The ONCC is concerned that the tear-down trend in older communities and new construction projects are resulting in an increasing number of homes located in areas impacted by various sources of noise.
According to Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, new homes and home additions are not eligible for the O’Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program overseen by the ONCC.
Last month, Arlington Heights became the first community in Illinois to use the ONCC’s model sound insulation ordinance as the basis for developing a comprehensive set of noise mitigation standards for new construction. The ONCC is now distributing the Arlington Heights’ codes with the recommendation that they be used as a starting point or template for similar sound insulation building codes in other communities.
“These new building codes address not only noise from aircraft, but also noise produced by trains, highways, trucks, lawnmowers and many other sources,” said ONCC Chair, Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder. “Noise can significantly affect the quality of life inside our homes, where everyone deserves to enjoy some peace and quiet. Besides, there are significant energy cost savings and environmental benefits derived in adopting these standards”
Members of the ONCC’s Model Sound Insulation Ad Hoc Committee drafted much of the language in the model ordinance. Arlington Heights Building Department Director Nicholas Gadzekpo developed the Arlington Heights sound insulation code in consultation with Mayor Mulder and its Village Board.
The ONCC is especially interested in making sure that communities around O’Hare are addressing noise issues in advance of the changing aircraft departure and landing patterns that will result from the O’Hare Modernization Program. There is concern that communities could be permitting new construction without proper sound insulation in areas that currently have little impact from aircraft noise, but could see increased noise in the future.
While the ONCC has begun oversight of a new phase of the nationally recognized O’Hare Residential Sound Insulation Program operated by the City of Chicago, the homes eligible for insulation have been designated by the FAA. New construction, remodeling and home additions cannot be part of the program.
The ONCC and the Chicago Department of Aviation offer a 36-page homeowner’s handbook (PDF) for anyone who would like to better sound insulate their homes. The handbook explains in detail ways to effectively sound insulate a home. It is also available on the ONCC Website.
The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (oharenoise.org) began working in 1996 to bring together the parties that are most able to reduce aircraft noise with representatives of communities affected by aircraft noise in a partnership to address jet noise at its impact and sources. The Commission's current membership includes the villages of Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Bellwood, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Harwood Heights, Hoffman Estates, Maywood, Melrose Park, Mount Prospect, Niles, Norridge, Palatine, River Grove, River Forest, Rosemont, Schaumburg and Stone Park and; the cities of Des Plaines, Northlake, Oak Park, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows and Chicago; Cook County; and school districts 59 (Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect), 63 (Des Plaines, Niles, Morton Grove and Glenview), 80 (Norridge), 81 (Schiller Park), 84 (Franklin Park), 84½ (River Grove), 85½ (River Grove), 86 (Harwood Heights), 87 (Berkeley, Northlake, Bellwood), 88 (Bellwood, Melrose Park, Stone Park) 89 (Maywood, Melrose Park and Broadview ), 214 (Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Prospect Heights, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove), 234 (Norridge, Harwood Heights), 299 (Chicago Public Schools) and 401 (Elmwood Park).