Residential Sound Insulation Program Issues Resolution


For 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 percent have experienced mechanical issues, and 3 percent have experienced a confirmed issue with odorous windows.

Recently, the State of Illinois enacted legislation, 30 ILCS 105/6z-20.1, .2, and .3, and 65 ILCS 5/11-101-3, which will provide funding for the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) to replace confirmed odorous windows and doors with entirely new windows and doors, and which establishes eligibility requirements, a general procedure for replacement, and provides for additional in-home air quality testing in a limited number of homes.  The CDA is now working to implement the state legislation, and will work with the State and the advisory committee that will be established pursuant to the legislation to fulfill the responsibilities and achieve the goals set forth in the legislation.  The replacement process pursuant to the legislation is in its initial stages of development.  We will make more information on this process available to the public as it develops.  

A notice will be mailed at a later date to each homeowner that participated in the RSIP describing the process and deadlines for requesting odor inspections which will be used to determine eligibility to receive replacement wind​ow and doors for homes that have a confirmed odor.  Residents in homes where offensive odors have already been confirmed do not need to request an additional odor inspection.  The right to request an odor inspection and seek replacement is not affected by any odor related claims made or odor related products received from the RSIP prior to June 5, 2019.  

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

​Mechanical Repairs - Midway 
As of Mechanical Repairs Construction Started (# of homes) ​​Mechanical​ Repairs Construction Complete (# of homes)
​7/22/2020
131
127
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 that there is no evidence that RSIP window products or the odors emitted from them pose a threat to health. Extensive testing by both an industrial hygiene expert and an architectural testing expert have determined that the primary source of the window odor​s is the PVC-coated screens found in many window installations. As referenced above, the CDA is now preparing to implement state legislation providing funding for window and door replacements in homes with a confirmed odor.

The CDA has revised the window specifications for all future RSIP phases to prevent the use of PVC-coated screens and requiring testing of select window products before they are installed in homes based on recommendations provided by the third-party architectural experts.  Additionally the City of Chicago has banned a window manufacturer from working with the City of Chicago in the future and has taken legal action.

More information regarding eligibility for window repairs and 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 ​N/A
​​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 its warranty obligations for these products.

For Harvey windows​​​​​

​​Date of Notice to CDA/RSIP Original Warranty Status Mechanical repairs to be addressed by
​​Before 6/12/2014 In warranty at time of notice​ ​​ ​Harvey
​On or before 1/24/2019 ​​​Out of warranty at time of notice ​Homeowner
​After 1/24/2019 Out of warranty at time of notice 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. The homeowner must call to request an odor inspection within six (6) months of notification in order to be eligible for replacement windows and doors if an offensive odor is confirmed. Notification is pending and will be issued by letter to each homeowner who participated in the RSIP and will be published in a newspaper of general circulation. The right to request an odor inspection and seek replacement is not affected by any odor related claims made or odor related products received fr​om the RSIP prior to June 5, 2019.​​
²Odor mitigation for homes that have a confirmed odor includes replacement windows and doors.​
³Mechanical repairs for RSIP installed vinyl windows or storm doors in the home as indicated by the homeowner includes the necessary mechanical repairs, servicing and reconditioning to make sure that the products are in full working condition​.
4Instead of requesting Harvey to address offensive odors by replacing screens, the homeowner may request an odor inspection from the RSIP.  If an offensive odor is confirmed and other requirements of the applicable state statute are met, the home may be eligible for replacement windows and doors.

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. 


July - December 2019

State Law: The State of Illinois will provide funding for the replacement of RSIP installed windows and doors in homes where an offensive odor is confirmed pursuant to a process this is currently under development.  The CDA will make more information on this process available as soon as it is established.  Residents are advised to call the program office to schedule an odor inspection within six (6) months of notification or you will not be eligible for replacement windows and doors if an offensive odor is ​confirmed.  Notification is pending and will be issued by letter to each homeowner who participated in the ​RSIP and will be published in a newspaper of general circulation.  Residents in homes where offensive odors have already been confirmed do not need to request an additional odor inspection.  The right to request an odor inspection and seek replacement is not affected by any odor related claims made or odor related products received from the RSIP prior to June 5, 2019.​

June 2020

State Law: The State of Illinois law has been revised to provide for additional in-home air quality testing in a limited number of homes.

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 e-mail 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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