Commercial Architecture May 2017 - 53
windows & doors
Right. Noise from trains that passed by the Waterfront Hotel at Jack London Square in Oakland, CA, was causing considerable guest dissatisfaction.
Below. Installing a 5/8-in.-thick inner-window system in hotel guest rooms
resulted in a 75% reduction of train noise.
Window Solution Diminishes Train Noise
Installing inner windows in Oakland's Waterfront Hotel
greatly reduced noise that drove customers away.
nline trip advisory reviews have ushered in a
such a noise challenge. The Waterfront Hotel at Jack Lon-
control room, the room with the 5/8-in. glass inner win-
harsh new business environment for hotels,
don Square in Oakland, CA, is not a designated historic
dow eliminated 75% of the noise, exceeding the other test
motels, and inns that live or die by referrals.
site, but it was built in the 1960s next to a railroad crossing.
If a guest had a lousy night's sleep due to exterior noise
Passenger and freight trains regularly pass through with
from traffic, railroads, or activity at the swimming pool,
horns blaring and safety guardrails ringing their alarms.
Once it was decided to install the Soundproof product
in all 75 of the hotel windows on the front of the building,
it's likely the manager will be the last to know. The ab-
The majority of the hotel's online reviews indicated
the specifiers faced a second challenge. The face of the
sence of a posted review does not necessarily indicate
that the noise was having a negative impact on guests. The
building has a variety of window sizes and shapes, includ-
satisfaction either. A guest who is unhappy with a room
hotel's internal guest-satisfaction survey results agreed.
ing operable rectangular windows and portholes. Sliding
due to excessive exterior noise may say nothing to management, but likely will not return.
Well-managed hotels acknowledge that they are prisoners of a paradox. They must build near major thorough-
Another problem arose when a new ownership group
doors opening onto patios are also used in some rooms.
decided the site needed noise remediation. However, re-
Fortunately, the Soundproof windows could be config-
placing windows would do considerable damage to the
ured to match any existing style of window, as well as
fares, highways, and rail services so that they are accessible
Soundproof Windows Inc., Reno, NV, offered a solu-
The hotel's online scores and ranking have gone up
and convenient, knowing that those locations are often
tion. Three guest rooms in the front of the hotel were se-
since the inner windows were installed. In an internal
the source of a noise problem.
lected for a test. One window was not altered, serving as
survey before the change, noise was the top complaint.
Since old windows are generally the acoustic weak link
the experimental control. A 5/8-in.-thick inner window
Now it has receded to an occasional mention. TripAdvi-
in exterior walls, most believe that the only solution is to
was installed in one of the rooms and a 1.4-in.-thick win-
sor ranks the Waterfront second out of 48 Oakland ho-
replace every window-an expensive upgrade with no
dow in the other. Then an independent acoustic firm was
tels, up from number nine. As a result, Soundproof
guarantee of success.
hired to analyze the test results. When compared with the
units were installed in the rest of the hotel. CA
Historic districts also present a challenge. Since the exterior design cannot be tampered with, swapping out
old windows for new is rarely approved. By installing an
Want more information? To download the information listed below, visit
inner window, it is possible to improve occupant experi-
Circle 5 on the Reader Service Card.
Download a Soundproof Windows product brochure.
ence, respect architectural history, and satisfy customers.
View an informational video from Soundproof Windows.
Download product-testing results.
Commune Hotels and Resorts was faced with just
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