Sound-proofing and noise reduction with acoustic composite windows

With any new commercial or domestic building development, renovation or replacement project, consideration should be given to the acoustic requirements of the windows you choose. Windows are often a poor barrier to noise from external sources entering your home, such as road and rail traffic, planes or just general neighbourhood noise, and the type of windows you choose can make a great difference to the comfort of your living space.

The standard unit for measuring sound pressure levels is the decibel, abbreviated to dB where 0dB is the lower threshold of normal hearing and 130dB is the upper threshold of pain. A change of 3dB is only just perceptible whereas 5dB would be clearly noticeable and an increase of 10dB is roughly equivalent to a doubling of loudness.

The annoyance produced by noise depends on a variety of factors including frequency and as a result, different scales have been derived to allow for these factors including dB(A), a scale used to measure mid-frequency noise which is most discernible to the human ear.

The sound proofing characteristics of building components is measured in dB(Rw) values. Known as the weighted sound reduction index, it is a laboratory-measured rating used to describe the ability of a window or door to provide sound insulation across a wide frequency range – the higher the number, the better the performance.

To take into account low frequency noise such as road and rail traffic, a correction factor (Ctr) has been introduced to the Rw scale and this is expressed as dB(Rw+Ctr).

When selecting products, such as sound-proofing composite windows, it is vitally important to compare whole window test results rather than just a declared performance value of the glass because the quality of the frame construction, the assembly of weather seals and gaskets and the closing tightness of opening lights has a significant impact on actual performance.

Westcoast Windows offer 3rd Party independently tested standard entry level composite windows and doors with superior sound reduction of 34 dB(Rw) and 29 dB (Rw+Ctr) and can provide a huge selection of tested combinations of composite aluminium timber opening windows, fixed lights and doors up to 48 dB(Rw).

To find out more visit the Energy & Sound page on the Homeowner Guidance section of our website, where you will find a table on a number of noise-reducing glass combinations. CLICK HERE

Sound-proofing and noise reduction with acoustic composite windows