Author Topic: open window versus soundproofing  (Read 2953 times)

Vic Joseph

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open window versus soundproofing
« on: March 05, 2003, 01:40:53 AM »
The situation: a stone-built 2-room cottage on a narrow, steep street in a mountain village in the South of France. The bedroom is at street level and I like to sleep with the window open. The house has a good natural ventilation draught. Most of the time it’s pretty silent at night, but the silence is interrupted now and then by things like: 1. tourists clumping down the street in mountain boots after a late night at a restaurant 2. cats fighting and howling 3. a truck emptying the nearby communal trash bins at 6 a.m. (old French custom).
I realize that there’s a tradeoff between natural ventilation and soundproofing, but I wonder how I can get the best compromise. I’m open to all suggestions, but my ideas tend towards the following.
I’ll use part of the window opening (24 in. wide x 28 in. high) for a ventilation unit, say the top 4 inches. It could take the form of an open-ended box lined with soundproofing material (a plenum, I believe they call it), open at both ends (total size about 24 in. wide x 4 in. high x 6 in. deep). The outside end would be protected by mosquito netting and the inside by an adjustable grille. There would be at least one 90 degree turn in the air path, and I could experiment by adding extra crossways wedges of soundproofing material to the inside to make the box into a kind of acoustic labyrinth.
Do the forum experts think this would work at all? If so, what would be the best materials to use for the box (wood, perspex?) and the lining (how thick?). Do the sizes of the inlet and outlet openings matter, or should they just be as large as possible? Do you have any other hints which would improve the design?
Best regards, Vic Joseph