Noise – the new pollution affecting our homes

News /
12 September 2012
Noise – the new pollution affecting our homes

Multi residential and higher density living is becoming more prevalent in the Australian building landscape, with pressure to build residential properties closer to boundaries and achieve greater utilisation of land.

As urban population densities increase, supported by government policy to contain growth within existing major urban boundaries, there is increasing exposure to noise. Equally, homeowners expect their homes to provide tranquillity, placing a significant challenge on builders and developers to offer solutions for Australia’s newest communities.

Viridian, Australia’s leading glass manufacturer, has engineered ComfortHush™ to help reduce unwanted noise from entering homes, whilst providing improved energy efficiency.

ComfortHush™ is an acoustic performance glass, which also features a durable Low E (low emissivity) coating to help keep a home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Incorporating a unique 3-layer laminate construction, specifically designed to reduce sound transmission, it decreases noise by up to 34%† compared to ordinary 3mm glass.

Specifying and installing the appropriate ComfortHush™ variant can assist builders and developers to achieve the 6 star energy rating required for modern homes, contributing anywhere from ½ to ¾ of a star*. Being a laminated glass, ComfortHush™ is a Grade A safety glass and enhances security in a home, offering peace of mind for home owners. It also reduces fading of interior furnishings & finishes by eliminating more than 99% of Ultra Violet (UV) light.

The product also boasts a number of benefits in the installation process. Traditionally, sound control has required thicker, heavier glazing, however ComfortHush™ provides improved acoustic performance in a lighter construction, which means less heavy manual handling is required. Available in a 6.5mm single glazed format, it is readily fitted to most typical window systems, however to avoid noise leaks it is important to ensure that ComfortHush™ is installed in a frame that is well sealed and professionally fitted.

For builders, ComfortHush™ is easily specified and installed for new homes and renovations, helping to upgrade a home’s existing design.

“Builders and developers are looking for new solutions: glass that does more than just keep the rain out. Increasingly consumers are demanding homes that are quieter, safer, more comfortable to live in and cheaper to run, choosing the right glass can do that,” explains Viridian’s General Manager of Marketing, Lachlan Austin.

“We are using technology to address and manage the noise issues that many homeowners are now facing in medium to high density urban dwellings, while at the same time, achieving high energy ratings and improved insulation. Importantly we are doing all this without sacrificing views and access to natural light – these things are fundamental and can’t be traded away,” Lachlan added.

Tim Trewin, Secretary of the Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants explains that the problem of noise pollution in urban areas means glazing selection is playing an increasingly important role in the building process.

“As our cities and urban areas grow, so does the need to take acoustics seriously. In dense areas this means high performance building facades. Glazing selection, for one, has a large effect on the internal acoustic comfort of a home,” explains Tim.

ComfortHush™ provides an improvement of up to 6dB compared to the ordinary 3mm glass commonly found in residential windows – it’s like moving a house roughly double the distance from the noise source.

“Gone are the days of the old inefficient 3mm glass in poorly sealed frames. High performance glass is now the norm in order to ensure enhanced sound insulation in homes. A 6dB reduction in sound offers a clearly noticeable improvement,” Tim added.

ComfortHush™ is ideal for new homes, renovations and extensions. The combination of noise reduction and enhanced energy efficiency means that Viridian’s ComfortHush™ range provides a home with a highly effective glazing solution. It is the start of a comprehensive range of single and double glazed acoustic performance glass products developed by Viridian.

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