GLASS & GLAZING
May 2019 • BuildingProducts.co.uk 25
researchers were able to estimate
that noise above recommended levels
could result in 1,169 more cases of
dementia, 788 more stroke cases and
542 more heart attacks each year.
The casualties aren’t that precise of
course, but they calculated that this
cost £1,09 billion in health terms
– plus the inestimable cost of lost
Research by the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Defra) found that 48% of the 2,750
people surveyed in England and Wales
felt their home life was being spoilt
by noise. One in five said it kept them
awake at night.
Defra also reported that 83% of
survey respondents reported road
traffic noise and neighbour noise.
Of these respondents, 25% reported
moderate to extreme annoyance
with the levels of noise from these
sources. To some extent, noise was
said to spoil the home life of 48% of
As early as 1996 the European
Commission was estimating that
20% of the EU population was likely
to suffer negative impact to health
or wellbeing as a result of excessive
noise. More recently, the UK
government estimated that 54% of the
UK population was exposed to more
than the recommended limits for
Stricter building regulations now
take note of these problems, requiring
designs with sound insulation that
minimises sound transmission
between adjoining homes and ingress
of environmental noise from traffic
and transport systems.
Similar considerations apply to
other types of new buildings – and
upgrades of existing properties.
Suitably high levels of sound
insulation require intelligent building
design, use of correct materials and,
naturally, good workmanship.
Until recently, acoustics was
low on the window industry’s
agenda. The introduction of double
glazing brought improved thermal
performance in domestic applications
and a very small acoustic benefit, but
they did little to address the growing
problem of environmental noise.
So, acoustic benefits were largely
forgotten and the industry did little to
pursue this opportunity.
Today’s windows can offer
excellent energy efficiency, security
and weather performance, and now
acoustic certified windows can also
help to combat ‘nuisance noise’.
But how is this possible, given the
limitations of early double glazing?
Manufacturers are now
looking to contribute solutions
that make a significant difference
to noise reduction – and a
contribution to healthier living.
Increasingly, the focus is on the
correct selection of components,
excellence of manufacture, and
top-quality installation. This brings
manufacturers, fabricators and
installers more closely into line to
deliver integrated solutions that meet
the tightest specifications for all
aspects of window performance.
Perhaps the key challenge is to
achieve the desired results without
additional – and potentially expensive
– components and engineering.
This is where performance rating is
Tools such as Bluesky
Certification’s Noise Rating Scheme
enable manufacturers and installers
to quantify the performance of their
products in a way that is easy for
purchasers to understand.
As with energy performance
and security, which took a while to
become recognised as selling points,
acoustic certification is poised to
help developers and property-owners
reassure buyers when their properties
are built or put on the market.
Deceuninck, the first PVC-U
window systems company to embrace
acoustic certification, is working
with Bluesky Certification and the
University of Salford to undertake
systematic testing of its full product
range – giving fabricators and
installers a head start with projects
calling for tight specifications.
This focus on acoustics has
already facilitated development of
solutions tailored for key projects –
such the Imperial College London’s
student accommodation complex.
Lower floors and elevations
facing busy roads needed
windows with increased
Our technical team
worked closely with
Dempsey Dyer to
develop windows with
seven levels of acoustic
performance, from RW34db to
Another key project with significant
acoustic requirements was staff
accommodation at the Hinckley Point
power station site.
In these examples, improved
acoustic performance enables students
and construction workers to escape
the incessant noise of city and site,
which might otherwise trigger issues of
physical and mental health. The right
acoustic window specifications can
make all the difference.
a key point of
for the Imperial
acoustics was low
on the window