The measurement of the sound reduced by partitions in a development, such as a wall or floor, is known as sound insulation testing or sound testing. It assesses how good the soundproofing materials fixed to the property development are. 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. The significance of a sound insulation certificate cannot be overrated. Therefore, we ensure that you get the certificate speedily. We pride ourselves on the facts that our sound insulation certificates are issued with speed and efficiency.
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.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What is a Sound Insulation Test?
To adhere to Building Regulations ADE requirements, adjoining walls, floors and ceilings in a building will have to be tested, except where licensed Robust Details were 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?
The sound test itself produces very high levels of noise but also requires relatively quiet conditions on site. For these reasons, any workforce in the testing area will have to leave temporarily to ensure test accuracy. A sound insulation test on a project is taken according to the scale and complexity of the construction and the conditions of the site. If the site is simple and of regular size, it typically takes about 90 minutes to complete the sound test.
The sound testing engineers then proceed to give verbal results on the site and offer helpful advice on any problem areas noticed during the duration of the test.
The entire report and individual sound test certificate will be sent to you the day after. 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). 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. How much testing that is required for each category can be found below.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Relevant?
After the 2003, Approved Document E mandates that all new structures in UK must take a sound insulation test before completion. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result. ADE ensures that new building are resistant to noise from adjoining buildings and other rooms within the same building. Sound affects our life no matter where we are, at home, work or while relaxing. Places with lowered noise are more comfortable and enabling. Sound testing ensures that noise reduction in a building is effective.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are important because not having them results in an unfavourable environment for those living in the development. For example, in a block of flats, your upstairs neighbour may (and not unreasonably) like to have friends over at the weekend, resulting in the playing of loud music. However, the downstairs occupant may be working nights and sleeping throughout the day, thus any inadequate sound insulation between these two flats would cause great disturbance and distress to the downstairs occupant. This is just one example of how sound insulation can affect the quality of life of people in different ways. There are also developments where the neighbouring units are used for different purposes. In such cases, a sound test ensures that the noise coming from each unit is minimal.
How Do I Know if I Need a Sound 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.
Document E of the Building Regulations explains sound insulation testing and makes it a necessity.
To conform, you can either follow the procedure outlined in ADE or make use of Robust Details. Robust Details are design details for separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. 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. This becomes difficult when you need to pick a more appropriate or cost-effective design that will suit your needs. Sound tests enable you do that, making it more flexible. Conducting on-site pre-completion sound testing also enables the architects more scope with their design and can lead to improved sound insulation performance.
Cost of Sound Testing
Simply contact us and we will be able to provide a free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have handled all kinds of sound insulation projects in UK and issue a report and certificate as quickly as possible. Our prices are affordable too and can beat others.
Period Sound Insulation Test Should be Carried Out
The ideal period for a sound insulation test is after the fitting of windows and doors, and before the building is finished. If you want, AF Acoustics can conduct tests before then to find out if there are any problems on your property. These are the things we need to conduct the test:
- 240V power supply
- A quiet environment
- Access to all the units of the structure unless places to test have been decided before then.
The Procedures of a Sound Insulation Test
The method of taking the test is not complex and our sound test engineers can explain it thoroughly on site, if you wish. 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. A sound level meter is then used to take noise measurements within the source room and the receiver room. 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. 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.
Finally, the difference in noise level is modified to accommodate reverberation time and background noise that was already in the receiver room. Reverberation time is how long it takes sound to decay by 60dB. Impact tests are carried out by means of a tapping machine placed on the floor to be measured. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. Calculations are undertaken, and results achieved. The results are crosschecked to ensure they meet Document E of Building Regulations target. This is a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.
Type of Sound Insulation Test Machines We Will be using
Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving through a separating element. The equipment we use are a sound level meter, loudspeaker and white or pink noise generator. 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 administered in room with residential purposes. For example, kitchens/living spaces, lounges, bedrooms and living rooms. Test results, which are approved by Building Control and used to sign off the building, are recorded in a report and sent to the client.
Sound Insulation Testing is necessary for these types of builds:
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 new building with 2 or more dwellings
This makes sure that the sound insulation for the building meets all the necessary requirements.
Redevelopment of a building with a single dwelling into flats
The development that has been converted must conform to Building Regulations sound requirements.
Design not using 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 are dependent on the kind of dwelling. Permanent dwellings and rooms for residential use have different requirements.
Where doses AF Acoustics conduct tests in UK?
AF Acoustics is an acoustics design services and consultancy company. Our clients can be found nationwide, especially in Paddock-Wood. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants are based in several strategic locations across the south east of the country to ensure that we can provide the most competitive quotations in the industry for sound insulation testing.
Why AF Acoustics is the best choice for sound insulation testing
Having rendered high quality service to numerous customers in Paddock-Wood, we have gotten great positive feedback and recommendation from our clientele due to the following:
We’ve been conducting sound tests for more than 15 years
Our experience of over 15 years has enabled us understand our clients need and industry extensively. As a result, our advice is applicative, serviceable and will meet the client at the point of their needs. In more than 15 years, we have acquired extensive experience with providing acoustic solutions to private individuals and organisations in the UK, no matter the size or scale of the project. You get expedience and value for the price.
To ensure all clients in Paddock-Wood can afford superior quality sound insulation testing, we offer some of the most competitive rates you can both in and outside Paddock-Wood. If in doubt, contact us now for a free no-obligation quote.
Consultancy that is effective and efficient
We will interpret your problems and necessities, present you with vigorous ideas and provide acoustic advice through our extensive experience. When you reach out to us for professional advice, we make certain that we render accurate solutions rapidly. We suggest productive answers that handle your present and long-term desires to the maximum.
Adaptable test dates
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 Paddock-Wood
Test reports arrive the next day
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. We make certain all relevant issues are covered and quality tips are supplied by detailing all the aspects of the test in the report.
Sound insulation 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. Call or mail us today so we can provide you with more knowledge on your acoustics needs.
Impact and airborne tests for floors
These are performed on floors and/or ceilings between units. Impact testing evaluates how much the sound flowing from one partition to another through party floors via impact is. Airborne and Impact tests are carried out on the separating floors between habitable rooms of flats.
PART E Testing
Document E of Building Regulations requires certain criteria for the sound performance of a dwelling. Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance to these criteria. 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.
Testing for sound insulation
We offer the highest levels of service and expertise and are always happy to work with you to give you the best possible chance of achieving a pass certificate. In new 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. Contact us today for more information about our sound testing services or to book a no obligation quote, free of charge.
Acoustic design testing in schools in line with BB93
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) states the benchmarks for the acoustics of school buildings. It additionally portrays the typical methods for aligning with the Building Regulations. Are you building a new school in Paddock-Wood? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.
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.
When constructing a building, it’s vital you get advice from the right acoustic consultant on time. AF Acoustics uses professional expertise to discover your acoustic needs early on and proffer ideas on how to meet 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 layout for the commercial, health and educational constructions in order to align with regulations. Specifications and design details that enable good sound insulation and reduction of noise in residences. Public address and sound reinforcement for conference room, lecture theatres and so on.
Get a sound insulation testing quotation by contacting our experts
At AF Acoustics, we are an independent acoustic consultancy. Our work embraces acoustic surveys, acoustic design and investigation work in the fields of planning and noise, architectural and building acoustics, the monitoring and control of vibrations and air tightness testing. Whether you are a company or a private individual, we are here to advise and guide you. If you would like a friendly and accurate sound insulation testing quote, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call.
We will need the following information:
Give us the following information when contacting us
Location of property
Where is your development situated in Paddock-Wood
Number of dwellings in the building
What is the number of units in the development?
Number of Storeys
For an accurate calculation of the quote, tell us the number of storeys
Number of dwelling units per storey
How many units are on each floor? Knowing this will help us give you an appropriate quotation.
Types of construction
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
New dwelling or converted property
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.
Sound Insulation 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.
Building regulations document E 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.
Building Standards Division (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.” The following are exempt from the testing techniques given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standard and Standard 5.1 – completely segregated rooftops, houses or walkways whose access is only used for upkeep or for the utilization of the inhabitants of the dwelling beneath.
How Do I Pass a Sound Insulation 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. We offer design services to enable separating walls and floors with good sound insulation to meet the requirements of ADE, 2003. Whether you want some initial tests on your project, or comprehensive reports at the end, we can help you at the level that you need. The following criteria should be followed to provide you with the best chance of passing your sound test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Skirting boards are fitted and sealed Light switches, plug sockets, and light fittings are adequately fixed. Our experienced acoustic consultants work with developers, contractors, architects and planners of all sizes from the early design stage to help minimise any potential issues right through to project completion, ensuring that all properties are compliant with Building Regulations Document E 2003.
Test report certificates
To obtain a thorough evaluation of your building, we issue a report certificate within 24 working hours where possible. Our highly capable sound test engineers will give you a verbal result of the test, once the test is taken and proffer solutions to possible problems or future areas of concern. 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?
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. We can provide professional advice on designs that will surpass Document E standards if the building fails the test.
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.