What connects Marszałkowska Street in Warsaw with the local market and … neighbor’s mower? Noise. A tool to fight noise can be windows commonly known as soundproofing. All manufacturers offer them, but in practice it turns out that few of them have a range of products with tested, determined sound insulation. Against this background, V90 +, VP70 and VR90 Synergy windows from Vetrex stand out positively. All of them were tested by the ITB Acoustics Department and not once.
Three and a half “acoustic error” – UPVC Windows Costs
The window, as a means of combating street noise is not a bad choice, provided that we do not make one of three common mistakes or, worse, all three at once.
About noise is not enough to know that it is annoying and unbearable. It is worth taking a moment to determine what the actual value of the decreasing noise measured in decibels is, and even better, when we also learn something about the frequency of sounds emitted by noise sources. Without this knowledge, we will not choose a window with adequate sound insulation and we will not ensure proper comfort in your home or apartment by making the first mistake. We will buy an “exaggerated” window by overpaying or we will not remove the problem by buying a product that will not meet expectations. To avoid error, we present (with a grain of salt) a simple “formula” for “silence” in the apartment:
“Silence” = External noise level (dB) – [(window sound insulation (dB) + installation (dB)]
Comfort and silence in the apartment can only be provided by adequate sound insulation and proper installation of the window. One without a second pound of bits worth! This must be remembered to avoid error number two. Even a “super window” with extraordinary sound insulation, mounted on the level of the current standard “foam + anchor” will not protect against anything in the long run.
The third mistake will be avoided, bearing in mind that the whole window is responsible for “peace and quiet”, not just the glass in this window! It is true that the glass due to the glazing surface is a significant element of the structure affecting the level of sound insulation, but not the only one. Therefore, if we ask about the sound insulation of a window, we can not be satisfied with only the answer regarding the value of sound insulation of the glazing. Why do sellers so willingly refer to the soundproofing of the insulating glass used in window construction? Because glass packet manufacturers are testing their sound insulation, and window manufacturers are doing it by accident or not at all. In this context, Vetrex and the acoustic tests commissioned by the brand at ITB appear to be exceptional.
It remains to explain the title “half acoustic error”. Half a mistake, because we are optimistic that only half of window sellers have no clue about the sound insulation of windows and the related requirements and dependencies. The chance that you will find a salesman without a clue is half and half, but if you find one, it’s … three and a half “acoustic error” certain.
Some time ago, we published an article called “Better windows in the city.” In addition to general issues related to acoustics, we presented the result of sound insulation tests for the Vetrex window structure, which is an interesting combination of heat and sound insulation. Something just right for the inhabitants of cities and towns wanting to live energy-saving, and at the same time comfortable.
Another series of acoustic tests commissioned by Vetrex in the laboratory of the Institute of Building Technology, concerns windows of one type but made of different types of sections and with different glazing. The obtained results are a good example illustrating the impact of glazing design differences on the level of sound insulation of PVC windows and the differences in the sound insulation value of the glazing itself and the window with this glazing.
The average buyer, faced with the need to buy windows, is increasingly experiencing considerable discomfort. It turns out that the seemingly simple thing and the prosaic act of a window and its purchase is not so simple when certain requirements must be met, and to make matters worse, information from the market and from sellers are often contradictory and mutually exclusive. There is only one council for this. All information must be covered in hard evidence in research. Technical information about the product and its properties not confirmed by the test results should not affect the choices made. Below are three full reports of sound insulation testing of VETREX VP70, V90 + and VR90 Synergy windows in the laboratory of the Building Research Institute, which we used as a source for this article, and for all buyers are the “proof” we mentioned earlier. Who is looking for soundproof windows may require the seller to present similar test results, or at least the certificate in which the laboratory performs calculations of sound insulation based on the product standard.
Why is it still worth asking about acoustic test reports and using them when purchasing windows with the desired sound insulation? For example, because relying on a correctly determined weighted sound insulation index Rw (C; Ctr) or sound insulation index RA1 and RA2 does not yet tell the whole truth about the behavior of a window subjected to noise. How the window will behave in the face of noise generated by the bus, plane or our frisky little ones, i.e. sounds of different frequencies can be learned only from the laboratory reports of acoustic tests.