It’s time to meet a new Acoustic Bulletin Editor, and this time we go to the Czech Republic and have a chat with Jiri Strnad. Jiri has an identical twin brother, talks a million miles an hour, knows a lot about school acoustics, and if you’re ever lucky enough to meet him under more informal circumstances, ask him up to the dancefloor – if you dare! Jiri and his dance crew participated in the Czech ‘So you think you can dance’ franchise!
You’re a Concept Developer Education, what does that mean?
One part of my job is to gather information, studies and opinions of people who have something to say on the topic of school acoustics. Another part involves spreading all this knowledge to anyone who can influence a process that could lead to an improvement of the environment for pupils and teachers in educational establishments.
We need to know the real life in the schools and present this information in appropriate places with arguments that convince decision-makers that there is space for improvements.
What do you like about your job?
One of the best things about working in an international company is the sharing of knowledge across borders. We are many concept developers from all over the Group and from different countries who meet regularly to share best practices and experiences with each other. Thanks to very good international cooperation, I have the opportunity to visit various schools across Europe and compare them with our Czech educational system. I have to say that in some areas, us Czechs really have a lot of work to do.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a study with the Czech Green Building Council. The study involves many experts from various fields such as acoustics, CO2 emissions, lighting, etc. The goal is to create several classrooms the way we think classrooms in the Czech Republic of the 21st century should look like and to point out that some things have been forgotten until now.
Last year, I was invited by the Ministry of Health to speak on a conference called “Health and Safety Schools” in the Czech Parliament. And just recently, I was invited by the Czech Green Building Council to speak at another conference “HEALTH CARE OF EMPLOYEES”, in the Czech Senate. We are planning larger conferences with Saint-Gobain SG forum in Bratislava and Kosice later this year which I’m very much looking forward to.
Can you describe the local acoustic standard in the Czech Republic?
We often ‘import’ standards from Germany. It is no different with acoustic standards. However, they were updated in Germany last year, and no one is working on this in the Czech Republic now, which is a pity.
We have standards for schools that only focus on reverberation time, but as we know only RT is not enough. There are other parameters that need to be taken into account, and it may be that this is a field we should focus on more.
Are you involved in any work with acoustic consultants?
We cooperate closely with acoustic consultants in the Czech Republic. Their view is very important to me and they are also aware that I can create a good story based on their solution to make it clear also to an investor who has no scientific knowledge in this field. So I would say that we complement each other.
What indoor room acoustic trends can you see in the Czech Republic?
I have to say honestly that the market in the Czech Republic is changing very quickly. Acoustics a few years ago was perceived as unnecessary and expensive. Flat gypsum was the solution for every part of the building. But in 2017? Sound is beginning to be a topic for the general public as well and I truly hope that this trend will continue and evolve.
Connect with Jiri on LinkedIn .
Read the previous interview with Yvette Tietema.