Sound control and acoustic comfort are key factors when choosing windows, but are often overlooked.
Why is Sound Control Important?
Noise exposure is incredibly damaging to the human body. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, noise below an average of 70 decibels over 24 hours is “safe” and won’t cause hearing loss. In many areas of New York and other densely populated cities, the outdoor noise levels can go well above those safety standards. And the negative health consequences go well beyond just hearing damage. According to research at the University of Michigan, noise pollution and exposure have been linked to other health problems such as heart disease and mental illness.
How to Measure Sound
Two key measurements are used to calculate the effectiveness of soundproofing and reducing sound transmission:
- STC / Sound Transmission Class measures higher frequency noises such as voices and barking dogs.
- OITC / Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class measures lower-frequency exterior noises such as airplanes and traffic.
The higher the STC or OITC rating of a barrier, the better it is at preventing noise from coming into your building.
How to Design Windows with a High STC
According to DWM™ Magazine, there are a few ways to improve an STC rating:
- Glass thickness
- Air gap
- Type of glass (annealed vs. laminated)
- Type of spacer (non-metal and foam spacers are quieter)
- The use of insulating glass films
- Argon filling
- Edge dampening and the use of dissimilar materials
Laminated glass and interlayers can be used to absorb sound waves. Different thicknesses of glass produce different harmonic waves when sound hits the surface. By layering different thicknesses of glass, the different harmonic waves can cancel each other out.
Reduce Noise with Acoustic Aluminum Windows
At St. Cloud Window, we have made high-performance acoustic windows and doors a cornerstone of our product catalogue. We have been designing and fabricating superior-performing acoustic windows for more than 25 years. From that experience, we are able to produce products with STC ratings as high as 60 – approximately equivalent of 10” of solid concrete. More importantly, all of our products are laboratory-tested for certified acoustic performance so you can be prepared for any condition, function, or application.
So when your design calls for specific acoustic attenuation — be it hospitality, education, medical, residential or other — our experts can help you specify and detail the design components necessary to meet your most demanding STC/OITC performance requirements.
At St. Cloud Window we know every project begins with a challenge or an idea of what a building might be. We bring that vision to life with our distinctive design aesthetics, precision performance, and design-to-delivery support. Learn more about how our products can deliver on your design objectives and site requirements here. Then, check out our full line of historic replica and acoustic window products, and get in touch for more details about any of our high-performing commercial window products.