The measurement of the sound reduced by partitions in a development, such as a wall or floor, is known as sound insulation testing or sound testing. It assesses how good the soundproofing materials fixed to the property development are. Part E of Building Regulations requires sound insulation in buildings and mandates that all newly completed constructions and rehabilitated developments go through sound testing.
At the completion of the test, a sound insulation certificate is issued. Without the certificate, Building Control will not release the building completion certificate to the contractors and developers of the project. We understand how important it is for you to get a sound insulation certificate. That’s why we go the extra mile to make sure you get your certificate as quickly as possible. In fact, we are proud of our turnaround times and our team will issue your certificates as quickly as we possibly can.
AF Acoustics’ competent and well-trained engineers, who will be available for testing, can even let you know the verbal results of your sound test. You will receive a written report in the space of a working day.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What is a Sound Test?
To adhere to Building Regulations ADE requirements, adjoining walls, floors and ceilings in a building will have to be tested, except where licensed Robust Details were used. Sound testing measures the impact and airborne sound moving through new and old adjoining buildings. This tests include the boundary walls between buildings and in-between the spaces in a development.
What is involved in Sound testing?
While producing lots of noise, sound test needs a quiet site to be conducted efficiently. Due to this fact, the workers in the site should not be present at the time of the test. The way a sound test is administered depends on the size and type of building and the development’s condition. If the site is simple and of regular size, it typically takes about 90 minutes to complete the sound test.
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern.
A full and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you within 24 working hours. The sound insulation testing methodology has been outlined by Document E of the Building Regulations. The document states that every 10 units in a sub-group or group should undergo one set of test, and defines a sub-group in Section 1. There are three types of grouping criteria that need to be assessed: dwelling houses (including bungalows), flats and rooms for residential purposes, such as student accommodation and hotel rooms, care homes etc. Find below the testing stipulation for each kind of development.
Why Sound Testing is Required
Document E of Building regulations, from 2003, made it compulsory for all new UK constructions to undertake a pre-completion sound test. New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that new buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings. Sound testing is essential due to the fact that sound impacts us wherever we are, whether it’s at home, leisure or the office. Reduced noise in the partitions and flooring of a structure leads to greater ease and a more efficient environment.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are critical for a variety of reasons. Inadequate sound insulation can be extremely distressing to those affected by it. For example, in a block of flats, your upstairs neighbour may (and not unreasonably) like to have friends over at the weekend, resulting in the playing of loud music. However, the downstairs occupant may be working nights and sleeping throughout the day, thus any inadequate sound insulation between these two flats would cause great disturbance and distress to the downstairs occupant. Sound insulation helps improve the quality of a person’s life in diverse ways. There are also developments where the neighbouring units are used for different purposes. In such cases, a sound test ensures that the noise coming from each unit is minimal.
How Do I Know if I Need a Sound Test?
You need a sound insulation test if you’re:
- Constructing a nursing home or residential rooms like hostel or hotel rooms,
- Converting a building with a single dwelling into flats,
- Constructing a property with two or more units,
- Using designs without Robust Details to build
Sound insulation is covered and made mandatory under Approved Document E of The Building Regulations.
To conform, you can either follow the procedure outlined in ADE or make use of Robust Details. Robust details are separating elements that have been pre-tested and conform to Approved Document E sound insulation standards. Using Robust Details, without taking a test, limits you to the design you’ve picked. This becomes difficult when you need to pick a more appropriate or cost-effective design that will suit your needs. Sound tests enable you do that, making it more flexible. It also gives architects the opportunity to evaluate their design and give your structure a much better sound insulation which will increase sound performance.
Price for Sound Insulation Testing
Simply contact us and we will be able to provide a free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. Our prices are extremely competitive and we’ve worked on developments of various sizes and types. You’re also assured of a quick turnaround time for your sound insulation test report and certificates.
Ideal Period for a Sound Insulation Test
Ideally, we would conduct a test when a development nears completion, and once all internal and external doors and windows have been fitted. We can test earlier to check if there are any problems. To be able to conduct sound insulation testing we require the provision of a 240V power supply, and a quiet site (a noisy site can make conducting the tests extremely difficult). Access will be required to all rooms of the development unless a test schedule is determined in advance.
How a Sound Test is Done
Our sound test engineers can answer your questions and make the sound test process easy to understand on site, during the time of the test. For partition walls, airborne tests are carried out. For floors there are two types, airborne and impact tests.
The source sound is produced with a white or pink noise generator with a dodecahedron speaker in the largest room. The noise from the source room and received by the receiver room, and background noise is measured with a sound level meter. Background sound is also calculated. Noise in the receiver room should be 10dB more than the background noise at all frequency measurements, so source noise is set to be greater than background noise. Airborne sound testing is done in a similar way. First, two speaker positions are used for each source room. Then, the level of sound in the receiver room is measured so that the difference in noise level between the two rooms can be calculated.
This difference is modified to include background noise in the receiver room and reverberation time – time whereby a sound fades away in a closed space by 60dB. Impact sound tests are performed with a tapping machine positioned on the floor of the source room. The room under it is then measured for the noise levels. This is used in calculating and computing the results. These results are checked against Building Regulations ADE conditions for that kind of dwelling. This is of course, a somewhat simplified explanation without the various mathematical formulae involved, but helps to explain the process.
Kind of Testing Equipments Used
Our licensed engineers use UKAS calibrated equipment to measure sound insulation according to the present standards of Building Regulations. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving through a separating element. We use pink or white noise generator and speakers on one side of the partition. A sound level meter is used on calculating sound in both units. We use a tapping machine, which drops metal hammers onto the floor to create impact noise. We then measure the amount of sound that passes through the partition with a sound level meter in the room under the tapping machine. The tests are administered in room with residential purposes. For example, kitchens/living spaces, lounges, bedrooms and living rooms. Test results, which are approved by Building Control and used to sign off the building, are recorded in a report and sent to the client.
Sound Insulation Testing is necessary for these types of builds:
The airborne and impact sound going through new and old buildings are evaluated by sound testing. This can impact adjoining walls and floors between the building.
Two or more new build dwellings or flats
With the sound test, you can be certain that the property has a good acoustic performance.
A single dwelling that was turned into a development with several flats or units
The development that has been converted must conform to Building Regulations sound requirements.
Design that don’t have Robust Details factored in
Robust Details Ltd began the Robust Details scheme in 2004. The scheme enables architects use design details for separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. If the building design is not in line with any Robust Details, it will require sound testing to ensure its compliance with the buildings regulations. The minimum requirements are dependent on the kind of dwelling. Permanent dwellings and rooms for residential use have different requirements.
Parts of the UK AF Acoustics Cover
AF Acoustics provides acoustic design services to customer nationwide, especially in Reading. Our clientele also include government agencies, architects, and organisations involved in planning and environmental consultancy. We’re based in several areas across the south east region of UK so that we can give you the most cost effective quote in the industry.
Why you should choose AF Acoustics
Having rendered high quality service to numerous customers in Reading, we have gotten great positive feedback and recommendation from our clientele due to the following:
More than 15 years’ experience
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. We also have a track record of providing superior acoustic services to our customers (home and business owners) in the UK in small and large projects, giving them astounding value for their money.
To make sure you can afford high quality sound insulation projects in UK, we offer one of the most affordable prices in Reading. Contact us immediately and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test.
Effective and quick consultancy
We will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. When you reach out to us for professional guidance, we make it a priority and deliver accurate answers fast. We recommend effective solutions that are most in line with your current and long-term needs.
Adjustable test dates
Our test date options let you pick what will suit your schedule because your comfort is essential to us. Contact us today to get sound testing in Reading
Test reports arrive the next day
The sooner you receive the details of your sound insulation test results, the sooner you can get your building signed or remedy any problems. We endeavour to give you the report the following working day in all situations, even when the project is complex and large in size. The report will be detailed and thorough so that all necessities are written out and any advice provided.
Sound Insulation Testing Services We offer
AF Acoustics provide a scope of exhaustive and detailed acoustic solutions for clients across the country, making certain our techniques have the best quality and performance. To find out more about we can help you with your acoustics needs, call or email us right away.
Impact and Airborne floor test
The ceilings/floors of developments undergo impact and airborne floor testing. The measurement of the extent of noise transmitted directly through impact from one adjoining room to another is known as impact testing. These floors in habitable rooms of flats undergo both impact and airborne tests.
PART E Testing
AF Acoustics sound testing adheres to ADE which stipulates information bearing on the sound resistance and performance of a property. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result for newly completed constructions. On the other hand, 64dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 43dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is expected from refurbished buildings.
With our professional and highly skilled expertise, we are willing to work with our clients to help them get a pass certificate in every situation. To make sure a new residence meets with the standards of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw, an airborne wall test and an airborne and impact floor test will need to be conducted. We routinely give advice to developers and project managers from the beginning of the project, guaranteeing certainty when the time for a sound test is at hand. Contact us today for more information about our sound testing services or to book a no obligation quote, free of charge.
Acoustic design tests in schools in accordance with BB93
For a school to meet up with Building Regulation acoustic requirements, it must adhere to Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which explains the sound insulation expectation for schools in detail. If you’re developing a new school in Reading, we can test it to find out if it aligns with BB93.
Acoustic design details
We have provided acoustic design services and consulting to various clients with different types and sizes of dwellings. We also give customised solutions and have a deep understanding of acoustic merchandise. Due to this fact, we will provide precise design answers suitable for the specific needs of the construction.
It is critical to get right professional assistance ahead of schedule from a highly qualified acoustic specialist. AF Acoustics can assist you with identifying the right acoustic propertiesfor your project at very early on in the construction process and tell you the best way to get them, utilizing a deep know-how of acoustic design.
We can help with:
Acoustic detail layout for architect developing structures complying to Building regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail layout for the commercial, health and educational constructions in order to align with regulations. Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Increasing sound through public enterprise and sound reinforcement systems in conference rooms, halls, lecture theatres and the like.
Contact AF Acoustics specialist for sound insulation test quotes
At AF Acoustics, we are an independent acoustic consultancy. Our work embraces acoustic surveys, acoustic design and investigation work in the fields of planning and noise, architectural and building acoustics, the monitoring and control of vibrations and air tightness testing. Our expert consultation is available to individuals and companies with all types and sizes of constructions. We will give you free quotation with highly competitive rates. Simply call us or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will need the following information:
Give us the following information when contacting us
Location of development
Where in Reading is your construction?
Number of dwellings in the building
Number of dwellings on the property
How many storeys are there?
To get a precise quote, let us know the total number of floors you have.
Dwellings arrangements per level
Tell us how many units are in your structure so that we can give you the right calculation for your quotation and know the scope of the test.
Types of construction
What is your building type? This will help us know the kind of test it will undergo.
New construction or refurbished building
Knowing if your building is new or converted allows us to give you a competitive quotation and prepare the right test for it.
Sound Insulation Testing Regulations
Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building requirements. You can also get credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment projects.
Part E of building regulations resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
Our expert engineers can issue certificates for the sound insulation testing. They can visit the site and conduct the test that will lead to getting a certificate which is in line with Building Regulations and Building Control requirements.
Scotland Standard division for completed constructions
Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards explicitly describes expected energy performance of dwellings. It states, “Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that each wall and floor separating one dwelling from another, or one dwelling from another part of the building, or one dwelling from a building other than a dwelling, will limit the transmission of noise to the dwelling to a level that will not threaten the health of the occupants or inconvenience them in the course of normal domestic activities.” Tests, which are conducted after building utilizing the methodology given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standard 5.1 does not apply to: completely disconnected houses, rooftops and walkways with access exclusively for the use of the occupants of the home underneath.
Passing a sound insulation test
All you have to do to pass your sound test is include adequate sound insulation in the design. That way, you save time and cost for repair work and re-test. If you’re not certain of how to construct your party walls and floors, to meet Document E 2003 targets, simply contact us for an efficient design service. We can study design reports, complete site visits and sound test the development to provide you with the level of assessment and consultation that your project requires from start to finish. The following criteria should be followed to provide you with the best chance of passing your sound test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Skirting boards are fixed Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted Our accomplished acoustic consultants work with developers, planners, contractors, and architects of all sizes from the early stages of the building plan to help limit any potential sound insulation performance problems to the completion of the construction, guaranteeing that all properties meet the criteria of Building Regulations Document E 2003.
Analysis and Report Certificates
To obtain a thorough evaluation of your building, we issue a report certificate within 24 working hours where possible. Our highly capable sound test engineers will give you a verbal result of the test, once the test is taken and proffer solutions to possible problems or future areas of concern. 6. Even before you get the certificate, you get the verbal results of the test. First, our completely skilled and competent sound insulation test engineers give you a verbal result at the site. They also offer advice on potential problems. Then the test report certificate is sent to you within 24 working hours, when feasible.
How the results are
You will get your sound insulation test certificate whether you pass or fail the sound tests. In the event of a wall or floor not achieving the Part E requirements, it may be necessary to carry out remedial works before having another sound test carried out. We can provide you with remedial design advice to help you achieve the Building Regulations requirements.
Sound Insulation FAQ’s
What are the minimum requirements for separating party walls and party floors between neighbouring dwellings?
The minimum requirements depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is a new build or refurbished, whether the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).
New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.
Flanking sound (or flanking noise) is sound that transmits between spaces indirectly, going over or around, rather than directly through the main separating element. This can allow sound to transmit between spaces even though the main separating element itself provides good acoustic insulation. Engaging our services at an early stage allows us to check designs and add necessary measures to prevent this occurring after construction. In the worst cases, flanking can exceed the direct transmission and lead to a failed test, despite highly specified partitions.
In the case of impact sound, the building construction is caused to vibrate as a result of a physical impact, such as footsteps on floors or stairs. The resulting vibration is radiated into other rooms in the building.
We can provide preliminary results on the day of test. We strive to deliver next day reporting in all scenarios regardless the complexity or size of the project. The delivered report will be comprehensive and detailed, to ensure all relevant issues are covered. The best recommendations can also be sent in a separate report or email.
We can normally conduct up to a maximum of three sets of tests per day. One set is two airborne floor tests, two airborne wall tests and two impact floor sound tests.
When it comes to the acoustic tests, a full set of tests should take approximately 90 minutes.
The requirements of sound insulation testing are fully detailed in the Building Regulations Approved Document, available here [link], under Part E (2003).
This requires all residential buildings to be tested when they involve walls and/or floors. These are known as party elements.
Assuming no tests are failed, building control bodies should stipulate at least one set of tests for every ten dwelling-houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes in a group or sub-group.
New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.
We recommend that if possible, we are contacted before a build to provide a design review and advice on how to meet quality standards.
Should the test fail, we can offer advice on how to improve the sound insulation. We have consulted on hundreds of building projects in the past, and have ensured all of them have met the building regulations. If a sound insulation test fails, we can give remindial advice to ensure the tests passes later.
We understand that most clients would prefer testing to take place as soon as possible. Once you get in touch we will schedule the test at the earliest available opportunity.
You can call us today to set up an appointment for sound insulation testing. Our scheduling is flexible so that you can get the service you need at your convenience.
Ideally, a test should be carried out as early as possible as problems are more difficult to fix the further along you are. Where possible, it’s recommended that testing is carried out before kitchens or bathrooms are installed. The minimum that we require to be able to carry out a test is:
- All doors, windows and seals should be fully fitted and closable
- All electrical fittings should be fitted and working
- 240V mains power must be available on-site in all rooms
- Gaps in walls and floors should be fully sealed
- All walls and ceilings should be plastered
- There should be no holes remaining in floors or ceilings
- Testers will require access to all rooms on all levels
Pre-completion sound testing is a building regulation requirement for all purpose built & “formed by material change of use” (i.e. refurbished) properties since 2003. Sound testing is undertaken in a percentage of properties in each development to ensure that the separating walls & floors between habitable rooms of neighbouring properties meet the minimum requirements as defined by Approved Document E, commonly referred to as ADE.
From 2003, Approved Document E states that all new UK builds must undergo pre-completion sound insulation testing. New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound loss of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound loss of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr. Approved Document E sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound.
This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that newly built or converted houses and residencies, flats and residential spaces and other relevant buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide ‘reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings.’ All of our tests are fully compliant with Approved Document E and our expert team have been carrying out compliant tests for many years, for thousands of satisfied customers throughout the UK.
We understand the sectors our clients work in. Our advice is not only technically robust but also practical and helpful to our client’s particular situation. At AF Acoustics, we always look at the bigger picture and work towards the ultimate development goal.
In order to provide you best solutions, we will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. Our ever-expanding knowledge-base allows us to provide cost-effective and streamlined solutions.
Our consultants are very experienced and have a proven track record on both small scale projects and major projects. As we are a lean and small company, we have lower overheads and therefore offer exceptional value for money.
Airborne sound (or airborne noise) is sound that is transmitted through the air. Airborne Sound Insulation is the insulation against noise originating in air, e.g. voices, music, motor traffic, wind. The greater the airborne sound insulation between two rooms, the lower the resulting sound level in the receiving room.
This is unlike Impact Sound Insulation that protects against noise originating directly on a structure by blows or vibration e.g. footsteps above, furniture being moved, drilling and hammering the structure.