Sound insulation testing involves the use of specialist equipment to examine how much sound is reduced off by floors and walls, of a building. It checks if a dwelling’s sound proofing treatment meets the requirements set out in Approved Document E. The Building Regulations Approved Document E (ADE) states all new dwellings and renovated constructions should undergo sound testing.
Not having a sound insulation certificate issued after a test, has resulted in additional costs and expenses for developers. Any development that has not taken a sound test will not be given a completion certificate by Building Control. The significance of a sound insulation certificate cannot be overrated. Therefore, we ensure that you get the certificate speedily. 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
Developments must test all walls, floors and ceilings that separate buildings or neighbours in a dwelling, to conform to Approved Document E (ADE) of the Building Regulations. You may not have to test your building if you used Robust Details which were approved before their installation. 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.
The Procedures Involved in a Sound Insulation Test
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. Undertaking sound tests on site varies according to the size and complexity of the building project and the site conditions. If the site is simple and of regular size, it typically takes about 90 minutes to complete the sound test.
After the test, the sound insulation test engineers will let you know the outcome of the test and supply simple feedback of important things noted during the test; e.g. problems that might occur in the future.
A complete report and sound insulation test certificate can be produced and issued within 24 working hours. 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.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Relevant?
Sound insulation testing is required because ADE of Building Regulations has made it compulsory for all new buildings to take a sound test prior to finishing construction. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result. The aim of Approved Documet E of the Building Regulations is to establish a minimum standard for the reduction in noise levels between all dwellings in a new or refurbished building. Testing for sound insulation is vital because sound influences how we live in the office, while relaxing or in the house. Restricting the sound that moves between floors and walls could result in a more relaxed and better surrounding.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are critical for a variety of reasons. Inadequate sound insulation can be extremely distressing to those affected by it. 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 one way sound insulation can affect how a person lives. 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 sound insulation testing if you:
- Build a new development of 2 or more dwellings / flats
- Convert a former single dwelling into flats
- Build a Nursing Home or rooms for residential use, i.e. hotel or hostel
- Have designs which do not adhere to Robust Details
Sound insulation is covered and made mandatory under Approved Document E of The Building Regulations.
There are two ways in which to show compliance. You can either test to the regime set out in Approved Document E (ADE), or pay to use Robust Details. If you choose the latter, you must use Robust Details which are a approved design details for partitioning walls and floors. With it, you don’t need a sound insulation test, but you must completely follow every aspect of the design from the Robust Detail 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. 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 Insulation Testing
Contact us and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test cost based on the requirements of your building. We have tested all types and sizes of construction in the UK and issue a report and sound test certificate within 24 working hours. We offer one of the best prices. If you get a better price from another company, let us know and we will try to beat it.
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. For your sound tests to be conducted successfully we need the property to be quiet, with workers not near the rooms to be tested during the test time (a noisy environment makes the test difficult and sometimes unsuccessful). We also need access to all units unless the test program has been compiled earlier. Finally, we need 240V power supply.
The Process of a Sound Test
The method of taking the test is not complex and our sound test engineers can explain it thoroughly on site, if you wish. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.
The test uses a dodecahedron speaker and pink or white noise generator for source sound. The sound source is placed in the largest room of the two. A sound level meter calculates the noise in the source room and 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. Airborne sound testing is done in a similar way. First, two speaker positions are used for each source room. Then, the level of sound in the receiver room is measured so that the difference in noise level between the two rooms can be calculated.
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 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. 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.
Sound Testing Equipment to Expect
Our licensed engineers use UKAS calibrated equipment to measure sound insulation according to the present standards of Building Regulations. An airborne test is used to check how much sound is moving through the air between partitions. Equipment used for the test include a noise generator, speakers and sound level meter. A sound level meter and a tapping machine which drops metal hammers is used for impact testing. 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:
The airborne and impact sound going through new and old buildings are evaluated by sound testing. This can impact adjoining walls and floors between the building.
Property with two or more units
This makes certain that the dwellings have adequate sound proofing.
A single dwelling that was turned into a development with several flats or units
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E 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. The minimum requirements are dependent on the kind of dwelling. Permanent dwellings and rooms for residential use have different requirements.
Parts of the UK AF Acoustics Cover
As an acoustics design services firm, AF Acoustics provides acoustic consultancy to various individuals and businesses nationwide, especially in Biggin-Hill. Our clientele also include government agencies, architects, and organisations involved in planning and environmental consultancy. Our consultants can be found in various places in the south east region. This way you get an affordable price.
Why AF Acoustics is the best choice for sound insulation testing
Our sound insulation testing expertise at AF Acoustics have aided several home and business owners in Biggin-Hill. We come highly recommended by our clients because of the guarantees when you work with us
More than 15 years’ experience
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. 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.
Best rates available
To ensure all clients in Biggin-Hill can afford superior quality sound insulation testing, we offer some of the most competitive rates you can both in and outside Biggin-Hill. If in doubt, contact us now for a free no-obligation quote.
Prompt and productive consultancy
We offer strong durable advice based on your problem and give highly knowledgeable acoustic advice. Both your short and long-term needs are handled with our professional guidance and quick answers to your problems.
Test dates that are flexible
Our test date options let you pick what will suit your schedule because your comfort is essential to us. Call us to get your sound testing in Biggin-Hill undertaken.
Next day reporting
The sooner you receive the details of your sound insulation test results, the sooner you can get your building signed or remedy any problems. We endeavour to give you the report the following working day in all situations, even when the project is complex and large in size. That way, you can take immediate action on the recommendations given. Our reports are thorough and cover all the important issues.
AF Acoustics sound testing services
We offer a wide range of thorough acoustic solutions for our clients nationwide, and we ensure a high calibre and effective approach. To find out more about we can help you with your acoustics needs, call or email us right away.
Airborne and impact tests for floors/ceilings
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. 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.
Testing in line with Part E of Building Regulations
Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw for new structures. Converted properties get a slightly different requirement. Expected minimum airborne sound insulation test result is 43dB DnTw+Ctr while expected maximum impact sound test result is 64dB L’nTw.
Our services and expertise is unbeatable and we are glad to work with our clients to help pass their sound insulation tests. A new dwelling may have to undergo an airborne and impact test to meet the benchmark of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. We regularly provide consultations for project managers and developers from the very start of developments, ensuring peace of mind when it comes time to having a sound test. To find out more about our sound testing services and get a free quotation, contact us now.
BB93 Acoustic Design testing in Schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) explains the sound performance requirement for the acoustics of school buildings. It likewise states how a school can meet this requirement. If you’re constructing a new school in Biggin-Hill, we can test the sound performance to evaluate if it meets the standards of BB93.
Acoustic plan details
AF Acoustics provide extensive design services and consultancy on a variety of buildings. We have the ability and experience to create bespoke solutions, and have solid working information of accessible acoustic items. We will create design solutions appropriate for the explicit requests of the construction.
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 will help you 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. 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.
Contact our professionals for a sound test quotation
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We will need the following information:
When calling or emailing us please provide the following data
The development’s location
Where in Biggin-Hill is your construction?
Number of dwellings
Total number of dwellings in the structure
How many storeys are there?
Let us know the number of floors in your development so that we can give you an accurate quotation.
Number of dwellings per floor
Tell us how many units are in your structure so that we can give you the right calculation for your quotation and know the scope of the test.
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
New dwelling or converted property
These two go require different types performance, so let us know which one it is and you’ll get an accurate test and quotation.
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.
Sound resistance and performance: Document E of Building Regulations (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.
Scotland Standard division for properties
According to Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards, “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 make sure you pass your sound test
All you have to do to pass your sound test is include adequate sound insulation in the design. That way, you save time and cost for repair work and re-test. If you are unsure of how to build the separating floor and wall constructions and associated junctions across your development to satisfy the requirements of Document E 2003, we can offer design advice. The degree of guidance you require can vary, from site visits and comprehensive design reports, to simpler initial testing to know the starting point for construction. The are required in order to have good conditions to undertake the sound insulation tests: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Skirting boards are fitted and sealed Fix all light switches, light fittings and plug sockets. 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.
Test and 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.
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
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.
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.