Corby Business Academy, Northants

Leading architects Foster + Partners specified SAS International’s SAS600 acoustic lighting rafts to meet the strict acoustic performance criteria, while also adding to the open and bright feel the client wanted for the school.

Key features




Bee Bee Developments & Western Foundation


Foster + Partners

Main contractor

Wates Construction


Vale Interiors

Completion year


System type


Area M2



United Kingdom

Product Groups

SAS International’s SAS600 acoustic lighting rafts have been specified by leading architects Foster + Partners for the innovative Corby Business Academy (CBA) in Northamptonshire. The £30 million complex was built on the site of the former Corby Community College and will house over 1,000 11–16 year olds as well as more than 250 sixth-form students.

Acoustics were a major concern for the client and the design brief called for very specific solutions that would meet the strict acoustic performance criteria, while also adding to the open and bright feel the client wanted for the school.

SAS International provided a design solution that included the System 600 acoustic lighting rafts as well as acoustic wall panelling that was installed in the library and classrooms throughout the 11,600 square metre building. SAS also manufactured the metal ceiling system that was specified for the academy’s bathrooms and kitchens. All SAS manufactured products had to reflect both the design needs of each classroom and the acoustic needs of the students.

Dr Andrew Campbell from Corby Business Academy commented: “It is vital that clearly audible speech from teachers is achieved in classrooms in order to help develop good speech as well as proper grammar. The acoustic rafts that SAS installed in all of the academy’s classrooms have helped to provide a high calibre learning environment. They have also blended well with the overall design philosophy that we pursued with our architects for the whole building.”

The importance of acoustics in learning environments has been reflected in the Department for Education and Skills’ Building Bulletin 93: Acoustic Design of Schools (BB93). The regulations within BB93 specify the acoustic design criteria requirements for all primary and secondary education facilities as well as containing performance standards for many areas within a school, including classrooms.

SAS International’s SAS 600 is an acoustic lighting raft or module that is suspended directly from a flat structural soffit or within coffers that allow for thermal mass cooling and free air movement to the structural slab. Sound absorbent lighting rafts are able to provide a multitude of acoustic solutions while also allowing for a significant degree of design flexibility.

SAS products are available with a range of acoustic treatments which can absorb sound through perforations directly or when sound is reflected from the structural soffit.

The Corby Business Academy was completed in 2008 and was formally opened by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, the Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, on Thursday, 5th February 2009 at a special reception with the academy’s main sponsors – Bee Bee Developments and the Weston Foundation.

Systems used