NOISE REDUCTION GLAZING
The biggest contributing factor to reducing noise pollution through your windows, noise reduction glazing (also known as acoustic glass) is a specialised glass system designed to dampen and dissipate noise. It can be installed in your existing frames, or as part of a whole new window.
NOISE REDUCTION GLAZING DESIGN
Glass is a rigid, inelastic material, which means that it is a bad conductor and absorber of sound. Rather, it is good at reflecting noise. However, the glass inside the windows in your home is thin, meaning that it can put up very little fight. If untreated, or as a single pane, it will do relatively little to actually prevent noise from entering your home. This is why standard single and double glazing is not recommended if you are suffering from the effects of noise pollution.
HOW SOUNDPROOF GLAZING WORKS
Soundproof glazing works by deflecting and dissipating the soundwave. There are three main areas that need to be addressed in order to provide superior noise reduction values in noise reduction glass:
- The thickness of the glass.
- The spacing between the glazing.
The thicker the glass, the greater its noise reduction values. However, as glass has a natural coincidence frequency (the pitch at which it will actually amplify the sound), this doesn’t hold true across the board. This is why double and triple glazed windows are recommended, with two differing thicknesses of acoustic glazing used to counteract the coincidence frequency.
A thin (~0.38mm) layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) is laminated between the sheets of glass. Normally used for safety and security, PVB provides excellent acoustic performance by dampening soundwaves. It does this without compromising on light transmittance or impacting performance, compared to other acoustic resins.
The acoustic performance of soundproof glazing is greatly increased when the gap between the sheets is larger. However, in most homes, space is at a premium with most homeowners preferring to retain as much cill space as possible. Reductions in noise can be increased by filling the gap with heavy inert gases such as argon and krypton, though these will come at a premium.
Noise reduction glazing will use a combination of 2 or more of these factors in order to keep unwanted noise getting in or out.
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NOISE REDUCTION VALUES
Acoustic glazing units, such as Guardian LamiGlass Acoustic can deliver a noise reduction factor of up to 54dB in their triple glazing units and 52dB in the double glazed unit. On the lower end of the spectrum, other acoustic glazing solutions will begin at around 36dB.
Compare this to a standard double glazed unit with two 4mm panes of glass and an air cavity, which will reduce noise by ~25dB.
Though this might be difficult to understand, a noise reduction factor of 10dB equates to a 50% reduction in the volume of a noise. A reduction of 40dB equals a ~94% drop. So whilst standard double glazing will certainly contribute to reducing noise, it won’t help you if you’re suffering from disturbances such as aircraft, traffic or trains.
ACOUSTIC GLASS OR TRIPLE GLAZING?
When it comes to soundproofing, there is a common misconception that triple glazing, due to the fact that there’s more of it, will reduce noise better than double acoustic glazing. In fact, the opposite is true. Installing another piece of glass means installing another element that can vibrate, which, if not properly treated, can actually amplify the noise.
Thermal efficiency of acoustic glass is determined by the following factors:
- The proportion of light allowed through the glass.
- The U-value (the measure of heat lost through the glass measured in Watts/metre squared per Kelvin. (W/m2K)
- The g-value (the percentage of solar radiant heat allowed through the glass.
Most double glazed acoustic units will provide a U-value of 1.2W/m²K, whilst triple glazed units are typically 0.8W/m²K. This is considered to be an A rating.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Due to the inclusion of a PVB interlayer, acoustic windows offer far greater security and safety values than their standard double or single glazing counterparts. This is due to the fact that the glass won’t shatter upon impact, and will rather keep its shape if damaged (imagine how a smashed windscreen looks), preventing people gaining entry to your property, or getting injured.
Noise reduction glazing or acoustic glass is recommended in properties that suffer from noise pollution originating from aircraft, railways and road traffic. Fundamentally any consistent noise complaint of over 50dB would benefit dramatically.
ACOUSTIC GLASS PARTITIONING
Acoustic glass can also be used as a partitioning unit in offices or other work spaces in order to create secure, soundproof rooms without compromising on natural light or damaging the aesthetic with solid walls.
LOOKING TO SOUNDPROOF YOUR PROPERTY?
Crafted from top of the line timber, installed using acoustic sealants, and secured with superior lock and handle systems. Our acoustic windows are completely customisable, and are available in casement, sash and modern tilt and turn designs.
From French doors, to patios and front doors, our soundproof doors let natural light in, keep unwanted noise out, and ensure your property remains secure.
We want to help you find the right product that suits you, so whether you want to talk to us about our soundproof windows, or simply about noise reduction and double glazing, we’ll be glad to just have a chat.