Commercial Acoustics, a company that develops a number of products aimed at reducing sound transmission in commercial and multifamily buildings, is the winner of the 2018 NMHC Innovation Challenge.

Noise has long been a top problem for apartment residents. The most recent NMHC/Kingsley Associates Renter Preferences Report found that 91 percent of residents said they would be interested in soundproof walls. Given that insight, earlier this year, NMHC’s Innovation Committee launched its first-ever Innovation Challenge to identify new technologies and systems that could improve sound attenuation in apartments. The competition was run in partnership with Ezassi, a leading innovation accelerating software.

“It’s very exciting to announce Commercial Acoustics as the first winner of the NMHC Innovation Challenge,” said Rick Haughey, Vice President, Industry Technology Initiatives at NMHC. “The goal of the Innovation Challenge is to identify new technologies and systems that improve resident satisfaction. Commercial Acoustics offered a compelling business case for products that do just that.”

“The first NMHC Innovation Challenge was a significant success,” said Karen Hollinger, Vice President of Corporate Initiatives at AvalonBay Communities. “This process brought forth new ideas and techniques that will be valuable to the multifamily industry. We look forward to highlighting more insightful, creative solutions in the coming years.”

Commercial Acoustics offers soundproofing solutions and acoustic consulting services. In their submission to the 2018 Innovation Challenge, Commercial Acoustics highlighted two products. The first is the AcousticCurtain. This product hangs over windows to prevent sound from traveling through the window, which is often the easiest path for sound to travel. The second option is Wall Blokker for wall transmission. This is an EVA-based polymer, designed and manufactured for decades in the automotive industry to reduce roadway noise. Wall Blokker can replace existing construction methods with a lower cost higher performing system, removing unnecessary layers of drywall.

The four finalists for the 2018 Innovation Challenge were Commercial Acoustics, SCAFCO Steel Stud Company, Icynene and Pliteq Inc. More information on each of the finalists can be found here.