Sound testing rates the amount of sound the soundproofing insulation installed in a building for reduction of sound. It checks the amount of sound transmitted and the amount reduced by the building’s partitions. 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.
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 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 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 Sound Testing Does
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 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 involved in a Sound 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. The way a sound test is administered depends on the size and type of building and the development’s condition. Most of the time the test will be conducted in 90 minutes, for a simple, regular sized construction.
Once this is done, the sound test engineers give temporary results while they’re still on the site. They will also provide suggested solutions to possible problem areas noted during testing.
The entire report and individual sound test certificate will be sent to you the day after. The way a sound test is conducted is determined by ADE of Building Regulations. It mandates that in all developments, every 10 units in a group or sub-group will undertake one set of tests. It explicitly states what a sub-group is in Section 1. Buildings to be tested are categorised into three kinds: houses, flats and rooms like care homes, student accommodation and hotel rooms. How much testing that is required for each category can be found below.
Importance of Sound Insulation Testing
Document E of Building regulations, from 2003, made it compulsory for all new UK constructions to undertake a pre-completion sound test. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw. This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that new buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings. Sound insulation testing is important because sound affects the way we live, whether at work, in the home or whilst at leisure. Noise reduction between walls and floors could result in a more comfortable, productive environment.
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 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. Sound insulation helps improve the quality of a person’s life in diverse ways. In a structure with flats for mixed purposes, a sound insulation test will make sure that there is maximum sound resistance from party walls and floors and less noise.
Does Your Development Need a Sound Insulation Test?
You need a sound insulation test if you’re:
- Constructing a nursing home or residential rooms like hostel or hotel rooms,
- Converting a building with a single dwelling into flats,
- Constructing a property with two or more units,
- Using designs without Robust Details to build
It is imperative that sound insulation tests be undertaken, as explained and stipulated by ADE.
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. Sound insulation testing is a more flexible approach. You can pick from a plethora of designs, as opposed to Robust Details. It also gives architects the opportunity to evaluate their design and give your structure a much better sound insulation which will increase sound performance.
Cost of Sound Insulation Testing
To get a free quote for your dwelling, contact us. 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!
Ideal Period for a Sound Insulation Test
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. 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 is Sound Insulation Testing Done?
Our sound test engineers can answer your questions and make the sound test process easy to understand on site, during the time of the test. The boundary floors and walls get airborne tests. Floors get an additional impact test.
A big or multidirectional speaker, with a generator of pink or white noise is used to the biggest room. The sound generated and received is measured with a sound level meter. The background noise level is also measured. The higher the background noise then the higher the source noise will need to be set, since the resulting noise level in the receiver room needs to be 10dB higher than the background noise at all measured frequencies. When conducting airborne sound insulation tests, two speakers are placed in each source room. The noise level in the receiving room is measured to get the sound difference between the source and receiving room.
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 sound tests are performed with a tapping machine positioned on the floor of the source room. 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.
What Sound Insulation Testing Equipment do we use?
You can expect UKAS calibrated equipment from us, as stipulated by Building Regulations. Our certified engineers conduct tests to meet the current guidelines. The calculation of the level of noise transmitted through the air between two adjoining units is known as an airborne sound insulation test. Equipment used for the test include a noise generator, speakers and sound level meter. 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. 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.
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.
A structure with 2 or more units/flats
This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.
A single dwelling that was turned into a development with several flats or units
The transformation of a single dwelling property into flats must adhere to the sound insulation standards of Building Regulations.
Designed in a way that does not adhere to 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. If the design does not completely follow Robust Details, sound insulation testing will occur to be certain the building meets ADE criteria. Minimum criterion differs based on the type and purpose of the development. A development with rooms intended as residences, like a hostel or hotel, won’t have the same criteria as a structure for permanent dwelling.
Which areas of the UK does AF Acoustics cover?
AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in Dover. 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 you should choose AF Acoustics
We have worked with many organisations and individuals in Dover. Our clients have endorsed us for the following reasons:
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.
Best rates available
To make certain that all clients in Dover can pay for excellent sound insulation testing services, we have one of the best and most competitive prices found in and around Dover. Contact us right now to get a quotation that’s completely free of charge.
Fast and efficient 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.
Adaptable test dates
Because your convenience is important to us, we provide several options to help you choose a test date that is best for you. Call us to get your sound testing in Dover undertaken.
Get your test reports quickly
When you get your sound test report fast, you’re able to take corrective action. We try to issue reports on the next working day no matter how large or complex the project. The delivered report will be comprehensive and well detailed to ensure all relevant issues are covered and any recommendations are provided.
AF Acoustics sound testing services
With AF Acoustics, you get a highly effective and expert acoustic advice which our customers all over UK have benefited from. Call or mail us today so we can provide you with more knowledge on your acoustics needs.
Impact and airborne tests for floors
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. An impact test examines the level of noise moving from one dwelling to another through impact on adjoining floors/ceilings. The adjoining floors/ceilings of rooms intended as residences usually have both impact and airborne sound tests.
Testing in line with Part E of Building Regulations
Our sound insulation tests meet the requirements of Building Regulations Part E, which describes building structures resistance to the movement of sound within and from adjoining structures. The impact sound test of new dwellings should be 62dB L’nTw or less and airborne sound insulation 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more while impact results for reconstructed properties should be 64dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation 43dB DnTw+Ctr or more.
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. 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. To find out more about our sound testing services and get a free quotation, contact us now.
BB93 testing of acoustic design 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 Dover? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.
AF Acoustics provide detailed acoustic design services and consulting on a wide range of buildings. We have the capability and experience to develop customised solutions, and have a strong working knowledge of available proprietary acoustic products. We will develop detailed design solutions suitable for the specific demands of the 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 design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Specifications and building services design for control of noise in noise sensitive areas. 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
We are an independent acoustic organisation that handles everything concerning acoustics including survey, design, architectural and building acoustics and air tightness testing. We want to give you expert guidance and provide working solutions, whether you are an individual or an organisation. For a quotation, call or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send the following information to us
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
Where in Dover the property is situated
Number of dwellings in the building
Number of dwellings on the property
Number of levels in the structure
Let us know the number of floors in your development so that we can give you an accurate quotation.
Configuration of dwellings (no. of units per level)
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.
Let us know the type of development you have so that we can undertake the required tests for it.
New property or reconstructed dwelling
The testing requirement for new builds and conversion projects are different. We will need this information to determine what standard the testing ought to follow. With this information, we can easily provide you with an accurate and competitive quote on your project in little time.
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.
Part E of building regulations resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
Our certified engineers can come to your building whenever it might suit you to undertake sound insulation testing to Part E of Building Regulations adherence, recognised by Building Control.
Standard division for structures (Scotland)
Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards stipulates that “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 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. We offer design services to enable separating walls and floors with good sound insulation to meet the requirements of ADE, 2003. We can study design reports, complete site visits and sound test the development to provide you with the level of assessment and consultation that your project requires from start to finish. Take the following action to give your building the best opportunity to pass the sound insulation test: Install and make sure that all external and internal doors and windows are operational Skirting boards are fixed Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted We work with several professionals in construction from the beginning of the design stage to the completion of the development to make certain it conforms to Document E 2003 of Building Regulations.
Investigation and report certificates
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 usually 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
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
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.