Solutia announced today that their Saflex SilentGlass Technology advanced acoustic interlayer is now approved for use in Dade County Florida. Saflex SilentGlass Technology has passed the weathering and flammability requirements that have been set and mandated by Dade County Florida to allow the lawful sale of the product in the windborne debris zone. This acceptance allows the Saflex SilentGlass Technology interlayer to be used for both large and small missile impact resistant glazing for Hurricane protection. As a result, architects now have the option of using an advanced acoustical glazing system in hurricane applications or other areas, interior or exterior that needs state-of-the-art acoustical damping and sound control. The Notice of Acceptance (NOA) approval was received in April 2009.
While all polyvinyl butyral (PVB) based interlayers provide some acoustical benefit, Saflex SilentGlass Technology is the first interlayer designed specifically for high performance sound dampening that has also received the approval of Miami Dade County. "What we are seeing is truly a convergence of market trends - impact resistant glazing for the hurricane market and acoustical products for dense urban areas," said Doug Marren, architectural market manager for Saflex. "In hurricane regions, it is easy to add a single layer of Saflex SilentGlass Technology as part of an overall 60 or 90 gauge impact product to reduce the perceived level of noise by up to 50 percent."
Hurricane markets are typically denser in population compared to other metropolitan areas because of the desire to be on a coastline. As a result, residents are more exposed to sound pollution because the shear influx of people yields more cars, lawnmowers, nightclubs and airplanes. Coastal regions have also experienced a higher than average level of construction activity plus the irritating sounds of some water-based activities such as speed boats and personal watercraft. Keeping these irritating sounds at bay is becoming a higher priority for residents and tourists alike.
Glazing fabricators and systems manufacturers will find that the acoustical benefit of Saflex SilentGlass Technology can be either a primary message for the hurricane market or a herculean secondary benefit. As hurricane glazing products routinely exhibit the capability to comply with mandated minimal performance levels, glazing companies are continuously challenged to find ways to differentiate their product offerings. Impact glazing with high performance acoustical benefits is one way to help keep products fresh and relevant.
Coastal structures that would benefit with a combined impact / acoustical glazing product include condominiums, residences, schools, health care facilities and especially hotels. In a 2007 JD Power report, the number one complaint by hotel guests was noise.