Sound testing calculates the extent to which sound is blocked by the partition (walls, floors etc) of a building between dwellings. It evaluates the efficiency of the soundproofing materials that make up the structure. It has been a mandatory part of the Building Regulations for new build and refurbishment projects since Approved Document E (ADE) was revised in 2003.
Not doing so is a costly venture for developers and contractors as Building Control will not give a completion certificate for developments that have not undergone the test. We understand how important it is for you to get a sound insulation certificate. That’s why we go the extra mile to make sure you get your certificate as quickly as possible. In fact, we are proud of our turnaround times and our team will issue your certificates as quickly as we possibly can.
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 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.
What is involved in Sound testing?
Workers on a site will vacate the premises while the sound test is being conducted. This will facilitate an enabling and quiet environment for the tests to be carried out. 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 sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern.
A full and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you within 24 working hours. The sound testing guidelines are stipulated in Building Regulations ADE. It requires one set of test to be conducted on 10 units in a group or sub-group. You can find out what is meant by a sub-group in Section 1 of ADE. ADE also states the categories of developments that should be tested. There are three: rooms, flats and houses (including bungalows) that are lived in. Examples are student accommodation, hotel rooms and care homes. The extent of testing required for these three groups is shown below.
Why Sound Testing is Required
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. 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. The aim of Approved Documet E of the Building Regulations is to establish a minimum standard for the reduction in noise levels between all dwellings in a new or refurbished building. 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.
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. 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. 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.
Do I Need a Sound Insulation 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. ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.
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 design details for walls that were tested formerly and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. The Robust Details scheme means that testing is not necessary, but is strictly limited to the design given in 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. It also gives architects the opportunity to evaluate their design and give your structure a much better sound insulation which will increase sound performance.
How Much Will I Pay for a Sound Insulation Test?
We can send quotation that’s completely free of charge and is based on the kind of development you have. 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.
Sound Insulation Test Time
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 carried out?
Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. The boundary floors and walls get airborne tests. Floors get an additional impact test.
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. The meter is also used to measure the background sound, to ensure that it’s 10dB lower than the source sound, as is the standard. More background sound leads to creating a higher source sound. 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.
The variations or differences in noise level are ‘corrected’ to take into consideration the already present background noise in the receiving room and the reverberation time – measure of time needed for a sound to decay or be absorbed in a closed room by 60dB. A tapping machine is placed on the floor to execute an impact sound insulation test. The sound pressure level at the receiving room, which is below the source room, is measured. Calculations are done and the outcome is checked against ADE requirements for the type of building. 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.
Kind of Testing Equipments Used
The testing equipment used are UKAS calibrated. Our highly qualified engineers test based on present Building Regulations conditions. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving 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. We use a tapping machine, which drops metal hammers onto the floor to create impact noise. We then measure the amount of sound that passes through the partition with a sound level meter in the room under the tapping machine. The tests are carried out in rooms suitable for residential use like bedrooms, lounges and kitchens. You will get the test results in a report within a working day. This report can be used to help sign off your building as it is accepted by Building Control.
Sound Insulation Testing is necessary for these types of builds:
Sound Insulation Testing checks for both airborne and impact noise travelling through new or existing buildings. This may affect party walls and floors between new and existing buildings, or between spaces within a new development.
A new building with not less than two rooms
This makes sure that the sound insulation for the building meets all the necessary requirements.
Converting a property into several units
When the development is completed, ADE of Building Regulations should be checked, and sound insulation tested accordingly.
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 does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. The minimum requirements are dependent on the kind of dwelling. Permanent dwellings and rooms for residential use have different requirements.
Parts of the UK AF Acoustics Cover
AF Acoustics provides acoustic design services to customer nationwide, especially in Stevenage. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. We’re based in several areas across the south east region of UK so that we can give you the most cost effective quote in the industry.
Why choose AF Acoustics for Sound Insulation Testing?
We have worked with many organisations and individuals in Stevenage. Our clients have endorsed us for the following reasons:
We’ve been conducting sound tests for more than 15 years
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. 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.
To make sure you can afford high quality sound insulation projects in UK, we offer one of the most affordable prices in Stevenage. Contact us immediately and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test.
Consultancy that is effective and efficient
We offer strong durable advice based on your problem and give highly knowledgeable acoustic advice. Both your short and long-term needs are handled with our professional guidance and quick answers to your problems.
Adjustable test dates
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 Stevenage, phone or email us immediately.
Fast turnaround for your report
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 testing services AF Acoustics undertake
With AF Acoustics, you get a highly effective and expert acoustic advice which our customers all over UK have benefited from. Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.
Impact and airborne tests for floors
The ceilings/floors of developments undergo impact and airborne floor testing. The measurement of the extent of noise transmitted directly through impact from one adjoining room to another is known as impact testing. These floors in habitable rooms of flats undergo both impact and airborne tests.
Approved Document E test
Our sound insulation testing in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document E, which sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw for new structures. Converted properties get a slightly different requirement. Expected minimum airborne sound insulation test result is 43dB DnTw+Ctr while expected maximum impact sound test result is 64dB L’nTw.
Sound insulation test
Our services and expertise is unbeatable and we are glad to work with our clients to help pass their sound insulation tests. 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 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. Simply contact us immediately ad you’ll get a free quotation in addition to more details about our sound 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 Stevenage? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks 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.
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 can assist with:
Acoustic detail design for architects involved in residential developments for compliance with Part E Regs, BS8233, and so on. Detail layout for the commercial, health and educational constructions in order to align with regulations. Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms etc.
To get a sound test quote for your building, call or email our highly skilled professionals
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. Our expert consultation is available to individuals and companies with all types and sizes of constructions. We will give you free quotation with highly competitive rates. Simply call us or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will need the following information:
When contacting us for sound insulation testing quote, we will need you to provide the following information
Location of property
Where is your development situated in Stevenage
Number of dwellings in the building
What is the number of units in the development?
Number of floors in the building
To give you an appropriate quotation, would like to know the number of floors 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.
Type of development
What is your building type? This will help us know the kind of test it will undergo.
New Build or conversion project
These two go require different types performance, so let us know which one it is and you’ll get an accurate test and quotation.
Building regulations for sound test
Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building requirements. You can also get credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment projects.
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 completed constructions
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.” Fully detached roofs or walkways that are not used for residential purposes do not have to take the sound tests of the Scottish Standards 5.1.
How to get a pass certificate for your sound test
Make sure you pass your sound test by having efficient sound insulation included in the building design. It saves time and money and helps you avoid repair work and re-test expenses. Are you uncertain that the separating floor and walls you will build will adhere to Document E 2003 conditions? You can book our design services. Our consultation process is led by your project requirements and may include assessment of design reports, test of the development and multiple site visits. The are required in order to have good conditions to undertake the sound insulation tests: All windows and doors have been fitted and work Fit and seal skirting boards Plug sockets, light switches and fittings are in place 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
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 certificate will be issued to you whether the sound insulation treatment of the building meets the requirements of Document E of Building Regulations or not. If parts or all the building fails the test, repair work and a retest is recommended. We provide design advice to ensure your property does proper remedial and meets up with the necessary requirements.
Sound Insulation FAQ’s
What are the minimum requirements for separating party walls and party floors between neighbouring dwellings?
The minimum requirements depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is a new build or refurbished, whether the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).
New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.
Flanking sound (or flanking noise) is sound that transmits between spaces indirectly, going over or around, rather than directly through the main separating element. This can allow sound to transmit between spaces even though the main separating element itself provides good acoustic insulation. Engaging our services at an early stage allows us to check designs and add necessary measures to prevent this occurring after construction. In the worst cases, flanking can exceed the direct transmission and lead to a failed test, despite highly specified partitions.
In the case of impact sound, the building construction is caused to vibrate as a result of a physical impact, such as footsteps on floors or stairs. The resulting vibration is radiated into other rooms in the building.
We can provide preliminary results on the day of test. We strive to deliver next day reporting in all scenarios regardless the complexity or size of the project. The delivered report will be comprehensive and detailed, to ensure all relevant issues are covered. The best recommendations can also be sent in a separate report or email.
We can normally conduct up to a maximum of three sets of tests per day. One set is two airborne floor tests, two airborne wall tests and two impact floor sound tests.
When it comes to the acoustic tests, a full set of tests should take approximately 90 minutes.
The requirements of sound insulation testing are fully detailed in the Building Regulations Approved Document, available here [link], under Part E (2003).
This requires all residential buildings to be tested when they involve walls and/or floors. These are known as party elements.
Assuming no tests are failed, building control bodies should stipulate at least one set of tests for every ten dwelling-houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes in a group or sub-group.
New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.
We recommend that if possible, we are contacted before a build to provide a design review and advice on how to meet quality standards.
Should the test fail, we can offer advice on how to improve the sound insulation. We have consulted on hundreds of building projects in the past, and have ensured all of them have met the building regulations. If a sound insulation test fails, we can give remindial advice to ensure the tests passes later.
We understand that most clients would prefer testing to take place as soon as possible. Once you get in touch we will schedule the test at the earliest available opportunity.
You can call us today to set up an appointment for sound insulation testing. Our scheduling is flexible so that you can get the service you need at your convenience.
Ideally, a test should be carried out as early as possible as problems are more difficult to fix the further along you are. Where possible, it’s recommended that testing is carried out before kitchens or bathrooms are installed. The minimum that we require to be able to carry out a test is:
- All doors, windows and seals should be fully fitted and closable
- All electrical fittings should be fitted and working
- 240V mains power must be available on-site in all rooms
- Gaps in walls and floors should be fully sealed
- All walls and ceilings should be plastered
- There should be no holes remaining in floors or ceilings
- Testers will require access to all rooms on all levels
Pre-completion sound testing is a building regulation requirement for all purpose built & “formed by material change of use” (i.e. refurbished) properties since 2003. Sound testing is undertaken in a percentage of properties in each development to ensure that the separating walls & floors between habitable rooms of neighbouring properties meet the minimum requirements as defined by Approved Document E, commonly referred to as ADE.
From 2003, Approved Document E states that all new UK builds must undergo pre-completion sound insulation testing. New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound loss of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound loss of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr. Approved Document E sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound.
This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that newly built or converted houses and residencies, flats and residential spaces and other relevant buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide ‘reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings.’ All of our tests are fully compliant with Approved Document E and our expert team have been carrying out compliant tests for many years, for thousands of satisfied customers throughout the UK.
We understand the sectors our clients work in. Our advice is not only technically robust but also practical and helpful to our client’s particular situation. At AF Acoustics, we always look at the bigger picture and work towards the ultimate development goal.
In order to provide you best solutions, we will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. Our ever-expanding knowledge-base allows us to provide cost-effective and streamlined solutions.
Our consultants are very experienced and have a proven track record on both small scale projects and major projects. As we are a lean and small company, we have lower overheads and therefore offer exceptional value for money.
Airborne sound (or airborne noise) is sound that is transmitted through the air. Airborne Sound Insulation is the insulation against noise originating in air, e.g. voices, music, motor traffic, wind. The greater the airborne sound insulation between two rooms, the lower the resulting sound level in the receiving room.
This is unlike Impact Sound Insulation that protects against noise originating directly on a structure by blows or vibration e.g. footsteps above, furniture being moved, drilling and hammering the structure.