Acoustic Insulation

Most planning applications submitted to local authorities are assessed for the impact of environmental noise on a new development. They will carefully assess the area in which the development is planned to stipulate what insulation controls will be required in the construction to minimise impact from industrial activity, roads, aircraft, etc.

This is especially important on residential developments where most authorities will measure the surrounding noise levels and will require windows to form part of an overall construction that will insulate the inside of a dwelling from external adverse noise. Many authorities will seek an overall insulation plan to ensure that the internal noise levels during the night do not exceed 35dB to fall in line with the recommendation of the World Health Organisation.

Many organisations will also seek differing reductions at different frequency ranges to finely tune the acoustic insulation properties of the windows at frequencies to match that of surrounding adverse sources such as busy roads that take heavy goods vehicles regularly.

Where this type of analysis is required - this can only be properly assessed under laboratory conditions with a window that matches the style and size of that used on the project.

In regard to window design, the best results will always be obtained by introducing a secondary glazing window deeper into the reveal inside face. However, this is not often a practical solution or one that budget will allow.

Therefore, the double glazing units housed within the steel window must be carefully selected to increase insulation up to your required level.

There are many specialist acoustic insulating laminated glasses available from manufacturers and these will be used depending on clients' specification. Standard glasses can also give excellent sound reduction if used in the correct configurations.

The easiest and simplest way of determining the window sound insulation is to use the procedures from BS EN 14351-1: 2006 Windows and Doors Product Standard, performance characteristics Annex B based on known manufacturers stated Glass Rw (dB) values. For details - refer to Steel Window Service's technical department.

As a general rule, acoustic insulation of weather-stripped steel windows / doors will be: (apx. values averaged over a frequency range of 100 - 3150Hz)

20-28dB reduction (Single Glass)
28-30dB reduction (Double Glass)
35-40dB reduction (with secondary window and 200mm cavity).

The environmental impact of a window system is more than a sum of its component parts..
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