While winter isn’t over where I live, we are getting closer to the warmer months, when you can open the windows and let the fresh air in.

Of course, for many people letting fresh air in means letting in a lot of outdoor noise.

Some people living in big cities have to trade peace and quiet for fresh air, or vice versa.

Or, to cool off in the summer without excess noise, they turn to air conditioning, which can use a lot of energy and money.

A team at the National University of Singapore might have an answer: it’s called the Acoustic Friendly Ventilation Window and it’s supposed to bring the fresh air in without also inviting all the sound you might expect.


The window design has vents on the top and bottom of the frame, which the researchers say actually allows for better airflow than a traditional window.

It also has double paned glass and sound absorbing frame that cuts the amount of incoming sound by 26 dB, roughly four times quieter than normal.

Innovations like these are particularly useful for densely populated cities like Singapore, and for efforts to great more environmentally friendly buildings.

But of course fresher air and lower volumes are pretty handy in and of themselves, too.

Then again, why do I get the feeling all of my neighbors are going to want these noise-proofing windows?

Here’s a story in which fresh air really came in handy.

In Medina, Ohio, authorities responded to a fire in a shed that was home to turtles and tortoises.

And because turtles and tortoises can suffer from smoke inhalation, the fire department had to bust out their supply of turtle and tortoise-sized oxygen masks to care for them.

And I have to say, turtle and tortoise-sized oxygen masks are completely adorable.

Novel window design reduces outdoor noise and improves ventilation (National University of Singapore)

Medina Ohio Shed Fire (Medina Fire Dept.)

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Open window photo by glasseyes view via Flickr/Creative Commons