play specially recorded messages specific to the gallery’s requirements. Another very important end user feature is its capacity to play background music continuously throughout the site. Integrity provides the essential communication required to link the different areas of the gallery together.

Clarity UK’s team of acoustic experts designed, installed and commissioned the system over a period of 12 months, working closely with architects Mott MacDonald, to overcome acoustic difficulties caused by the design of the gallery. Over 200 loudspeakers are installed in the building, all of which were carefully selected by the design team due to the architectural intricacies of the building.

Said Giles Palmer of Clarity UK: ”This was a complicated installation as the structure contained vast amounts of concrete and hard surfaces. Therefore, loudspeaker types and placement required careful consideration. We also used digital signal processing devices to aid with the acoustics”.

Microphones can be connected to the system to facilitate announcements, presentations and guided tours around the building. As a precaution against interference and distortion, Clarity also installed SigNET’s Psiren 28 band graphic equaliser/ambient noise sensing processing system to automatically adjust the system’s levels depending on the ambient background noise.

Infrared assistive listening systems are also in operation throughout the site. Ideal for sites where the installation of an audio-frequency induction loop system is impractical, the system’s modulators transmit sound via invisible light beams to infrared receivers placed around the Gallery. Eight sound field systems consisting of a microphone and small speaker system have also been fitted in each of the Gallery’s education rooms to amplify the sound of the speaker’s voice in accordance with the hearing capabilities of the people in the room.

Clarity UK is currently contemplating further modifications to the system as the gallery now requires additional voice alarm zones in newly partitioned areas.