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.
At the completion of the test, a sound insulation certificate is issued. Without the certificate, Building Control will not release the building completion certificate to the contractors and developers of the project. Because we understand how the sound insulation certificate affects your building project, we ensure that you get it as quickly as possible after the test. In fact, we are proud of our turnaround times and our team will issue your certificates as quickly as we possibly can.
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?
Walls and floors that separate dwellings in a building are expected to be sound tested, as mandated by Document E of Building Regulations. Only dwellings that have used Robust Details, which licensed before the installation, are exempted from the test. Sound insulation tests examine airborne and impact sound moving between separating walls and floors. The tests include party walls and floors between structures or between spaces within a new development.
What is involved in Sound testing?
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. Undertaking sound tests on site varies according to the size and complexity of the building project and the site conditions. A structure that is simple and the conventional size will usually take 90 minutes to be tested.
Once this is done, the sound test engineers give temporary results while they’re still on the site. They will also provide suggested solutions to possible problem areas noted during testing.
The entire report and individual sound test certificate will be sent to you the day after. The 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 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. How much testing that is required for each category can be found below.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Required? Why is it Important?
After the 2003, Approved Document E mandates that all new structures in UK must take a sound insulation test before completion. Results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. ADE ensures that new building are resistant to noise from adjoining buildings and other rooms within the same building. Sound testing is essential due to the fact that sound impacts us wherever we are, whether it’s at home, leisure or the office. Reduced noise in the partitions and flooring of a structure leads to greater ease and a more efficient environment.
Sound insulation and having privacy while speaking are crucial for a number of reasons. When sound insulation is deficient, it can cause discomfort to occupants. 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. This is just one instance of the influence of sound insulation on our 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.
How to Know if You Need Sound Insulation Testing
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.
To conform, you can either follow the procedure outlined in ADE or make use of Robust Details. Robust Details are design details for walls that were tested formerly and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. Sound insulation testing is a more flexible approach. You can pick from a plethora of designs, as opposed to 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
We can send quotation that’s completely free of charge and is based on the kind of development you have. 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.
When can I carry out the sound insulation tests?
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. To be able to conduct sound insulation testing we require the provision of a 240V power supply, and a quiet site (a noisy site can make conducting the tests extremely difficult). Access will be required to all rooms of the development unless a test schedule is determined in advance.
How is sound insulation testing carried out?
The procedures of a sound insulation test are not difficult. Our site engineers can help you understand it better during the testing time. The boundary floors and walls get airborne tests. Floors get an additional impact test.
A big or multidirectional speaker, with a generator of pink or white noise is used to the biggest room. The sound in the source room and receiver room (sharing a separating wall with the source room) is measured with a sound level meter. Background noise is measured to make certain that the source noise is greater. This way the standard of the receiver room having a 10dB higher noise level at all calculated frequencies can be realised. 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 sound tests are performed with a tapping machine positioned on the floor of the source room. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. Once the calculations are completed and the result is achieved, it is compared with Building Regulations Part E standards. 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 Test Equipment Used
Our accredited engineers are testing to the current standards. We use only UKAS calibrated equipment, as stated by the building regulations. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving through a separating element. We use pink or white noise generator and speakers on one side of the partition. A sound level meter is used on calculating sound in both units. 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. Sound insulation tests are conducted in liveable rooms like the sitting room, lounges, kitchen/living spaces and bedrooms. 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.
A sound test is mandatory for these buildings:
Sound testing measures the impact and airborne sound moving through new and old adjoining buildings. This could affect the separating walls between buildings or in-between the spaces in a development.
Property with two or more units
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
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E of Building Regulations.
Design not using Robust Details
The Robust Details scheme was set up in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd as a way to help architects and builders design and construct separating elements with the confidence that the separating wall and/or floor will be capable of achieving the sound performance parameters in Approved Document E, and comply with the Building Regulations. If the building design does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. 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
AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in Bread-Street. 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 AF Acoustics is the right choice for your sound insulation test
Our sound testing experts and engineers have worked with various homes and businesses in Bread-Street. Our clients refer us to others because of the following benefits of working 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. By doing this, we have been able to continuously satisfy clients in the UK and meet their acoustic needs for over 15 years, providing great value for money.
To make certain that all clients in Bread-Street can pay for excellent sound insulation testing services, we have one of the best and most competitive prices found in and around Bread-Street. Contact us right now to get a quotation that’s completely free of charge.
Prompt and productive consultancy
We will interpret your problems and necessities, present you with vigorous ideas and provide acoustic advice through our extensive experience. 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
Your convenience is essential to us. This is the reason we provide you with adaptable choices that allow you to pick test dates that are most advantageous for you. If you want to schedule sound insulation testing in Bread-Street, phone or email us immediately.
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 report will be detailed and thorough so that all necessities are written out and any advice provided.
Sound insulation services we provide
We offer a wide range of thorough acoustic solutions for our clients nationwide, and we ensure a high calibre and effective approach. Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.
Impact and Airborne floor test
These are performed on floors and/or ceilings between units. The calculation of the sound level transferred from one unit to another through a separating floor via impact is called an impact test. Impact and airborne testing is undertaken between party floors.
Approved Document E test
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. 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.
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. To make sure a new residence meets with the standards of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw, an airborne wall test and an airborne and impact floor test will need to be conducted. 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. Contact us today for more information about our sound testing services or to book a no obligation quote, free of charge.
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 building a new school in Bread-Street, we can test the school to check if it meets the requirements 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 anyone who has had to deal with the acoustic properties of a building will know, it’s important to get the correct advice, as early as possible from a good acoustic consultant. AF Acoustics can help you to identify the correct acoustic requirements for your project at an early stage and advise on the best means to meet them using expert knowledge of acoustic design.
We are able to help with:
Acoustic detail design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Specification and design of building services for noise control in residential and other noise sensitive scenarios Public address and sound reinforcement for conference room, lecture theatres and so on.
Contact our professionals for a sound test quotation
We are an independent acoustic organisation that handles everything concerning acoustics including survey, design, architectural and building acoustics and air tightness 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 email@example.com
Giving the following information to us will be helpful
When contacting us for sound insulation testing quote, we will need you to provide the following information
Location of development
Where is your development situated in Bread-Street
Number of dwellings in the building
Tell us how many dwellings you have in the property.
How many storeys are there?
To get a precise quote, let us know the total number of floors you have.
Dwellings configuration 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.
Types of construction
The type of building, as different building types typically require a different testing.
New property or reconstructed dwelling
These two go require different types performance, so let us know which one it is and you’ll get an accurate test and quotation.
Sounds test in accordance with building 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 have fully accredited engineers who can visit your property to issue appropriate certification that complies with the building control.
Scotland Standard division for properties
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 Do I Pass a Sound Insulation Test?
The best method to guarantee you pass your sound test is to design the building with a view to good sound insulation performance. This shouldn’t be exorbitant, and can save time and cost at the end, without your having to correct sound problem or pay for a re-test. If you’re not certain of how to construct your party walls and floors, to meet Document E 2003 targets, simply contact us for an efficient design service. Our consultation process is led by your project requirements and may include assessment of design reports, test of the development and multiple site visits. The are required in order to have good conditions to undertake the sound insulation tests: All windows and door have been fixed and are functioning Fit and seal skirting boards Light fittings and switches and plug sockets are fitted and working. Our expert acoustic consultants work with planners, developers, architects and contractors from the beginning of the design stage till when the property is finished to ensure it meets the conditions of Document E 2003.
Analysis 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.
What do the results look like?
A sound insulation certificate will be sent to you whether the property has a good sound performance in accordance with ADE or not. If parts or all the building fails the test, repair work and a retest is recommended. We provide design advice to ensure your property does proper remedial and meets up with the necessary requirements.
Sound Insulation FAQ’s
What are the minimum requirements for separating party walls and party floors between neighbouring dwellings?
The minimum requirements depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is a new build or refurbished, whether the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).
New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.
Flanking sound (or flanking noise) is sound that transmits between spaces indirectly, going over or around, rather than directly through the main separating element. This can allow sound to transmit between spaces even though the main separating element itself provides good acoustic insulation. Engaging our services at an early stage allows us to check designs and add necessary measures to prevent this occurring after construction. In the worst cases, flanking can exceed the direct transmission and lead to a failed test, despite highly specified partitions.
In the case of impact sound, the building construction is caused to vibrate as a result of a physical impact, such as footsteps on floors or stairs. The resulting vibration is radiated into other rooms in the building.
We can provide preliminary results on the day of test. We strive to deliver next day reporting in all scenarios regardless the complexity or size of the project. The delivered report will be comprehensive and detailed, to ensure all relevant issues are covered. The best recommendations can also be sent in a separate report or email.
We can normally conduct up to a maximum of three sets of tests per day. One set is two airborne floor tests, two airborne wall tests and two impact floor sound tests.
When it comes to the acoustic tests, a full set of tests should take approximately 90 minutes.
The requirements of sound insulation testing are fully detailed in the Building Regulations Approved Document, available here [link], under Part E (2003).
This requires all residential buildings to be tested when they involve walls and/or floors. These are known as party elements.
Assuming no tests are failed, building control bodies should stipulate at least one set of tests for every ten dwelling-houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes in a group or sub-group.
New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.
We recommend that if possible, we are contacted before a build to provide a design review and advice on how to meet quality standards.
Should the test fail, we can offer advice on how to improve the sound insulation. We have consulted on hundreds of building projects in the past, and have ensured all of them have met the building regulations. If a sound insulation test fails, we can give remindial advice to ensure the tests passes later.
We understand that most clients would prefer testing to take place as soon as possible. Once you get in touch we will schedule the test at the earliest available opportunity.
You can call us today to set up an appointment for sound insulation testing. Our scheduling is flexible so that you can get the service you need at your convenience.
Ideally, a test should be carried out as early as possible as problems are more difficult to fix the further along you are. Where possible, it’s recommended that testing is carried out before kitchens or bathrooms are installed. The minimum that we require to be able to carry out a test is:
- All doors, windows and seals should be fully fitted and closable
- All electrical fittings should be fitted and working
- 240V mains power must be available on-site in all rooms
- Gaps in walls and floors should be fully sealed
- All walls and ceilings should be plastered
- There should be no holes remaining in floors or ceilings
- Testers will require access to all rooms on all levels
Pre-completion sound testing is a building regulation requirement for all purpose built & “formed by material change of use” (i.e. refurbished) properties since 2003. Sound testing is undertaken in a percentage of properties in each development to ensure that the separating walls & floors between habitable rooms of neighbouring properties meet the minimum requirements as defined by Approved Document E, commonly referred to as ADE.
From 2003, Approved Document E states that all new UK builds must undergo pre-completion sound insulation testing. New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound loss of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound loss of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr. Approved Document E sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound.
This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that newly built or converted houses and residencies, flats and residential spaces and other relevant buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide ‘reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings.’ All of our tests are fully compliant with Approved Document E and our expert team have been carrying out compliant tests for many years, for thousands of satisfied customers throughout the UK.
We understand the sectors our clients work in. Our advice is not only technically robust but also practical and helpful to our client’s particular situation. At AF Acoustics, we always look at the bigger picture and work towards the ultimate development goal.
In order to provide you best solutions, we will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. Our ever-expanding knowledge-base allows us to provide cost-effective and streamlined solutions.
Our consultants are very experienced and have a proven track record on both small scale projects and major projects. As we are a lean and small company, we have lower overheads and therefore offer exceptional value for money.
Airborne sound (or airborne noise) is sound that is transmitted through the air. Airborne Sound Insulation is the insulation against noise originating in air, e.g. voices, music, motor traffic, wind. The greater the airborne sound insulation between two rooms, the lower the resulting sound level in the receiving room.
This is unlike Impact Sound Insulation that protects against noise originating directly on a structure by blows or vibration e.g. footsteps above, furniture being moved, drilling and hammering the structure.