Window evolution comfortably breaks the sound barrier

// the building envelope

The continuous improvement in window and door technology has been instrumental in transforming the quality of Britain’s social housing in the last two decades as the bar is pushed ever higher for thermal performance, security and aesthetics. Technology’s capability, however, goes way beyond helping us deliver safe, energy efficient homes which are visually appealing as the latest noise alleviating evolution demonstrates.

Protecting tenants from the harmful and disruptive effects of external noise has, until now, often been considered a luxury, unless homes are located in particularly noisy locations such as airport flight paths. That is all set to change with the launch of the new Quiet-Mark certified CMS Silent-Therm window. This combines an innovative PVCu profile design with an acoustic double glazed unit specification to deliver all the thermal and security benefits we have become accustomed to, plus independently certified sound insulating performance – a comfort combination never before available in a single product.

It is a significant development considering how much of the UK’s existing social housing is located in busy urban areas and, with the long standing commitment to achieve a brownfield residential development target of 60%, that proportion will only go up. Millions of tenants live with the constant effects of external noise from roads, railways, high streets and more, which is why the availability of an acoustically insulating window is so important in helping social housing providers improve the quality of life for tenants.

CMS Silent-Therm’s development comes a decade since CMS Window Systems pioneered the first zero carbon 0.8 U-value PVCu window for the mainstream UK market. Its development marks a step change in how noise issues can be effectively tackled through window and door design, manufacture and installation.

Building on the current superior performance of the CMS window range to add a noise barrier, the CMS Silent-Therm Window prevents everyday noises outside from disturbing the peace and quiet within. The result is a sound insulating window delivering A-rated energy performance, compliance with the enhanced security requirements of Secured by Design and significantly improved furniture ‘fade control’.

Developed in conjunction with sealed unit manufacturer GLASSOLUTIONS and independently tested at Airo Laboratories, the CMS Silent-Therm Window significantly outperforms standard windows in terms of its ability to reduce external sounds, such as traffic and barking dogs. It offers huge potential to the millions of people who suffer the devastating effects of unwanted noise, especially at night: research shows that people whose sleep is disturbed by noise are at greater risk of developing a variety of serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, strokes and depression.

Key to the CMS Silent-Therm Window is a smart window design which utilises the specialist acoustic glass from Saint-Gobain, Stadip Silence, plus the market leading low-e glass Planitherm Total+ combined with a Sheerframe energy efficient PVCu frame. These windows are able to reduce sound travel into a room by 5db, whilst at the same time optimising heat insulation and solar gain.

Such is the effectiveness of the window’s noise control capability that it has been approved under the Quiet Mark scheme – the internationally recognised certification of the UK Noise Abatement Society. In becoming approved, CMS joins some of the UK’s best-known brands in this rapidly emerging scheme, including Dyson, John Lewis and Virgin Atlantic.

The CMS Silent-Therm Window is available in six window types to suit all types of PVCu window application, including casement, reversible, and tilt and turn. These are created using Sheerframe PVCu window profiles, all of which are 100% calcium organic stabilised and fully recyclable, UK-made and provide superior thermal insulation thanks to an advanced multi-chamber profile design.

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