New York City Noise No Match for Crystal’s New Acoustic Window

Crystal Windows supplied its new aluminum architectural AC85 Acoustic Window for sound control at Westchester Mews, a new multi-family residence adjacent to an elevated train line in the heart of the Bronx borough of New York City.

-Bronx Building Project Adjacent to Elevated Subway Selects Crystal –

QUEENS, NY, November 16, 2020 –A recently completed New York City multi-family mixed-use project located in the borough of the Bronx selected Crystal’s new AC85 Sound Reduction Window to control the location’s unwanted urban noise problem.  Located at 2044 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, NY, the 11-story Westchester Mews – Building A sits on a major commercial thoroughfare and only a few dozen feet from a busyMTA elevated subway rail line.  The AC85 aluminum window product line features a dual sash configuration with a deep master frame capable of delivering very significant acoustic sound transmission reductions, an impressive feature for demanding high-noise locations near highways, airports, railways, or busy urban streets.

The Crystal AC85 window’s sound control capability allows profitable development of properties which formerly were hampered by their noisy locations.  Similarly, existing buildings renovated with the Crystal AC85 window offer improved comfortable sound environments for occupants, greatly improving the value of the property.

“The selection of the Crystal AC85 window for the Westchester Mews project was a great choice,” said Jimmy Zhou, Crystal’s Account Executive.  “Located so close to an elevated subway line and a busy street, the residents of the new building are benefiting greatly from the noise reduction properties of the Crystal AC85 casement and fixed windows.”

The Westchester Mews project consists of two buildings.  The A-Building, situated on Westchester Avenue, utilized a total of 459 windows.  The front façade, which faces the busy street and elevated train tracks, was specified with 243 AC85 dual window systems with casement and fixed panels.  A majority of the Crystal window systems were assembled in large, mulled arrangements combining several AC85 units and an HVAC aluminum louver.

The Crystal AC85 Acoustic Casement and Fixed Window 7-⅞” master frames are thermally broken using an insulated strut system.  The heavy-duty dual sash windows deliver thermal performance of either U=0.29 or U=0.28, depending on which of the two glass packages specified for the project were used.

The AC85 window combinations were specially configured for the project.  Crystal crafted mock-ups early in the project for independent acoustic lab testing, field installation, and approvals from the developer, architect, and installer.  Independent lab testing certified an outstanding Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC) sound reduction rating of 42 for the Crystal window mock-up.  OITC ratings more appropriately emphasize the lower frequencies typical of urban environments.  The rating indicates the decibel sound reduction from an outdoor source to the indoor environment.

For the rear courtyard-facing façade of the Westchester Mews A-Building, a sound attenuation window was not necessary.  To provide continuity for the overall building façade, this part of the project took advantage of the design characteristics and appearance of the Crystal 8500 Casement and 8510 Fixed Aluminum Windows which are similar to the AC85 Acoustic Window. Crystal supplied 216 of these standard windows, utilizing a continuous master frame option and mullion systems to combine window arrangements with PTAC louvers.  Both front and rear façade windows were finished in a durable AAMA 2604 powder coat simulated anodized silver paint, resulting in a consistent aesthetically pleasing overall appearance for the building.

The 203 PTAC louvers facilitating the use of individual room HVAC units for Westchester Mews A-Building were the AEL-42 model from Reliable of Geneva, AL and were sourced and factory installed in the window frames by Crystal.  The dual-sash AC85 windows were configured to accommodate an extra deep PTAC sleeve and Crystal outfitted them with an insulated “blank off” panel on the interior window sash frame.

All the Crystal windows for Westchester Mews feature 1-¼” insulated glass units (IGUs) with Vitro SB60 glass and Argon filling for energy efficiency.  Where needed for code compliance or other reasons, some IGUs were specified with tempered or laminated glass.  All the glass outswing casement sashes are operated by decorative European-style satin chrome handles and feature New York City approved limit opening devices. Accessories to facilitate quick, efficient, quality installation of the window systems included aluminum subsills, receptors, sill covers, mullions, and anchor clips and trim covers from Crystal.

Crystal also supplied windows for a second separate new building of the Westchester Mews project, located at 2047 Newbold Avenue. The B-Building has its front façade situated on a quiet residential street. With the rear façade facing the courtyard between the two Westchester Mews buildings,the B-Building has no need for ultra-high-end sound attenuating windows. Crystal provided 1,217 Magnus 4500 Commercial Vinyl Window uPVC Inswing Turn Only and Fixed Panelsas well as 305 Reliable AEL-42 PTAC louvers combined within large Magnus 4500 master frames for this building’s 332 openings.

Westchester Mews, LLC, of the Bronx, NY, was the project developer and Procida Construction Corporation acted as general contractor.  Architectural design was by Magnusson Architects and Planners of New York, NY, and Marvel Contracting Service of Queens, NY, was the fenestration installer.  Financing for the project was coordinated in part through the New York City Housing Development Corporation.

The two buildings of Westchester Mews offer 289 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments for defined income categories.  Residents enjoy on-site common rooms, laundry facilities, bike storage, outdoor terraces and green spaces, and proximity to public transportation and commercial shopping districts.  A new medical office for family and internal medicine is located on the ground floor of 2044 Westchester Avenue, convenient for residents of the building and community.

National Fenestration Magazine Salutes Crystal Window’s Stand-Out Pandemic Response

Named a 2020 Best Companies to Work For by US Glass Magazine, Crystal Windows was recognized for its pandemic response effort.  Crystal sales and production factory in New York implemented numerous safety protocols for employees and customers alike, as well as many other procedures.


-2020“Best Companies to Work For” Award Recognizes Top Industry Firms-

QUEENS, NY, November 10, 2020 –National manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems was one of a select few fenestration and façade companies to be featured by leading national trade publication US Glass as one of the media platform’s 2020 Best Companies to Work For.  Normally focused on compensation, benefits, and other cultural aspects a company offers its employees, US Glass decided this year to concentrate its 2020 Best Companies to Work For survey on what companies have done for employees and customers during the prolonged pandemic. Five leading companies including Crystal Windows were selected as winners and featured in the October 2020 issue of US Glass Magazine.

“It is rewarding that the tireless hard work, dedication, and creativity of my management team in serving our employees has been recognized on a national level by this prestigious industry publication,” said Crystal President Steve Chen.  “It is so hard to describe what New York City went through at the peak of this pandemic, and Crystal executives worked fearlessly to keep employees safe, engaged, and informed so they could be as productive as possible for our trade customers and the construction industry.”

US Glasseditors reviewed not only how companies managed their operations, but also how they communicated with employees, maintained a sense of community despite remote working, what policies were instituted to promote safety, health, and well-being of employees, and how companies connected with the community.

Crystal’s New York facility was deemed essential to supply critical construction projects and continued limited production for these projects using minimal staff during the height of the mandated shutdown in New York City, which was hit the hardest by the pandemic of any city in the nation.  A crisis management team of Crystal’s top executives met daily to address changing circumstances, communicate with those working remotely, plan for reopening when permitted, and coordinate with Crystal’s other production plants around the country.

“We used all forms of communication to reach our employees regularly to keep them updated on operating status, when they could expect to return to the plant, and what safety measures we were implementing,” said Chen.  “All employees that could work remotely did so, using our comprehensive computer platform to handle quotations, orders, and other projects.  We also reached out to customers frequently to let them know when to expect production and deliveries, and coordinate with their own changing conditions.”

During the peak of the shutdown in New York, Crystal offered a wage bonus, a meal allowance, and mileage reimbursement for employees to use their own vehicles to avoid commuting by public transportation, considered a high-risk factor for spreading the coronavirus. Crystal revamped production and administrative areas with extensive cleaning and disinfecting, enhanced and separated workstations, installed partitions where necessary for physical distancing, and repainted walls and floors of several areas of the factory.  Employees returning in person to the facility were provided with face masks and other protective equipment as appropriate and temperature checks were performed daily. In later months, Crystal’s HR department coordinated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital of Queens to provide employees during work hours a series of virtual workshops, led by doctors and other medical professionals, on various physical and mental health topics related to the pandemic.

“The Crystal team really went the extra mile for our construction trade customers while keeping our employees’ well-being top priority during the peak of the pandemic,” said Chen.  “Thankfully, we avoided layoffs, and as time progressed, we were able to ramp up production to normal levels and resume our regular operating hours.  Our sales across the country are doing well, we are introducing new products, and the company is emerging from the crisis stronger than before.”