Marketing firm Foto Crush needed a new home. They do design work and photography for clients like Disney, Dreamworks, and Apple. So, finding an office space with natural light was key.
They landed on historic Olympic Mills Building in inner SE Portland, Oregon – formerly industrial district turned chic – an updated warehouse with lots of large windows. It was perfect, except for the noisy train right outside. They couldn’t move in without office soundproofing.
“The office, with all of its windows, seemed perfect except I cringed at the thought of blasting train horns and worried that the windows would be too drafty,” said Cheyenne Pepper, owner of Foto Crush. She told the property manager that she’d take the space if they would take the train noise reduction seriously and add office soundproofing to the lease.
Property Manager Mike Larkin assumed if one tenant was affected, others were too. He agreed, and began searching for office soundproofing ideas. He decided Indow Acoustic Grade window inserts would be the best fit. They can reduce up to 70% of outside noise and also stop drafts, which Cheyenne had been concerned about as well.
Best of all, they were removable. The inserts could be removed and stored if future tenants didn’t want them installed for any reason. The inserts compression fit, so require no mounting hardware to install and stay in the window frame. That compression tubing is what creates a seal against noise and drafts while also creating an air pocket between the insert and window to further insulate against noise.
Office Soundproofing Ideas
Mike reviewed different office soundproofing methods before determining Indow window inserts were the best for their situation. Foto Crush needed soundproofing for an open floor layout, which is a more difficult than a traditional commercial office space.
- Acoustic Panels
- Carpet & upholstered office furniture
- Sound Masking
- Window Treatments - Drapes
- Indow Window Inserts
These help minimize sound bouncing around inside. They can be hung from the ceiling or added to walls. Because of the number of windows in their building, and because the main noise was coming from outside, Mike didn't think these would work.
These additions also absorb sound, but not enough to mitigate train noise.
Sound masking is popular in open space offices, is not really a form of soundproofing. It creates background noise so no individual noise is disrupting. This also wouldn't work with the high and low-pitched sounds of passing trains.
Most guides pointed to treating windows first, by adding another pane or acoustical drapes. Because his tenants wanted natural light, he couldn't add drapes or anything that would block those big, gorgeous windows.
Window inserts reduce noise from the outside and absorb noise inside the office. They also don't block natural light.
– Mike Larkin, Broker & Property Management, Elliot Associates, Portland, Oregon
“The noise reduction is so impressive we put Indow window inserts into the second floor offices for another tenant. They used to have to interrupt their conference calls but after the window soundproofing upgrade they don’t even notice the train noise. We have budgeted to upgrade the entire west side of the Olympic Mills building with Indow window inserts.”
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