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. In fact, we pride ourselves on issuing our sound insulation testing certificates as quickly as possible.
Even before you get the certificate, you will receive the results of the test. First, our skilled and competent sound insulation test will engineers give you a verbal result at the site. Then, a written report is sent to you within 24 hours of a working day.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What Sound Insulation 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 testing conducts impact and airborne sound test on structures. The tests include the separating floors, walls and areas between buildings within developments.
The Procedures Involved in a Sound Insulation Test
Even though sound insulation testing equipment produces lots of noise, sound testing requires quiet conditions and dwellings. Because of this, workers on the site would have to leave during the time of the test, to avoid errors in the test calculation. The way a sound test is administered depends on the size and type of building and the development’s condition. Generally, a sound insulation test takes about 90 minutes for a simple, regular sized project.
Once it is completed, the engineers will give a verbal interim result on the site and basic helpful information on what was noticed during the test, e.g. possible sound issues and future places that could cause problems.
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). 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 should be done on each group is listed below:
Importance of Sound Insulation Testing
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. 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.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are critical for a variety of reasons. Inadequate sound insulation can be extremely distressing to those affected by it. Let’s take a look at this scenario. An individual living in a block of flats might spend the weekend with friends relaxing and playing loud music. If the sound insulation on adjoining walls and floor is insufficient, the music will be distressful to neighbours, especially if they work at night. 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.
Does Your Development Need a Sound Insulation Test?
Your development needs a sound insulation test if it meets one of the following criteria:
- It’s design does not have Robust Details
- It’s a new building with 2 or more dwellings
- It’s being constructed to be used as a residence, like a hotel room or a hostel, or as a nursing home
- It was once a single dwelling but is being turned into a development with several flats or units.
Building Regulations Part E discusses sound testing in detail and has made it a requirement.
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 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. When you use it, you don’t have to take a sound insulation test. However, you must abide strictly by the design from the Robust Details approved list. With sound testing, however, you’re free to pick from any design, including more cost effective and appropriate ones. This makes it a more efficient process than Robust Details. When on-site pre–completion building sound tests are taken, architects have more scope with their design and can increase the sound insulation performance of the construction.
Cost of Sound Testing
To get a free quote for your dwelling, contact us. Our prices are extremely competitive and we’ve worked on developments of various sizes and types. You’re also assured of a quick turnaround time for your sound insulation test report and certificates.
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?
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.
A pink or white noise generator and a large speaker is used for the test in the biggest room between the two undergoing testing. The sound in the source room and receiver room (sharing a separating wall with the source room) 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. Airborne sound tests are conducted in this manner: two singular speaker positions are used for every source room. The noise in the receiver room is measured to determine the variations in noise level between the source and receiver room.
This basic level difference is then ‘corrected’ to allow for the reverberation time (the time is taken, in seconds, for a noise source to decay by 60dB) and the existing levels of background noise monitored whilst in the receiving room. A tapping machine is placed on the floor to execute an impact sound insulation test. The sound level in the room below it is recorded. 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, this explanation highlights sound insulation testing procedures in a simple manner.
What Sound Insulation Testing Equipment do we use?
The testing equipment used are UKAS calibrated. Our highly qualified engineers test based on present Building Regulations conditions. An airborne test is used to check how much sound is moving through the air between partitions. 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. For impact test, a tapping machine that makes impact sound by dropping metal hammers is used. A sound level meter is used to measure in the receiving room below the room the tapping machine is in. Sound insulation tests are conducted in liveable rooms like the sitting room, lounges, kitchen/living spaces and bedrooms. Test findings are fed into a report that will be sent to the client. This report will always be acceptable to Building Control and will help you to get your development signed off.
These kinds of properties should undergo a sound insulation test:
For sound testing we usually undertake impact and airborne sound test on buildings. This affects the separating floors and walls between habitable rooms of buildings and developments.
A structure with 2 or more units/flats
With the sound test, you can be certain that the property has a good acoustic performance.
Conversions of former single dwelling properties into flats
When turning the single dwelling into several flats or units, the sound performance requirements of Building Regulations must be met.
Designed in a way that does not adhere to Robust Details
The Robust Detail Scheme, set up in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd, architects create design details for walls and floors that were tested formerly for sound insulation and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. If the building design is slightly different from Robust Details, a sound test is essential so that Building Regulations criteria can be met. A building built as a permanent dwelling has different minimum standards from a building with rooms built for residential purpose, like a hotel or a hostel.
Areas in the UK AF Acoustics Conduct Test
AF Acoustics provides acoustic design services to customer nationwide, especially in Folkestone. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as 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 AF Acoustics is the right choice for your sound insulation test
We have worked with many organisations and individuals in Folkestone. Our clients have endorsed us for the following reasons:
Over 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.
To ensure all clients in Folkestone can afford superior quality sound insulation testing, we offer some of the most competitive rates you can both in and outside Folkestone. If in doubt, contact us now for a free no-obligation quote.
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. When you contact us for expert direction, we make it our utmost priority and convey exact answers quickly. We suggest compelling solutions that are in accordance with your present and long-term needs.
Test dates that are flexible
We make your convenience our priority. Therefore, we offer flexible alternatives that can help you select test dates that suit you itinerary. Contact us today to get sound testing in Folkestone
Next day reporting
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.
The sound testing services we provide
AF Acoustics provide a scope of exhaustive and detailed acoustic solutions for clients across the country, making certain our techniques have the best quality and performance. Telephone or email us today for more data on how we can assist you with your acoustic requirements.
Impact and Airborne floor test
These are only carried out on separating floor/ceiling between dwellings. 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.
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. 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.
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 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 routinely give advice to developers and project managers from the beginning of the project, guaranteeing certainty when the time for a sound test is at hand. Call or email us now for more details on our sound insulation testing services and for a quotation to be sent to you, free of charge.
BB93 acoustic design tests in schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) explains minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings. It also describes the normal means of demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulations. If you’re constructing a new school in Folkestone, we can conduct a test to be certain it meets the standards of BB93.
Acoustic plan 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.
As anybody who has needed to handle the acoustics for a building will know, it’s essential to get proper advice, early in the project from a good acoustic expert. AF Acoustics can help you with identifying the right acoustic needs and standard for your construction at the beginning period and advise you on how to meet them.
We are able to assist with:
Acoustic detail layout for architect developing structures complying to Building regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail plans in commercial, educational and healthcare project for adhering to the prescribed standard. Construction designs and specifications for sound control in residential areas and other noise sensitive developments. Public address and sound reinforcement for conference room, lecture theatres and so on.
To get a sound test quote for your building, call or email our highly skilled professionals
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. 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 email@example.com
Provide us with the following data
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
Location of development
Where is your property located in Folkestone?
Number of dwellings in the structure
Tell us how many dwellings you have in the property.
Total number of floors
To give you an appropriate quotation, would like to know the number of floors in your building.
Dwellings configuration per floor
To get an appropriate quotation and determine the kind of tests to be conducted, we will also need this.
Type of development
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 requirements for new dwellings and converted properties are not the same. Tell us the type of building you have so that we give you the right quote.
Sound Insulation Testing Regulations
We undertake sound insulation test on various buildings that adhere to Building Regulations Document E. Testing can also enable you get more credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment constructions.
Building regulations document E resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
We can send our authorised engineers to your development whenever the timing is ideal to undertake sound insulation testing that conforms to Building Regulations Document E consistence, as accepted by Building Control.
Standard division for structures (Scotland)
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, which are conducted after building utilizing the methodology given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standard 5.1 does not apply to: completely disconnected houses, rooftops and walkways with access exclusively for the use of the occupants of the home underneath.
How to get a pass certificate for your sound test
The most effective way to ensure you pass your sound test is to plan the project with sound insulation in mind. This does not need to be costly, and can save considerable time and expense at the end of the project, not to mention avoiding escalating remedial and re-test costs. We offer design services to enable separating walls and floors with good sound insulation to meet the requirements of ADE, 2003. 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: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Skirting boards are fixed Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted Our professional acoustic professionals work with contractors, architects, developers, and planner from the beginning of the design to make sure that all requirements are met.
Test 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.
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 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.