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. Part E of Building Regulations requires sound insulation in buildings and mandates that all newly completed constructions and rehabilitated developments go through sound testing.

Building Control does not issue completion certificates to buildings that don’t have a sound insulation certificate. Contractors and developers have sometimes discovered this, to their detriment. We know how important a sound insulation certificate is to you. That is why we work hard to make certain that you get the certificate quickly. We take great pride in providing our certificates to you as soon as possible after the tests.

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.

Our Guarantee

  • Over 15 years experience
  • State of the art equiptment
  • Onsite Support
  • Next Day Report Turn Around
Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com

What is a Sound Test?

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 conducts impact and airborne sound test on structures. The tests include the separating floors, walls and areas between buildings within developments.

What is involved in Sound Insulation Testing

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. Undertaking sound tests on site varies according to the size and complexity of the building project and the site conditions. 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 and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you within 24 working hours. 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. ADE goes on to define and group the type of structures that will undergo testing. They are houses, flats and rooms that are being used or are planned to be used as residences; such as student accommodation, care homes and hotel rooms. The extent of testing required for these three groups is shown below.

Why Sound Testing is Required

Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. 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. ADE ensures that new building are resistant to noise from adjoining buildings and other rooms within the same building. 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 having privacy while speaking are crucial for a number of reasons. When sound insulation is deficient, it can cause discomfort to occupants. For instance, an inhabitant in an apartment building sleeps during the day and works at night all the days of the week. If the neighbour in the upstairs flat has friends over and plays loud music, without a good sound insulation system, the working occupant will be uncomfortable and uneasy. Sound insulation impacts people’s lives in various 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.

Do You Need a Sound Test?

Are you converting your property into several units? Does your design not use Robust Details? Are you constructing a new building with more than two rooms? Are you building a nursing home or rooms that will used for residential purposes, like hotels and hostels? If so, your structure needs to undergo a sound test. Document E of the Building Regulations explains sound insulation testing and makes it a necessity.

There are 2 ways you can comply. Test for sound insulation using the method of Approved Document E or use Robust Details in your development. 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. 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. Sound insulation testing can also help architects enhance their building design and in turn the sound insulation of the building.

Cost of Sound Insulation Testing

Contact us and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test cost based on the requirements of your building. 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?

We can undertake your sound tests when your building has almost been completed. By this time, you should have fixed internal and external doors and windows. We can conduct sound tests beforehand if required. During the test, you should provide the following:

  • Access to all rooms. The only exception is if a schedule was created before the test time.
  • 240V power supply
  • A noiseless site

How a Sound Test is Done

Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. Airborne tests are conducted on party walls while impact and airborne tests are conducted on party floors.

The source sound is produced with a white or pink noise generator with a dodecahedron speaker in the largest room. The sound generated and received 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. 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 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 tests are done by placing a standardised tapping machine on the floor. Noise level in the room below is measured at various different frequencies. Calculations based on these measurements are undertaken and the results compared to the Building Regulations Part E requirements for the given type of the building. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.

Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com

Type of Sound Insulation Test Machines We Will be using

Our accredited engineers are testing to the current standards. We use only UKAS calibrated equipment, as stated by the building regulations. Airborne sound test is the measurement of sound moving through the air through a wall or floor. A loudspeaker and noise generator is used in one room while a sound level meter is used in both rooms for measuring level of noise. A sound level meter and a tapping machine which drops metal hammers is used for impact testing. The tests are carried out in rooms suitable for residential use like bedrooms, lounges and kitchens. 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:

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

The development that has been converted must conform to Building Regulations sound requirements.

Designs without Robust Details

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. 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 during testing will depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).

Parts of the UK AF Acoustics Cover

AF Acoustics renders acoustics design services and consultancy to customers all over the UK, especially in Hitchin. Our clients include architects, planning and environmental consultancies. We also work with government agencies and private individuals. We’re based in several strategic locations in the south east of UK to enable you get the best quotation and price possible.

Why AF Acoustics is the best choice for sound insulation testing

Having rendered high quality service to numerous customers in Hitchin, 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. 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.

Competitive rates

Compared to other sound insulation testing service in Hitchin, 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

Our expert acoustic advice is tailored to your specific needs based on our experience which enable us to provide strong solutions. We will give you the right answers and expert guidance so that you can get effectual solutions to your problems.

Adjustable test dates

Our test date options let you pick what will suit your schedule because your comfort is essential to us. Call us now to schedule sound insulation testing in Hitchin

Get your test reports quickly

The sooner you get a report on the completed sound insulation test, the sooner you can take appropriate action. We strive to deliver next day reporting in all scenarios regardless of the complexity or size of the project. The report will be detailed and thorough so that all necessities are written out and any advice provided.

Sound insulation services we provide

We offer a wide range of thorough acoustic solutions for our clients nationwide, and we ensure a high calibre and effective approach. Call or mail us today so we can provide you with more knowledge on your acoustics needs.

Airborne and impact tests for floors/ceilings

These are performed on floors and/or ceilings between units. 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.

PART E Testing

AF Acoustics sound testing adheres to ADE which stipulates information bearing on the sound resistance and performance of a property. 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.

Sound Insulation Testing

We offer the highest amount of aptitude and high quality service, and are constantly ready to work with our clients to give the most ideal chance of accomplishing a pass certificate. In new build properties an airborne test or an airborne and impact test may be required to ensure it meets the requirements of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. We frequently give robust advice to project managers and developers from the start of the construction, ensuring that they’ll have adequate sound insulation to pass a sound test. To find out more about our sound testing services and get a free quotation, contact us now.

Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com

BB93 acoustic design tests in schools

Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) describes the minimum requirement for the acoustics of a school building. It also stipulates how a school can conform to Building Regulations. Are you building a new school in Hitchin? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.

Acoustic plan

We provide acoustic layout services and consultancy for a huge range of building types and sizes. Our experience and expertise enables us to create bespoke solutions and understand diverse acoustic products. As a result, we’re able to provide targeted solutions to the demands of the 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 will help you with:

Creating acoustic detail plans for architects involved in residential construction that conform to Document E of Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail designs for the health, educational and commercial projects in order to meet up with the necessary requirements. Construction designs and specifications for sound control in residential areas and other noise sensitive developments. Increasing sound through public enterprise and sound reinforcement systems in conference rooms, halls, lecture theatres and the like.

Get a sound insulation testing quotation by contacting our experts

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. 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 info@af-acoustics.com

020 3372 4430 Contact us

We would like to know the following

When contacting us, please give us the following information

Location of property

Where is your development situated in Hitchin

Number of dwellings

Total number of dwellings in the structure

How many storeys are there?

For the right calculation of your quotation, tell us how many levels are in your building.

Number of dwelling units per storey

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.

Kind of property

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 testing regulations

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)

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 properties

Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards 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.

How to get a pass certificate for your sound 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’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. Our consultation may include several site visits and thorough design reports, or more basic initial tests on your structure. 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 fixed are sealed Light fittings and switches and plug sockets are fitted and working. 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.

Investigation and report certificates

To get details of the results of a completed sound insulation test, we will provide you with an analysis and report certificate. 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.

The way the results look

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. 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

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.

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Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com
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Adrian Finn

AF Acoustics lead Acoustic Engineer, Adrian is your first port of call for all sound insulation testing questions enquiries and surveys.

Working Hours

  • Monday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Tuesday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Wednesday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Thursday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Friday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed