06.02.2014 Blog

Introducing the importance of acoustic glazing

Choosing the right glazing for your home is an important decision, particularly for properties located in areas exposed to a high volume of environmental noise. Acoustic glazing is a popular choice for inner city properties, those exposed to a high volume of road or aircraft noise and larger buildings such as hotels.

Bereco acoustic French Doors at The Radisson Blu Hotel

The demand for acoustic glazing continues to increase as recent research into the affects of prolonged exposure to high levels of noise on health strongly suggests a link between environmental noise and serious health issues. A number of recent studies by the European Heart Journal & British Medical Journal suggest that higher levels of environmental noise, particularly aircraft and road traffic noise are associated with an increased risk of a stroke or heart problems.

One particular study published by the British Medical Journal looking at the health of people living in the vicinity of Heathrow airport found those with the highest exposure were 10-20% more likely to be admitted to hospital due to a stroke, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease (British Medical Journal 2013;347). An analysis of 24 studies of road traffic noise found a link to high blood pressure with the risk increasing for every additional 5 decibels of traffic noise, in the range of 45 -75 dB.

The quality of sound insulation in the home was noted as a factor that had a significant impact on the levels of environmental noise that people are exposed to. This means that consumers will become increasingly aware of the potential impact that noise can have on health and will look to improve the sound insulation properties of their home – a key part of this will be window & door glazing.

Acoustic glazing works by absorbing noise energy and reflecting it back towards the original source. It offers the ideal solution for reducing the amount of external noise entering the home without affecting the aesthetical appearance of a building.

The acoustic insulation of a property is defined by the R index which represents the difference between internal and external noise levels. The Weighted Sound Reduction is used to rate the effectiveness of a sound proofing material. The R index is used when choosing building materials to help achieve specified noise reduction levels and incorporates a weighted correction for the human ear which is expressed in dB. By increasing the RW value by one the noise level will be reduced by 1dB. Generally speaking, the higher the RW value, the better a window or door will perform as a sound insulator.

At Bereco we understand the importance of reducing environmental sound levels in the home and work hard to supply acoustic glazed products with decibel ratings to meet individual customer specifications.

We are unique in that we are able to achieve higher decibel ratings than many of our competitors, particularly on Sliding Sash designs. Sliding Sash windows are most popular in inner city buildings that are often located in areas with the highest levels of environmental noise. Due to the traditional design these windows are often much larger in size and are often single glazed meaning acoustic performance is limited. Our Standard Sliding Sash has a 24mm glazing unit that can achieve up to maximum decibel rating of 39 dB. However, the frame and sash profile can be increased to accommodate a 36mm glazing unit where a high performance acoustic glass can be used to achieve decibel ratings between 40 – 45 dB.

For additional information on acoustic glazing or for further advice on the most suitable specification to meet your needs contact a member of the Bereco team.

More information: Bereco Timber Windows and Doors Glazing Options