Drowning  
in Noise  
Growth in Urban Areas  
Drives Increased  
Attention on  
Acoustical Glazing  
b y K a t h e r i n e C o i g  
Marvel Architects chose  
Kuraray’s Trosifol sound control  
interlayer to incorporate into  
the façade of the Pierhouse  
development near the Brooklyn  
Bridge Park in New York City.  
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USGlass, Metal & Glazing | June 2017  
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Kuraray’s sound-attenuating PVB acoustical interlayer helped Marvel  
Architects minimize city noise and bring in daylight and sweeping views  
of New York City to the Pierhouse residential development.  
lanes, trains and automobiles—sounds from which ar-  
chitects, building owners and occupants would like to  
dampen. As city populations continue to increase and  
unwanted noise becomes more of a problem for urban dwellers, archi-  
tects and other specifiers are turning to the use of acoustical glazing  
for sound attenuation.  
According to Julia Schimmelpenningh, global architectural applica-  
tions manager at Eastman Chemical Company, the use of laminated glass  
for this reason is widespread throughout Europe, and, with attention to  
acoustic performance increasing, the U.S. market may soon follow.  
Driving the Demand  
Population increases in urban areas, coupled with  
the movement that follows an influx of people—cars,  
public transportation and construction—have been a  
key driver in bringing acoustical interlayers, such as  
PVB, to the architectural community’s attention.  
Ron Hull, America’s marketing manager at Kur-  
aray, says his company is experiencing an increase in  
demand from specifiers in densely populated urban  
areas who are looking to improve occupant comfort.  
“In NewYork City … thousands of noise complaints  
are received each year and represent the number one  
quality-of-life issue for residents … Building owners  
and residents who value and, ultimately, demand a  
quieter living and working environment are driving  
this increase [in demand],”he explains.“Noise codes,  
similar to the one established in New York, are now  
enforced in cities throughout the Unites States.”  
continued on page 50  
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June 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
49  
Drowning  
in Noise  
continued from page 49  
Located near the San Diego airport, the Holiday Inn wanted to maintain a quiet environment. To do so, Rehau fitted 93  
windows with its sound-reduction system.  
Corrie Neukirchner,marketing man- a huge impact on quality of life.  
ager at Rehau, a provider of acoustic  
in interior applications. “We’ve seen  
“There’s a ton of documentation on much more growth inside than ever  
framing for windows and doors, adds how noise affects us physiologically before. Architects and building own-  
that there’s also a rise in mixed-use de- and psychologically,” Schimmelpen- ers—they want daylight, but they also  
velopments with retail occupying the ningh explains. “If you look at hospi- want noise control.”  
ground floor, which has also brought tals, hotels and schools, occupants are  
attention to acoustic performance.  
more relaxed and productive in quieter correlation between the rise in demand  
Schimmelpenningh says the average environments. It’s raising the issue of for acoustics and current demograph-  
person spends about 80 to 90 percent noise pollution.”  
ics. “With an aging population, in ad-  
of his time indoors, bombarded con-  
But applications aren’t limited to ex- dition to non-committing millennials,  
Neukirchner adds that she sees a  
stantly from noise both inside and out- terior applications.Schimmelpenningh there’s a demand for apartments, con-  
side of the building. This, she says, has says she’s seen a tremendous increase dos in urban areas and a need for mul-  
tifamily housing.”  
She adds that most multifamily hous-  
ing units are built with wood, so the  
need for sound attenuation is growing.  
More for the Money  
These experts say cost is the primary  
inhibitor of acoustical interlayers, but  
its inclusive properties, such as safety  
and impact-resistant attributes, make  
for an overall cost-effective glazing  
solution.  
“A lot of consumers are unwilling to  
ask for [acoustic interlayer] because  
Eastman Chemical Company supplied acoustical glazing to the Skylink they think it’s going to cost them too  
Vienna Airport.  
much,” Schimmelpenningh says. “But  
50  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | June 2017  
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BEFORE  
AFTER  
Eight Oklahoma county courthouses were replaced with Rehau’s uPVC window models.  
if they did, they’d know it’s not as ing to provide required sound atten- populations continue to condense in  
much as they think it is. It’s a lack of uation.” He adds that STC is a value metropolitan areas, more people will  
understanding.”  
intended for interior sounds passing be seeking solutions for sound reduc-  
Schimmelpenningh says the mis- through a partition, whereas OITC is tion. She, too, references New York as  
understanding of the interlayer’s cost a reflection of the noise outside of a a prime example. “With more people  
versus added value is one of the big- building.  
moving into the city,they’ll take a small  
gest differences between the European For Schimmelpenningh, it’s a lack of parking lot between buildings, and  
and U.S. markets. Since the use of lam- understanding as to what these num- build a tall building there just to fit it in.  
inated glass is more widespread in Eu- bers actually mean and how they relate With buildings in such close proximity,  
rope, the price for adding an acoustical to acoustical glazing’s performance. it’s going to raise the issue of noise.”  
interlayer doesn’t seem as drastic com- “Numbers don’t play into perfor-  
pared to that of the U.S. mance,” she explains.“They’re a tough a key driver in product awareness for  
Here, laminated adoption is usually thing to describe to someone. When architectural applications, is the use of  
Second, which she believes will be  
for impact resistance. We have many you see an STC number of 35,you likely laminated glass in vehicles.“People are  
more people looking at the product don’t know what it means, and looking demanding acoustically quiet cars. I’m  
thinking, ‘It’s so expensive,’” she ex- at 32 to 35, it doesn’t seem much dif- in my car at least one to two hours a  
plains, noting that the price-per-inch ferent. But it could mean a tremendous day, and once people realize they can  
increase from regular glass to lami- amount of change.”  
nated is about 20 percent.“It’s not as big  
have that same performance inside of  
their workplace, that’s when awareness  
is really going to change.”  
of a price change as people think it is.” Awareness Could  
Hull says when consumers under- Drive Demand  
Schimmelpenningh says in order to  
Architects and other specifiers are really increase awareness, the industry  
stand that acoustical glazing contrib-  
utes to a higher level of performance, paying more attention to sound atten- has to get people asking for its per-  
they often realize it’s worth paying for. uation, as Hull points out, but since formance since it’s an unseen feature.  
Schimmelpenningh notes, “You’re noise codes don’t require a specific From there, the architectural com-  
not just getting acoustics—you’re glazing performance, the addition of munity may be more inclined to use  
getting safety, security, hurricane re- an acoustical interlayer isn’t often a acoustical glazing from the beginning  
sistance and solar performance. It’s priority.  
inherent in the product … you get ev- “The regulations are focused on lim-  
of a project.  
“You don’t know when you’re putting  
erything with it, and that’s a big thing.” its to the noise sources themselves,” he in a building who’s going to be building  
says.“For instance, music coming from around you, or how the environment is  
It’s in the Numbers  
vending carts, construction noise and going to change around you,” she says.  
Aside from cost, these experts say other outside noise may be limited to … Think ahead and put [acoustical  
there’s still a lot of confusion when it certain hours of the day, rather than the glazing] in at the beginning instead of  
comes to acoustical glazing and its per- windows themselves requiring a spe- trying to rectify it afterwards. It’s more  
formance,such as Sound Transmission cific OITC.A building code requirement expensive after the building’s built and  
Class (STC) and Outside-Inside Trans- would go a long way in advancing the the occupants are in there.” n  
mission Class numbers.  
use of acoustical glazing in urban  
Architects frequently ask for STC areas and specific occupancies.”  
Schimmelpenningh agrees, but  
mission loss performance across the adds that she foresees a couple of  
entire frequency spectrum,” Hull says. additional factors that could poten-  
It’s important to identify the key fre- tially cause the market to take off.  
quencies that will be affected in order First, she notes that it’s a de-  
numbers, but don’t review the trans-  
K a t h e r i n e C o i g is the  
assistant editor of USGlass  
magazine. She may be  
reached at kcoig@glass.com.  
to understand the ability of the glaz- mand driven by need. So, as  
www.usglassmag.com  
June 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
51  

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