Sound insulation testing involves the use of specialist equipment to examine how much sound is reduced off by floors and walls, of a building. It checks if a dwelling’s sound proofing treatment meets the requirements set out in Approved Document E. It is compulsory for new buildings and refurbishment projects, according to Approved Document E (ADE) updated in 2003.
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. Because we understand how the sound insulation certificate affects your building project, we ensure that you get it as quickly as possible after the test. When the tests are completed, we work quickly to issue your certificates; we take great pride in our efficiency.
Our highly capable sound test engineers will be available on site when you need them. They will give you a verbal result of the test, once taken and a written report will be issued to you by the following working day.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What is a Sound Insulation Test?
In order to comply with Part E of the Building Regulations, developments will require the testing of separating walls and floors. The only exception is where Robust Details have been 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.
The Procedures Involved in a Sound Insulation Test
A sound insulation test creates a high amount of noise but needs a site with low noise levels to be taken effectively. As a result of this, workers in a testing area might have to leave the development temporarily, so that the test can be free from errors. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. A dwelling or development of normal size and simplicity will more than likely be tested in 90 minutes.
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 report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out the next day. 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. 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. How much testing that should be done on each group is listed below:
Importance of Sound Insulation Testing
Sound insulation testing is required because ADE of Building Regulations has made it compulsory for all new buildings to take a sound test prior to finishing construction. 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. ADE ensures that new building are resistant to noise from adjoining buildings and other rooms within the same building. Sound affects our life no matter where we are, at home, work or while relaxing. Places with lowered noise are more comfortable and enabling. Sound testing ensures that noise reduction in a building is effective.
There are so many more reasons why sound insulation and speech privacy are vital. An inefficient sound insulation treatment will lead to uneasiness for the inhabitants of the dwelling. 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. Then there are developments where each neighbouring room / flat / unit has mixed uses. If the development has passed the sound insulation test, noise is reduced to a minimum.
How to Know if You Need Sound Insulation Testing
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.
Either you follow the pre-completion sound testing process stipulated therein or you use Robust Details. This way, you have conformed to the requirements. If you choose the latter, you must use Robust Details which are a approved design details for partitioning walls and floors. With it, you don’t need a sound insulation test, but you must completely follow every aspect of the design from the Robust Detail Approved list. 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. When on-site pre–completion building sound tests are taken, architects have more scope with their design and can increase the sound insulation performance of the construction.
Cost of Sound Testing
We can send quotation that’s completely free of charge and is based on the kind of development you have. 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 Should the Sound Tests be done?
The best time for a sound insulation test is just before the construction of the property is finished and after all windows and doors are fixed. However, in the case of a problem we can take the test before then. To achieve the best results we would need the following during the test: quietness during the time of the test, 240V power supply and access to all the rooms unless a test plan has been agreed upon prior to the test time.
The Process of a Sound Test
Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.
The test uses a dodecahedron speaker and pink or white noise generator for source sound. The sound source is placed in the largest room of the two. The sound generated and received is measured with a sound level meter. Background noise is measured to make certain that the source noise is greater. This way the standard of the receiver room having a 10dB higher noise level at all calculated frequencies can be realised. Airborne sound tests are conducted in this manner: two singular speaker positions are used for every source room. The noise in the receiver room is measured to determine the variations in noise level between the source and receiver room.
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 room under it is then measured for the noise levels. Calculations are undertaken, and results achieved. The results are crosschecked to ensure they meet Document E of Building Regulations target. Of course, this is a simple way of describing the procedure followed when a sound test is carried out, but it enables you to understand it better.
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. We use a loudspeaker and noise generator that produces white or pink noise on one side of the partition, and measure with a sound level meter on both sides to calculate the sound insulation performance of the partition. Sound level meter is also used for impact tests. Alongside it, a tapping machine that drops metal hammers is used. Testing is done on rooms that can be lived in. E.g. lounges, kitchens, 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.
These kinds of properties should undergo a sound insulation test:
Sound testing measures the impact and airborne sound moving through new and old adjoining buildings. This could affect the separating walls between buildings or in-between the spaces in a development.
Two or more new build dwellings or flats
This makes certain that the dwellings have adequate sound proofing.
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.
Design not using 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 does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building 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.
Which areas of the UK does AF Acoustics cover?
AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in Bromyard. Our clients include architects, planning and environmental consultancies. We also work with government agencies and private individuals. You can find our consultants all over the south east region of the country. That way we give you the most affordable quotation that will meet your budget needs.
Why AF Acoustics is the right choice for your sound insulation test
Our sound testing experts and engineers have worked with various homes and businesses in Bromyard. Our clients refer us to others because of the following benefits of working with us.
More than 15 years’ experience
We are able to offer helpful functional solutions that will solve our customer’s needs. We have over 15 years of experience satisfying the acoustic needs of UK businesses and homeowners with a proven track record on both small scale and major projects. You can always rely on us for exceptional value for money.
Compared to other sound insulation testing service in Bromyard, our prices are extremely competitive. This is because we want you to be able to afford the best expert sound testing service there is. To get a free quote for your dwelling, contact us today.
Prompt and productive consultancy
We will listen to your wishes, provide you sturdy solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our expertise. 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 flexible
Your convenience is also important to us. This is why we offer you flexible options that let you pick test dates that are most convenient for you. Call us to get your sound testing in Bromyard undertaken.
Get your test reports quickly
We try to provide test reports within 24 working hours. That way, you can take the right action based on the results of the test. The conveyed report will be exhaustive, covering every issue point by point to guarantee that the best suggestions are given.
The sound testing services we provide
AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.
Airborne and impact ceilings/floor tests
These are performed on floors and/or ceilings between units. The measurement of the extent of noise transmitted directly through impact from one adjoining room to another is known as impact testing. Airborne and impact tests are conducted on the floor partitions between liveable rooms.
Document E of Building Regulations requires certain criteria for the sound performance of a dwelling. Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance to these criteria. 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.
Sound Insulation Testing
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. 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. Phone or email us for a free quote and more information on our sound insulation testing services.
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. Are you building a new school in Bromyard? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.
AF Acoustics give definite design services and consultancy services to all types of developments. We create bespoke solution and can provide information on the best available acoustic products. We will tailor our design solutions to your project.
Getting advice on the acoustics of a development as early as possible is crucial. AF Acoustics can enable you to do that by advising you on the appropriate acoustic requirements of your property very early in the building process and recommending what to do to fulfil them.
We are able to help with:
Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Specifications and design details that enable good sound insulation and reduction of noise in residences. Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)
To get a sound test quote for your building, call or email our highly skilled professionals
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. We will give you sound advice and guidance no matter who you are or the kind of project you have. To get an accurate quotation, either call us or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Giving the following information to us will be helpful
When contacting us, please give us the following information
Location of property
Where in Bromyard is your construction?
Number of dwellings in the building
Tell us how many dwellings you have in the property.
Number of Storeys
For the right calculation of your quotation, tell us how many levels are in your building.
Number of dwellings per floor
To get an appropriate quotation and determine the kind of tests to be conducted, we will also need this.
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
New property or reconstructed dwelling
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 insulation test
We provide sound testing and sound insulation testing on all types of buildings, for compliance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building Standards. Testing can also gain credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment schemes.
Building regulations document E resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
We can send our authorised engineers to your development whenever the timing is ideal to undertake sound insulation testing that conforms to Building Regulations Document E consistence, as accepted by Building Control.
Scotland Standard division for completed constructions
According to Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards, “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 performed after construction, using the procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. Standard 5.1 does not apply to: fully detached houses or roofs or walkways with access solely for maintenance, or solely for the use of the residents of the dwelling below.
How Do I Pass 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. If you are unsure of how to build the separating floor and wall constructions and associated junctions across your development to satisfy the requirements of Document E 2003, we can offer design advice. 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. The following will give you a better chance of passing the sound test: All windows and doors have been fitted and work Skirting boards are fitted Light fittings and switches and plug sockets are fitted and working. Our expert acoustic consultants work with planners, developers, architects and contractors from the beginning of the design stage till when the property is finished to ensure it meets the conditions of 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.
What do the results look like?
Your test certificate will show if your development passed or failed the test and show if it adheres to the requirements of Part E of Building Regulations. We can provide professional advice on designs that will surpass Document E standards if the building fails the test.
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.