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. 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. 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. We pride ourselves on the facts that our sound insulation certificates are issued with speed and efficiency.
Our highly qualified site engineers can arrive on site when needed. They will provide verbal results after the test and a written report will be sent to you within 24 working hours.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What is a Sound Insulation Test?
Developments must test all walls, floors and ceilings that separate buildings or neighbours in a dwelling, to conform to Approved Document E (ADE) of the Building Regulations. You may not have to test your building if you used Robust Details which were approved before their installation. Sound Insulation Testing tests for both the airborne sound and the impact sound which travels through new or existing buildings . The tests cover party walls and floors between new and existing buildings, or between spaces within a new development entirely.
What is part of 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 process of a sound test is determined by the size and complexity of the site being tested. If the site is simple and of regular size, it typically takes about 90 minutes to complete the sound test.
The sound testing engineers then proceed to give verbal results on the site and offer helpful advice on any problem areas noticed during the duration of the test.
A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out the next day. The sound testing regime is set out in the Approved Document E of the Building Regulations. It states that one set of tests is required for every 10 units in a group or sub-group. Sub-groups are defined in Section 1 of Approved Document E (ADE). 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:
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. Results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. These result limits were put in to create and maintain a uniform standard for sound resistance in different parts of a dwelling and between 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. For instance, in an apartment building, the neighbour upstairs might invite friends over during the weekend and put on loud music. The inhabitant downstairs might spend night hours as work time. If the sound insulation is inefficient, this could lead to lots of problems. This is one way sound insulation can affect how a person lives. It can be useful in dwellings with neighbouring units/flats/rooms which have diverse purposes, by guaranteeing that an occupant in a room will hear as little noise as possible from the neighbouring room.
Do You Need a Sound Test?
If you’re doing one of the following, then you need a sound test:
- Constructing a building that has two or more units
- Constructing a nursing home or rooms that will be lived in, e.g. hotel room or hostel
- Converting a single development to flats
- Using designs where Robust Details are not included
ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.
All you have to do is follow the guidelines listed in the document or pay to use Robust Details and you will have fulfilled the requirements. Robust Details are a set of specific design details for walls and floors that have been previously tested to show compliance and must be used if this route is selected. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. Sound testing provides more flexibility by allowing different designs and is often therefore more cost effective in many ways compared to the Robust Details Scheme. Conducting on-site pre-completion sound testing also enables the architects more scope with their design and can lead to improved sound insulation performance.
How Much Will I Pay for a Sound Insulation Test?
Contact us and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test cost based on the requirements of your building. Not only are we highly experienced in providing sound testing services in UK, our reports and certificates get to the client within one of the fastest turnaround time and our prices are competitive. Send us a price you got that’s better than our and we will try to 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.
How is sound insulation testing carried out?
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. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.
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 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. For airborne sound tests, two individual speaker positions are used for each source room. Measurements are then made to determine the levels in the receiving room of the tested partition in question. This gives a basic level difference between source and receiver rooms.
Finally, the difference in noise level is modified to accommodate reverberation time and background noise that was already in the receiver room. Reverberation time is how long it takes sound to decay by 60dB. A tapping machine is placed on the floor to execute an impact sound insulation test. 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. This is a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.
Sound Test Equipment Used
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 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. For impact sound testing, the equipment used is a tapping machine that uses dropping hammers to create noise and a sound level meter. 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.
It’s important to undertake a sound test if you have this kind of building:
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.
Property with two or more units
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
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E of Building Regulations.
Using designs where Robust Details are not included
Architects are able to use pre-tested and approved Robust Details design for partitioning walls and floors. The Robust Details scheme was formed in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd. Once the design does not strictly abide by the design from Robust Detail approved list, the structure will have to undergo a sound test to ensure it conforms to Building Regulations. The minimum requirements are dependent on the kind of dwelling. Permanent dwellings and rooms for residential use have different requirements.
Where doses AF Acoustics conduct tests in UK?
As an acoustics design services firm, AF Acoustics provides acoustic consultancy to various individuals and businesses nationwide, especially in Hertfordshire. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as private individuals and government agencies. 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 best choice for sound insulation testing
We have helped many homes and business owners in Hertfordshire with their sound tests and building’s sound performance. Our customers endorse and recommend us because of the following advantages of working with us.
Sound testing experience of over 15 years
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. By doing this, we have been able to continuously satisfy clients in the UK and meet their acoustic needs for over 15 years, providing great value for money.
To make sure you can afford high quality sound insulation projects in UK, we offer one of the most affordable prices in Hertfordshire. Contact us immediately and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test.
Ultrafast and efficient consultancy
We offer strong durable advice based on your problem and give highly knowledgeable acoustic advice. When you reach out to us for professional advice, we make certain that we render accurate solutions rapidly. We suggest productive answers that handle your present and long-term desires to the maximum.
Test dates that are adaptable
We make your convenience our priority. Therefore, we offer flexible alternatives that can help you select test dates that suit you itinerary. If you want to schedule sound insulation testing in Hertfordshire, phone or email us immediately.
Fast turnaround for your report
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 delivered report will be comprehensive and well detailed to ensure all relevant issues are covered and any recommendations are provided.
Sound Insulation Testing Services We offer
AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. Telephone or email us today for more data on how we can assist you with your acoustic requirements.
Airborne and impact tests for floors/ceilings
These are taken on separating floors/ceilings between residences. An impact test examines the level of noise moving from one dwelling to another through impact on adjoining floors/ceilings. Impact and airborne testing is undertaken between party floors.
PART E Testing
Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. 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 test
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 new properties, an airborne and impact test will help you guarantee the building meets the requirements of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. When working with AF Acoustics, developers and project managers get acoustic advice right from the start of the building project. That way, they can make sure their developments have a good sound performance. Phone or email us for a free quote and more information on our sound insulation testing services.
BB93 acoustic design tests in schools
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 building a new school in Hertfordshire, we can test the school to check if it meets the requirements of BB93.
Acoustic design details
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.
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 are able to assist with:
Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. Detail plans in commercial, educational and healthcare project for adhering to the prescribed standard. 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.
Call Our Experts Now For A Sound Insulation Testing Quote
As an independent acoustics consultancy, AF Acoustics is able to provide extensive acoustic survey and design, investigations in the field of planning and noise, architectural and building acoustics, and air permeability 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 would like to know the following
Give us the following information when contacting us
The development’s location
Where in Hertfordshire the property is situated
Number of dwellings in the structure
Number of dwellings on the property
How many storeys are there?
For an accurate calculation of the quote, tell us the number of storeys
Number of dwelling units per storey
To help us get you an accurate quotation and evaluate the scope of the test to be taken, tell us how many dwellings there are per floor.
Types of construction
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
New dwelling or converted property
Newly completed constructions and refurbished structures have different requirements for sound insulation testing. This is why it’s important to provide this information beforehand. Our quotation is available at any time.
Building regulations for sound 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.
Resistance to the passage of sound: Approved Document E (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
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 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.
Passing a sound insulation test
The most efficient way to make sure you pass sound insulation test is to have a plan that puts sound insulation into consideration from the begining. You don’t have to spend too much for this and it will save you money in the long run, ensuring you don’t pay remedial or re-test expenses. 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. Our consultation may include several site visits and thorough design reports, or more basic initial tests on your structure. The following conditions will provide you with an ample chance of passing the sound test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Fit and seal skirting boards Light switches, plug sockets, and light fittings are adequately fixed. Our experienced acoustic consultants work with developers, contractors, architects and planners of all sizes from the early design stage to help minimise any potential issues right through to project completion, ensuring that all properties are compliant with 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 the results look like
You will get your sound insulation test certificate whether you pass or fail the sound tests. 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.