Hotel Windows 'Quiet' Airport Noise




Fairfield Inn & Suites Harrisburg International Airport


Harrisburg, Pa.

Design Team:


Product Specs:

System 4500 Fixed Window

Originally Published:

Fairfield Inn & Suites at Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) is a 123-room, Marriott-branded property located directly adjacent to Pennsylvania’s third largest airport.


With gate areas only a short walk away, the hotel is a welcome addition to the airport, which serves more than 1.2 million travelers each year. With the hotel being built in close proximity to the runway, noise infiltration was one of the biggest concerns. “We had to be absolutely certain the rooms would be quiet enough for guests to get a good night’s sleep,” said Bill Hoy, vice president of design and construction at owner/operator Shaner Hotels.


In addition, because Shaner Hotels employs a long-term investment approach with each of its 51+ properties, the company doesn’t compromise on quality. “We don’t build and sell our properties; we’re in it for the duration. When it comes to building systems, the cheaper alternatives can really hurt long-term profitability,” said Hoy.


As an architect, Hoy was already familiar with the fact that 90% of environmental noise seeps through and around window frame openings in the building envelope. Having worked with rehau earlier in his career, he drew on his experience with the System 4500 fixed window design, which he readily specified for the job. “First, I knew we’d be able to get the noise abatement properties we needed from the System 4500, but it’s also one of the most energy-efficient window designs on the market,” he said. “That’s a big bonus when utility bills are one of the most costly aspects of hotel operation.”

Each of the exterior rooms—those on the opposite side of the runway—have a through-the-wall packaged terminal air conditioner (ptac) installed at the window opening. “System 4500 was ideal as it accommodates the ptac unit. In addition to excellent sound insulation and energy performance, there’s now only one opening for both the window and the ptac unit. Where the building envelope is concerned, the fewer openings the better,” Hoy said. On the windows facing the runway, fixed 4500 windows without integrated ptacs were used instead. The hotel also installed a vertical terminal air conditioner unit inside a small corner interior closet to help mitigate the runway noise.

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