Sound insulation testing is used to measure the resistance of sound provided by an element of a building (such as a floor or wall) between dwellings. It essentially measures the effectiveness of the sound proofing treatment installed as part of a build or property development. The Building Regulations Approved Document E (ADE) states all new dwellings and renovated constructions should undergo sound testing.

Building Control does not issue completion certificates to buildings that don’t have a sound insulation certificate. Contractors and developers have sometimes discovered this, to their detriment. We know how important a sound insulation certificate is to you. That is why we work hard to make certain that you get the certificate quickly. In fact, we pride ourselves on issuing our sound insulation testing certificates as quickly as possible.

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.

Our Guarantee

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

What is a Sound 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?

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. A sound insulation test on a project is taken according to the scale and complexity of the construction and the conditions of the site. A dwelling or development of normal size and simplicity will more than likely be tested in 90 minutes.

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 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 are divided into three kinds for the test – houses, flats and rooms built for or converted to residential dwellings, like student accommodation, care homes and hotel rooms. Find below the testing stipulation for each kind of development.

Why is Sound Insulation Testing Required? Why is it Important?

Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. 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 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. 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.

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.

ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.

All you have to do is follow the guidelines listed in the document or pay to use Robust Details and you will have fulfilled the requirements. Robust Details are design details for walls that were tested formerly and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. Using Robust Details, without taking a test, limits you to the design you’ve picked. Sound insulation testing is a more flexible approach. You can pick from a plethora of designs, as opposed to Robust Details. Sound insulation testing can also help architects enhance their building design and in turn the sound insulation of the building.

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. 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.

Period Sound Insulation Test Should be Carried Out

A sound test is usually conducted just before the construction is completed, and when all the doors and windows have been fixed. However, we can test your building earlier to check for problems. 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 Process of a Sound Test

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. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.

The source sound is produced with a white or pink noise generator with a dodecahedron speaker in the largest room. The noise from the source room and received by the receiver room, and background noise is measured with a sound level meter. Noise in the background is also calculated. More noise in the background means a higher level of source sound will be created since it’s supposed to be 10dB higher than background noise on all calculated frequencies. For airborne sound tests, two individual speaker positions are used for each source room. Measurements are then made to determine the levels in the receiving room of the tested partition in question. This gives a basic level difference between source and receiver rooms.

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. Impact tests are carried out by means of a tapping machine placed on the floor to be measured. The sound pressure level at the receiving room, which is below the source room, is measured. This is used in calculating and computing the results. These results are checked against Building Regulations ADE conditions for that kind of dwelling. This is a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.

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

Sound Testing Equipment to Expect

Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. An airborne sound test measures levels of sound transmitted through the air through a separating element. A loudspeaker and noise generator is used in one room while a sound level meter is used in both rooms for measuring level of noise. 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 carried out in rooms suitable for residential use like bedrooms, lounges and kitchens. The outcome of the test is written in a report and sent to the customer. This report helps Building Control sign off your building.

Sound Insulation Testing is necessary for these types of builds:

Sound insulation tests examine airborne and impact sound moving through buildings. It is usually undertaken between party walls and floors between buildings or between spaces within a new development.

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

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

Architects are able to use pre-tested and approved Robust Details design for partitioning walls and floors. The Robust Details scheme was formed in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd. If the building design is not in line with any Robust Details, it will require sound testing to ensure its compliance with the buildings regulations. 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?

As an acoustics design services firm, AF Acoustics provides acoustic consultancy to various individuals and businesses nationwide, especially in West-Malling. Our clients include architects, planning and environmental consultancies. We also work with government agencies and private individuals. Our consultants can be found in various places in the south east region. This way you get an affordable price.

Why you should pick AF Acoustics for your sound testing

We have worked with many organisations and individuals in West-Malling. Our clients have endorsed us for the following reasons:

More than 15 years’ experience

We are able to offer helpful functional solutions that will solve our customer’s needs. Our clients in the UK are completely satisfied with our acoustic solutions. Irrespective of the type of project you have, minor or major, you can be assured that we’ll give outstanding value for your money.

Competitive rates

We want to ensure that you get the best value for your money. That is why we have one of the most unbeatable rates in and outside West-Malling. Call us or email today to get a free quotation.

Effective and quick consultancy

We will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. Both your short and long-term needs are handled with our professional guidance and quick answers to your problems.

Adjustable test dates

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

Fast turnaround for your report

Getting your report quickly ensures you can take immediate action. We work towards issuing test reports within the next working day, despite the size or complexity of the construction. The conveyed report will be exhaustive, covering every issue point by point to guarantee that the best suggestions are given.

The sound testing services we provide

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 floor test

These are only carried out on separating floor/ceiling between dwellings. An impact test measures the levels of noise transmitted directly through a separating construction. These floors in habitable rooms of flats undergo both impact and airborne tests.

ADE testing

Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. For new buildings, results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. Converted structures expected impact sound results increases by 2dB L’nTw while the airborne sound results reduces by 2dB DnTw+Ctr.

Testing for sound insulation

We offer the highest amount of aptitude and high quality service, and are constantly ready to work with our clients to give the most ideal chance of accomplishing a pass certificate. In new build properties an airborne test or an airborne and impact test may be required to ensure it meets the requirements of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. 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. Simply contact us immediately ad you’ll get a free quotation in addition to more details about our sound testing services.

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

BB93 Acoustic Design testing in Schools

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. If you’re developing a new school in West-Malling, we can test it to find out if it aligns with BB93.

Acoustic design details

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

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 can assist with:

Acoustic detail design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail designs for the health, educational and commercial projects in order to meet up with the necessary requirements. Specifications and design details that enable good sound insulation and reduction of noise in residences. Increasing sound through public enterprise and sound reinforcement systems in conference rooms, halls, lecture theatres and the like.

Call Our Experts Now For A Sound Insulation Testing Quote

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. 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 info@af-acoustics.com

020 3372 4430 Contact us

We will need the following information:

Give us the following information when contacting us

Place where the building is being built

Where in West-Malling is your construction?

Number of dwellings in the structure

What is the number of units in the development?

How many storeys are there?

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

Dwellings arrangements per level

How many units are on each floor? Knowing this will help us give you an appropriate quotation.

Building type

Let us know the type of development you have so that we can undertake the required tests for it.

New Build or conversion project

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

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.

Building regulations document E resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)

We can have fully accredited engineers sent to your property at your convenience to provide certification for Building Regulations Part E compliance, recognised by Building Control.

Standard division for developments (Scotland)

Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards explicitly describes expected energy performance of dwellings. It 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.

Passing 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. 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 conditions will provide you with an ample chance of passing the sound test: Install and make sure that all external and internal doors and windows are operational Skirting boards are fitted and sealed Light fittings and switches and plug sockets are fitted and working. Our accomplished acoustic consultants work with developers, planners, contractors, and architects of all sizes from the early stages of the building plan to help limit any potential sound insulation performance problems to the completion of the construction, guaranteeing that all properties meet the criteria of Building Regulations Document E 2003.

Certificates for test evaluation and report

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.

How the results are

You will get your sound insulation test certificate whether you pass or fail the sound tests. We can provide professional advice on designs that will surpass Document E standards if the building fails the test.


Sound Insulation FAQ’s

The minimum requirements depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is a new build or refurbished, whether the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).

New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.

Flanking sound (or flanking noise) is sound that transmits between spaces indirectly, going over or around, rather than directly through the main separating element. This can allow sound to transmit between spaces even though the main separating element itself provides good acoustic insulation. Engaging our services at an early stage allows us to check designs and add necessary measures to prevent this occurring after construction. In the worst cases, flanking can exceed the direct transmission and lead to a failed test, despite highly specified partitions.

In the case of impact sound, the building construction is caused to vibrate as a result of a physical impact, such as footsteps on floors or stairs. The resulting vibration is radiated into other rooms in the building.

We can provide preliminary results on the day of test. We strive to deliver next day reporting in all scenarios regardless the complexity or size of the project. The delivered report will be comprehensive and detailed, to ensure all relevant issues are covered. The best recommendations can also be sent in a separate report or email.

We can normally conduct up to a maximum of three sets of tests per day. One set is two airborne floor tests, two airborne wall tests and two impact floor sound tests.

When it comes to the acoustic tests, a full set of tests should take approximately 90 minutes.

The requirements of sound insulation testing are fully detailed in the Building Regulations Approved Document, available here [link], under Part E (2003).

This requires all residential buildings to be tested when they involve walls and/or floors. These are known as party elements.

Assuming no tests are failed, building control bodies should stipulate at least one set of tests for every ten dwelling-houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes in a group or sub-group.

New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.

We recommend that if possible, we are contacted before a build to provide a design review and advice on how to meet quality standards.

Should the test fail, we can offer advice on how to improve the sound insulation. We have consulted on hundreds of building projects in the past, and have ensured all of them have met the building regulations. If a sound insulation test fails, we can give remindial advice to ensure the tests passes later.

We understand that most clients would prefer testing to take place as soon as possible. Once you get in touch we will schedule the test at the earliest available opportunity.

You can call us today to set up an appointment for sound insulation testing. Our scheduling is flexible so that you can get the service you need at your convenience.

Ideally, a test should be carried out as early as possible as problems are more difficult to fix the further along you are. Where possible, it’s recommended that testing is carried out before kitchens or bathrooms are installed. The minimum that we require to be able to carry out a test is:

  • All doors, windows and seals should be fully fitted and closable
  • All electrical fittings should be fitted and working
  • 240V mains power must be available on-site in all rooms
  • Gaps in walls and floors should be fully sealed
  • All walls and ceilings should be plastered
  • There should be no holes remaining in floors or ceilings
  • Testers will require access to all rooms on all levels

Pre-completion sound testing is a building regulation requirement for all purpose built & “formed by material change of use” (i.e. refurbished) properties since 2003. Sound testing is undertaken in a percentage of properties in each development to ensure that the separating walls & floors between habitable rooms of neighbouring properties meet the minimum requirements as defined by Approved Document E, commonly referred to as ADE.

From 2003, Approved Document E states that all new UK builds must undergo pre-completion sound insulation testing. New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound loss of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound loss of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr. Approved Document E sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound.

This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that newly built or converted houses and residencies, flats and residential spaces and other relevant buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide ‘reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings.’ All of our tests are fully compliant with Approved Document E and our expert team have been carrying out compliant tests for many years, for thousands of satisfied customers throughout the UK.

We understand the sectors our clients work in. Our advice is not only technically robust but also practical and helpful to our client’s particular situation. At AF Acoustics, we always look at the bigger picture and work towards the ultimate development goal.

In order to provide you best solutions, we will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. Our ever-expanding knowledge-base allows us to provide cost-effective and streamlined solutions.

Our consultants are very experienced and have a proven track record on both small scale projects and major projects. As we are a lean and small company, we have lower overheads and therefore offer exceptional value for money.

Airborne sound (or airborne noise) is sound that is transmitted through the air. Airborne Sound Insulation is the insulation against noise originating in air, e.g. voices, music, motor traffic, wind. The greater the airborne sound insulation between two rooms, the lower the resulting sound level in the receiving room.

This is unlike Impact Sound Insulation that protects against noise originating directly on a structure by blows or vibration e.g. footsteps above, furniture being moved, drilling and hammering the structure.

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

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

Working Hours

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