Acoustic windows are the total solution to the problem of noise pollution. As opposed to other stop-gap solutions, such as secondary glazing, acoustic windows target sound reduction on every single level, ensuring the best results possible. Whilst lots of articles on the subject tend to give off a wealth of figures about the results you can expect, I thought I would take a few minutes to just speak about the technology behind the systems that provide the noise reduction.
Acoustic Insulation and Mass
The acoustical insulation of a building is directly related to its mass. Most building will have dense enough walls that they can be ignored in regards to sound-proofing, with the building’s glazing being the determining factor.
Thickness Of The Glazing
As with the walls, the mass and density of the glazing is pretty much the most important factor. Sound propagates through pressure waves, travelling best in air where the less dense construct of the gases allows it to travel with ease. On the other hand, dense solids dampen the sound because the particles cannot move as freely. Therefore the panes in acoustic windows are thicker than the average in order to dampen the sound waves.
Though it doesn’t stop there. Due to a phenomenon called natural resonance, acoustic windows actually utilise two different thicknesses of glass in order to ensure optimal soundproofing of a range of frequencies that you will naturally encounter in your property.
Space Between The Panes
Creating larger air spaces between the two panes is optimal as it means that not only does the sound have to travel a greater distance, but that it has to do so at a different density from the glass. This further distorts the sound wave, causing it to lose energy and stay out of your home. However, many windows can’t offer a great deal of space without becoming cumbersome and unattractive, instead of plumbing for a middle ground between aesthetic, functionality and soundproofing qualities.
Acoustic Window Frames
The frames in acoustic windows are often manufactured with three different types of wood, this not only helps prevent swelling of the frames but through using different densities of wood you can achieve a similar effect to using different thicknesses of glass.
Between the frame and the glass, sound absorbing spacers are employed to prevent any unwanted noise pouring through, and spring-loaded shutting mechanisms provide a flush fit that keeps sound out.
These are lining materials which will be fixed onto the glazing itself, and offer around 1-3dB of noise reduction.
The most important factor when constructing soundproof windows is that you avoid any gaps! They must be crafted in a way that pays extremely close attention to fine detail. A hole in the frame representing just 1% of the total window area will actually let in an excess of 10dB of unwanted noise!
Still, want to know more about how our acoustic windows work? Then take a look at our windows online or get in touch!