HA adopts acoustic windows to mitigate traffic noise at public housing estates

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:

     To mitigate the impact of traffic noise at public housing developments, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) has adopted various measures including acoustic windows.

     A spokesman for the HA said today (September 10) that, owing to scarce land resources in Hong Kong, the availability of sites for public housing development is very limited in the urban areas and some of the public housing developments in the urban areas are inevitably affected by road traffic noise.

     "In this regard, the HA has to consider various noise mitigation measures during the planning and design stage, including appropriate disposition of building blocks and installation of noise barriers, architectural fins and acoustic windows.

     "The HA, in collaboration with other experts and academics, took about two years to successfully develop a specially designed acoustic window for residential buildings which can effectively mitigate the impact of traffic noise. These windows are provided in public housing developments affected by traffic noise such as King Tai Court in San Po Kong," the spokesman said.

     The acoustic window is a modified double-glazed window which comprises two layers, i.e. an openable window at the outer layer and a sliding window at the inner layer. Unlike conventional double-glazed windows, the two-window-layer design allows an opening for ventilation. Noise absorbent material is installed between the window layers to enhance noise reduction.

The distance, size and positioning of the opening are carefully designed with reference to noise refraction and reflection behaviour to ensure that the acoustic window can reduce noise while also maintaining ventilation at the same time.

     The acoustic window can reduce noise even when the window is not completely closed. Results of tests conducted by the HA in mock-up flats equipped with these acoustic windows indicate that they are more effective than traditional windows in reducing traffic noise. It was established that the acoustic window could achieve noise attenuation of up to about 8 decibels while allowing air circulation.

     "These acoustic windows can effectively mitigate the traffic noise impact on public housing units. We will consider adopting acoustic windows in other public housing developments affected by traffic noise," the spokesman added.

Published on: 2017-09-10

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