Sound insulation testing is used to measure the resistance of sound provided by an element of a building (such as a floor or wall) between dwellings. It essentially measures the effectiveness of the sound proofing treatment installed as part of a build or property development. New structures and reconstructed developments have been mandated by the Building Regulations to test for sound upon completion, since Approved Document E (ADE) was reappraised in 2003.
As many contractors and developers have found to their detriment, without a sound insulation certificate, the Building Control Officer will not issue a completion certificate. The significance of a sound insulation certificate cannot be overrated. Therefore, we ensure that you get the certificate speedily. 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
How Sound Testing Works
Walls and floors that separate dwellings in a building are expected to be sound tested, as mandated by Document E of Building Regulations. Only dwellings that have used Robust Details, which licensed before the installation, are exempted from the test. 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.
The Procedures Involved in a Sound Insulation Test
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. A dwelling or development of normal size and simplicity will more than likely be tested in 90 minutes.
After the test, the sound insulation test engineers will let you know the outcome of the test and supply simple feedback of important things noted during the test; e.g. problems that might occur in the future.
The entire report and individual sound test certificate will be sent to you the day after. The way a sound test is conducted is determined by ADE of Building Regulations. It mandates that in all developments, every 10 units in a group or sub-group will undertake one set of tests. It explicitly states what a sub-group is in Section 1. Buildings to be tested are categorised into three kinds: houses, flats and rooms like care homes, student accommodation and hotel rooms. The extent of testing required for these three groups is shown below.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Required? Why is it Important?
From 2003, Approved Document E states that all new UK builds must undergo pre-completion sound insulation testing. The impact sound test result should not be more than 62dB L’nTw and the airborne sound insulation should not be 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. When sound resistance is high in party walls and floors, the environment is more comfortable, since sound affects every aspect of our lives – work environment, home environment and while relaxing. This is why sound testing is crucial.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are important because not having them results in an unfavourable environment for those living in the development. It would mean noise moving from one flat to another in a block of flats. If, for example, an occupant works at night and happens to hear loud music from a neighbour upstairs on a weekend night, it would be very discomforting. This is just one instance of the influence of sound insulation on our lives. 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.
Do I Need a Sound Insulation Test?
Your development needs a sound insulation test if it meets one of the following criteria:
- It’s design does not have Robust Details
- It’s a new building with 2 or more dwellings
- It’s being constructed to be used as a residence, like a hotel room or a hostel, or as a nursing home
- It was once a single dwelling but is being turned into a development with several flats or units.
It is imperative that sound insulation tests be undertaken, as explained and stipulated by ADE.
There are two ways in which to show compliance. You can either test to the regime set out in Approved Document E (ADE), or pay to use Robust Details. If you choose the latter, you must use Robust Details which are a approved design details for partitioning walls and floors. When you use it, you don’t have to take a sound insulation test. However, you must abide strictly by the design from the Robust Details approved list. Being able to adapt your design to suit your needs is more efficient and costs less in the long run. On-site pre-completion sound insulation testing gives architects more insight and ability to make their design lead to constructions that have a higher sound performance.
Cost of 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. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a sound insulation report and certificates be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. If you get a better quote elsewhere, simply forward it to us and we will try and beat it!
When can I carry out the sound insulation tests?
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. For your sound tests to be conducted successfully we need the property to be quiet, with workers not near the rooms to be tested during the test time (a noisy environment makes the test difficult and sometimes unsuccessful). We also need access to all units unless the test program has been compiled earlier. Finally, we need 240V power supply.
How is Sound Insulation Testing 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. The boundary floors and walls get airborne tests. Floors get an additional impact test.
The airborne sound insulation test is carried out with a large speaker or dodecahedron speaker, using a white or pink noise generator to create the source sound, almost always in the largest room of the two rooms under testing. The noise from the source room and received by the receiver room, and background noise is measured with a sound level meter. The background noise level is also measured. The higher the background noise then the higher the source noise will need to be set, since the resulting noise level in the receiver room needs to be 10dB higher than the background noise at all measured frequencies. For airborne tests, two speakers positions are used in the source room and the level of noise entering into the receiving partition room is measured. That way the difference in sound level is calculated.
This basic level difference is then ‘corrected’ to allow for the reverberation time (the time is taken, in seconds, for a noise source to decay by 60dB) and the existing levels of background noise monitored whilst in the receiving room. Impact tests are done by placing a standardised tapping machine on the floor. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. Calculations are done and the outcome is checked against ADE requirements for the type of building. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.
What Sound Insulation Testing Equipment do we use?
Our licensed engineers use UKAS calibrated equipment to measure sound insulation according to the present standards of Building Regulations. An airborne sound test measures levels of sound transmitted through the air through a separating element. The equipment we use are a sound level meter, loudspeaker and white or pink noise generator. For impact sound testing, the equipment used is a tapping machine that uses dropping hammers to create noise and a sound level meter. Testing is done on rooms that can be lived in. E.g. lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. Test findings are fed into a report that will be sent to the client. This report will always be acceptable to Building Control and will help you to get your development signed off.
It’s important to undertake a sound test if you have this kind of building:
For sound testing we usually undertake impact and airborne sound test on buildings. This affects the separating floors and walls between habitable rooms of buildings and developments.
Property with two or more units
This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.
A single dwelling that was turned into a development with several flats or units
When turning the single dwelling into several flats or units, the sound performance requirements of Building Regulations must be met.
Designed in a way that does not adhere to Robust Details
The Robust Details scheme was set up in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd as a way to help architects and builders design and construct separating elements with the confidence that the separating wall and/or floor will be capable of achieving the sound performance parameters in Approved Document E, and comply with the Building Regulations. 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. A building built as a permanent dwelling has different minimum standards from a building with rooms built for residential purpose, like a hotel or a hostel.
Towns in the UK AF Acoustics Services can be Found
AF Acoustics provides acoustic design services to customer nationwide, especially in brighton. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants can be found in various places in the south east region. This way you get an affordable price.
Why you should choose AF Acoustics
We have helped many homes and business owners in brighton with their sound tests and building’s sound performance. Our customers endorse and recommend us because of the following advantages of working with us.
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.
Best rates available
We want to ensure that you get the best value for your money. That is why we have one of the most unbeatable rates in and outside brighton. Call us or email today to get a free quotation.
Consultancy that is effective and efficient
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.
Test dates that are adaptable
Our test date options let you pick what will suit your schedule because your comfort is essential to us. If you want to schedule sound insulation testing in brighton, phone or email us immediately.
Next day reporting
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.
The sound testing services we provide
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. Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.
Impact and Airborne floor test
The ceilings/floors of developments undergo impact and airborne floor testing. An impact test measures the levels of noise transmitted directly through a separating construction. These floors in habitable rooms of flats undergo both impact and airborne tests.
Testing in line with Part E of Building Regulations
Our sound insulation tests meet the requirements of Building Regulations Part E, which describes building structures resistance to the movement of sound within and from adjoining structures. The impact sound test of new dwellings should be 62dB L’nTw or less and airborne sound insulation 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more while impact results for reconstructed properties should be 64dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation 43dB DnTw+Ctr or more.
We offer the highest levels of service and expertise and are always happy to work with you to give you the best possible chance of achieving a pass certificate. In newly completed constructions, an airborne wall test and an airborne and impact floor test will be needed to meets the standards of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. 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.
BB93 acoustic design tests in schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) explains minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings. It also describes the normal means of demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulations. If you’re constructing a new school in brighton, we can conduct a test to be certain it meets the standards of BB93.
AF Acoustics provide extensive design services and consultancy on a variety of buildings. We have the ability and experience to create bespoke solutions, and have solid working information of accessible acoustic items. We will create design solutions appropriate for the explicit requests of the construction.
As anybody who has needed to handle the acoustics for a building will know, it’s essential to get proper advice, early in the project from a good acoustic expert. AF Acoustics can help you with identifying the right acoustic needs and standard for your construction at the beginning period and advise you on how to meet them.
We are able to assist with:
Acoustic detail layout for architect developing structures complying to Building regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail plans for the educational, commercial and healthcare industry so as to meet with the current criteria. Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms etc.
Contact AF Acoustics specialist for sound insulation test quotes
Our services at AF Acoustics include acoustic design and investigation, evaluation and calculation of noise, acoustic survey, building an architectural acoustics and air pressure testing. Whether you are a company or a private individual, we are here to advise and guide you. If you would like a friendly and accurate sound insulation testing quote, please send an email to email@example.com or give us a call.
We will need the following information:
When contacting us, please give us the following information
The development’s location
Where is your property located in brighton?
Number of dwellings in the building
Tell us how many dwellings you have in the property.
Number of floors in the building
For the right calculation of your quotation, tell us how many levels are in your building.
Configuration of dwellings (no. of units per level)
This will also be needed to determine scope of the testing and provide an accurate quote
Type of development
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
New dwelling or converted property
Knowing if your building is new or converted allows us to give you a competitive quotation and prepare the right test for it.
Building regulations for sound test
Get more credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment project by taking a sound insulation test which are aligned with approved document E building regulations rules.
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.
Standard division for structures (Scotland)
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 should be taken at the completion of the building, using procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. These standards don’t apply to detached structures that have access only for maintenance or are to used only by the occupants who live below.
Passing a sound insulation test
The best method to guarantee you pass your sound test is to design the building with a view to good sound insulation performance. This shouldn’t be exorbitant, and can save time and cost at the end, without your having to correct sound problem or pay for a re-test. We offer design services that help you construct separating walls and floors with good sound performance that meet ADE demands. The degree of guidance you require can vary, from site visits and comprehensive design reports, to simpler initial testing to know the starting point for construction. Take the following action to give your building the best opportunity to pass the sound insulation test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Skirting boards are fitted and sealed 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.
Certificates for test evaluation and report
After the test, AF Acoustics’ competent and well trained engineers can let you know the verbal results of your sound test and provide feedback on issues noticed during the test. We endeavour to send an investigation and report certificate the next working day. 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.
What do the results look like?
A sound insulation certificate will be sent to you whether the property has a good sound performance in accordance with ADE or not. In the event that some part of the building does not meet up with the conditions of Document E, remedial work and a retest is required. We give remedial design advice to help you achieve Building Regulations standards.
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.