Soundproofing Rooms with Glass

Reduce the noise from your surroundings by installing soundproof glasses. Noise, as a matter of fact, affects the quality of our busy lives. It distracts us in our sleep, adds stress and infringes our privacy.

Wayne Bucklar: My guest today is Gerry Whelan from Archer Glass in Mt. Gravatt in Brisbane. Gerry Welcome to the program.

Gerry Whelan: Thank you Wayne.

Wayne Bucklar: Gerry, it’s that time of year with changes of seasons and we start to think about in some parts of the country are getting cold. Of course in Queensland we just think about beautiful weather, but it led me to think about the use of glass and what we can do to control external features like noise and temperature, and those environmental variables. Can glass be used like that to give us some control?

Gerry Whelan: Yeah, if you’ve got an existing window and you live on a noisy road or street or area you can fit a secondary window inside that which we call a sound barrier where you’d have a wider gap and then if you use laminated glass in the new window as well, it cuts the sound by a quite a considerable amount without having to change the whole look of the building on the outside on the outside or go to such a huge renovation cost either.

Wayne Bucklar: That sounds like a very easy way to solve a problem, so you’re essentially just fitting a new window inside the existing windows?

Gerry Whelan: Yeah, a surround frame inside the window and then sliding panels inside that that are heat or sound proof and then with the laminated glass cut the sound and they slide over and back that in a little way if you want to open the window then you can just slide those back as well or lift them out to clean them and get out the other window to clean that. So that’s quite a versatile idea to cover up all areas of wanting to take care of the maintenance etc.

Wayne Bucklar: If you’re living on a noisy street, I bet that’s a good way to add value to your house if you’re thinking about selling too.

Gerry Whelan:  Yeah, if your roof is insulated and you add these, it will cut the sound considerably. It makes quite a huge difference. We do quite a bit of it for shift workers and people like that who need to sleep during the day and have that quiet in the room so they can’t hear daytime noise and it’s very successful.

Wayne Bucklar: Of course you wouldn’t have to do the whole house if you’ve just got a particular, as you say, for shift worker you would just do the bedroom.

Gerry Whelan: Yeah, just the bedroom and or then if it’s the lounge is in the front and the traffic noise affects TV viewing you can just do the lounge and just where you need it, you can use it.

Wayne Bucklar: So that’s fitting new windows inside existing windows to control noises. Does that help the temperature control as well?

Gerry Whelan:  If you use tinted glass, it would definitely cut it but the idea would be to tint the outer window. You cut that coming through that source in the first place. But between the two, yeah, then you would solve both problems for sure.

Wayne Bucklar:  And Gerry if people are building new houses or renovating, are there alternatives? Can they fit differently?

Gerry Whelan:  Yeah, they can fit new windows with sealed double glazed units in the new windows. So they would only have one window to do the whole job then because it’s manufactured to suit at the time of building.

Wayne Bucklar:  Okay so you say sealed double glazed windows like it’s simple and I should understand. You’re gonna have to explain it to me like I’m 5.

Gerry Whelan: You’d have two paneled glass with cover in between and the air between them has dried out so it can’t fog up and when you use laminated on the inside for sound, then when the sound hits the first panel that’s reduced but when it hits the second panel it’s cut right down and it makes a huge difference to the sound coming through and then of course you’d use tinted glass or a low-e glass as well in a new house so that would automatically look after the climate side of things as well.

Wayne Bucklar:  And I guess being sealed of never having any reason to need to clean them or clean between the paneled glass.

Gerry Whelan:  No, that’s right it sealed up for good so they just clean the external and internal surfaces like a normal window and that’s all you have to do.

Wayne Bucklar:  Now Gerry we’ve talked about putting new windows inside, we’ve talked about sealed double glazed windows. Are there other options or have we now reached the limit of our choices?

Gerry Whelan:  Yeah, you have. It would just might be a matter then of maybe if you work close to an airport, you might increase the overall depth of the window and use super glass in both panels with a wider cavity so that you could cut it by more to get a better result from air traffic which is a lot louder or has a much more effect on the home but yeah, that would be at the time of building too.

Wayne Bucklar:  So Gerry is it predictable? Can you look at the amount of noise and go “Oh this thickness in glass and this specification will give this result?”

Gerry Whelan:  Yes, you can get the noise level measured and then you can get the ratio worked out as to what thicknesses you need to use in your double glazed unit to gain a certain level of noise reduction and know in advance what you’re going to end up with.

Wayne Bucklar:  Well I guess road noise and airports are saved but also people who are living in… where there are venues and pubs and clubs around, it might be an option for them to think about it as well.

Gerry Whelan:  Yeah, absolutely if you’re near like a sports stadium or something like that where you’re affected sometimes by a match or concert, yeah.

Wayne Bucklar:  So Gerry Whelan, is it just as simple as people who are concerned about a noise issue that they think they can address with glass? Should they just contact you at Archer Glass?

Gerry Whelan:  Yeah, they just can give us a call for a quote or to discuss ideas or ways to solve their particular problem whatever it might be. There are a lot of grey areas for people who want to know would it work for this or would it work for that or you might have a window facing a public stairwell or something like that where you’ve got a loud echo, or they might want to know could it work there. So just give us a call and we can advise to what would be the best thing to do, we’ll come out and have a look.

Wayne Bucklar: And the phone number and all the contact details Gerry I think are on your website.

Gerry Whelan: Yeah, they can contact us or get our contact details from our website

Wayne Bucklar: The website again

Gerry Whelan: Yup.

Wayne Bucklar: Gerry it’s been a pleasure having you with me. Thank you for joining me on the program.

Gerry Whelan: Thank you very much again Wayne, always a pleasure.