The US Coast Guard on Treasure Island couldn’t sleep through the enormous pile driving effort that was going on around the clock. The contractor for the Bay Bridge seismic retrofit team asked for our help. Here are some of the options I gave them. They’ll work for you, too, if noise reduction is a key concern in your window installation project.
- The least expensive option is the use of dissimilar glass panes. It works well and is a relatively low cost upgrade. Our vinyl frame manufacturer, Amerimax, provides 1/8” and 3/16” panes of glass (instead of both 1/8”) for this purpose. Their third party testing showed STC (Sound Transmission Co-Efficient) ratings similar to that of laminated glass.
- Using laminated glass is another, but higher cost, option. “Lami” has a thin piece of polyvinyl butyral between two pieces of glass (think of car windshields that hold together when broken). Most experts agree that superior soundproofing can be achieved with laminated glass.
- Another choice is to keep the existing windows in place and put another set of windows inside — which is what we did for the US Coast Guard.
- A higher price, but effective choice, is the use of thicker panes. Our Fleetwood architectural aluminum windows use 5 to 6 mm panes of glass (almost 3 times the thickness used in vinyl windows) which makes a significant sound difference.
Whether there’s a busy intersection outside your window, a neighbor learning to play the drums or you want to build your own sound studio, our consultants will help you determine your best window and noise abatement solution.
And by the way, the Bay Bridge got retrofitted and the US Coast Guard slept a lot better.