The growing necessity for urban density has created new challenges for both city planners and architects.

Chief among those problems is the issue of urban noise, especially for apartments built near loud areas. New York’s Stephen B Jacobs Group dealt with this problem in their two QE7  towers nearing the end of construction near a trio of loud subway lines. The firm tackled the volume issue with three methods they hope will help future projects.

First, Isaac-Daniel Astrachan the principal at SBJGroup, noted that the potential for noise was apparent as the team started the planning phase. They immediately moved the building’s footprint as far away from the railway tracks as possible. Moreover, public and noise-tolerant amenities such as coffee shops and gyms were positioned on the lower levels, while over 40 stories of apartments sat on top.

Secondly, design elements were also shaped to accommodate the problem, focusing on windows as a  potential issue for “leaky” noise. Window sizes were fit to only allow specific amounts of sound in, with windows growing larger the higher they were installed.

Finally, the team at SBJGroup paid close attention to the NYC Noise Code, which limits an area’s noise levels to 35 decibels. New and existing technology was harnessed to treat glass and cut the traffic decibel level to an impressive 37, down from about 70-85.

The bottom-line is that SBJGroup’s work is a model for new projects concerned with meeting noise codes and making appartments more attractive for prospective tenants.