Residential Sound Insulation Program Issues Resolution


For nearly 25 years, the Residential Sound Insulation Program (RSIP) has worked to mitigate airport noise on behalf of the communities near Chicago’s airports. The Program is designed to reduce the effects of aircraft noise inside the home, with the goal of achieving a quieter environment and better quality of life for residents located within the highest impacted areas affected by aircraft noise. To date, the City has sound-insulated more than 21,000 homes near O’Hare and Midway. Of the homes insulated, 1% have experienced mechanical issues, and 3% have experienced a confirmed issue with odorous windows.

In response to complaints reported by some residents experiencing issues with windows installed as part of the RSIP, the CDA in January 2019 introduced a mitigation program to remedy mechanical issues for windows within warranty and odorous window issues.

​Mechanical Repairs (as of June 2019)

As of Mechanical Repairs Construction Started (#of homes) ​​Mechanical​ Repairs Construction Complete (# of homes)
​6/14/2019 119 92
 

Odorous windows have been reported by a small percentage of homeowners. In order to respond to these concerns, CDA established an odor inspection protocol and hired two independent experts to conduct in-home and laboratory testing to identify and measure the compounds emitted from the windows.

The two independent experts concluded there is no evidence of health risks in connection with the RSIP window products or the odors emitted from them. Extensive testing by both an industrial hygiene expert and architectural testing expert have determined that the primary source of the window odors is the PVC-coated screens found in many window installations. The CDA has announced its commitment to mitigate odors from RSIP installed​ windows by replacing all screens in homes with confirmed odor beginning later this year.

The CDA is revising the window specifications for all future RSIP phases to prevent the use of PVC-coated screens and requiring testing of window products before they are installed in homes. The third-party architectural experts have provided recommendations for the specification revisions. Additionally the City of Chicago has banned a window manufacturer from working with the City of Chicago in the future and is seeking legal action.

More information regarding eligibility for window repairs and screen replacements as part of the mitigation program can be found below. The CDA remains engaged with the community, and invites residents to get in touch with any questions regarding the mitigation program, and/or to schedule an inspection if they are experiencing any issues with windows in their homes. 

Homes with mechanical issue1

For Republic windows, Sound Solution windows, and Armaclad storm doors

​​Date of Notice to CDA/RSIP Original Warranty Status CDA to Perform Mechanical Repairs2
​​Before 6/12/2014 In warranty at time of notice ​No
​​Out of warranty at time of notice ​No
​Between 6/12/2014 and 1/24/2019 ​​​In warranty any time between 6/12/2014 and 1/24/2019 Yes
​Out of warranty prior to 6/12/2014 ​No
​After 1/24/2019 ​In warranty at time of notice ​Yes
​Out of warranty at time of notice ​No​
  Note: Sound Solutions ceased operation on June 12, 2014 and no longer honors their warranty obligations for these products.


Homes with confirmed odor

For Republic windows, Sound Solution windows, and Armaclad storm doors

​​Date of Notice to CDA/RSIP Original Warranty Status ​​​CDA to Perform Odor Mitigation3 ​​​CDA to Perform Mechanical Repairs2
​​Before 6/12/2014 In warranty at time of notice ​Yes - please request odor inspection ​No
​​Out of warranty at time of notice ​Yes - please request odor inspection ​No
​Between 6/12/2014 and 1/24/2019 ​​​In warranty any time between 6/12/2014 and 1/24/2019 Yes Yes
​Out of warranty prior to 6/12/2014 Yes ​No
​After 1/24/2019 ​In warranty at time of notice ​Yes Yes
​Out of warranty at time of notice Yes ​No​
  Note: Sound Solutions ceased operation on June 12, 2014 and no longer honors their warranty obligations for these products.

For Harvey windows

​​​
​​Date of Notice to CDA/RSIP Original Warranty Status Odor to be addressed by​ Mechanical repairs to be addressed by
Any date In warranty at time of notice ​Harvey ​Harvey
On or before 1/24/2019 ​Out of warranty at time of notice ​CDA ​Homeowner
After 1/24/2019 ​Out of warranty at time of notice ​CDA ​Homeowner
 Note:Harvey is still in business and is addressing its warranty obligations for products that are still in warranty.

¹If odor develops at a later date the homeowner may call the RSIP to request an odor inspection. 
²Odor mitigation for all RSIP installed vinyl windows in the home includes replacement of PVC coated insect screen mesh with non-PVC coated insect screen mesh and wipe down of all vinyl surfaces with isopropyl alcohol. ​
³Mechanical repairs for all RSIP installed vinyl windows or storm doors in the home includes a thorough investigation to determine all necessary repairs and performing, all mechanical repairs, servicing and reconditioning to make sure the products are in full working condition.

Additional Information

In 2017 and 2018 the City of Chicago ordered testing to determine the source of odors associated with some of the vinyl windows installed as part of the RSIP. All of the testing reports are provided below. 

January 2018
CDA Letter to Midway homeowners (January 10, 2018)​ 
CDA Press Release (January 12, 2018)​ 
Mechanical Problems: The CDA has identified 206 homes with RSIP windows, no confirmed odor, in need of mechanical repairs, and has begun addressing these homes. Homes with mechanical problems are being repaired in accordance with the policy charts above.

Odor Problems: The CDA has confirmed odors from RSIP installed windows in over 700 homes. For these homes, the CDA will offer new window screens. This solution was recommended by the City’s third-party expert, which confirms that replacement of PVC-coated screens with new non-PVC coated screens provides the most effective and expedient form of relief from RSIP window odors. Work to replace screens will begin later this year, and the City estimates it can complete this mitigation in up to 300 homes per year. Any mechanical issues identified during odor mitigation will also be addressed.


For a listing of Frequently Asked Questions, click here​.

If your question has not been answered on this page or in the Frequently Asked Questions, please submit your question to the Residential Sound Insulation Program, via email at customerservice@cmcpartners-rsip.com​ or call 773-838-5632 for homes near Midway and call 773-894-3636 for homes near O’Hare.


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