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. Part E of Building Regulations requires sound insulation in buildings and mandates that all newly completed constructions and rehabilitated developments go through sound testing.
Not doing so is a costly venture for developers and contractors as Building Control will not give a completion certificate for developments that have not undergone the test. 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. We take great pride in providing our certificates to you as soon as possible after the tests.
Our fully trained sound insulation test engineers can be on site when you need them. Your AF Acoustics engineer will give you immediate verbal results from the sound test, and you can will have a written report by the following working day.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What Sound Testing Does
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?
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. A sound insulation test on a project is taken according to the scale and complexity of the construction and the conditions of the site. Generally, a sound insulation test takes about 90 minutes for a simple, regular sized project.
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern.
A full and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you 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. ADE goes on to define and group the type of structures that will undergo testing. They are houses, flats and rooms that are being used or are planned to be used as residences; such as student accommodation, care homes and hotel rooms. How much testing that is required for each category can be found below.
Importance of Sound Insulation Testing
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. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw. ADE ensures that new building are resistant to noise from adjoining buildings and other rooms within the same building. When sound resistance is high in party walls and floors, the environment is more comfortable, since sound affects every aspect of our lives – work environment, home environment and while relaxing. This is why sound testing is crucial.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are important because not having them results in an unfavourable environment for those living in the development. It would mean noise moving from one flat to another in a block of flats. If, for example, an occupant works at night and happens to hear loud music from a neighbour upstairs on a weekend night, it would be very discomforting. Sound insulation helps improve the quality of a person’s life in diverse ways. Then there are developments where each neighbouring room / flat / unit has mixed uses. If the development has passed the sound insulation test, noise is reduced to a minimum.
Does Your Development Need a Sound Insulation Test?
If you’re doing one of the following, then you need a sound test:
- Constructing a building that has two or more units
- Constructing a nursing home or rooms that will be lived in, e.g. hotel room or hostel
- Converting a single development to flats
- Using designs where Robust Details are not included
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 separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. 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. With sound testing, however, you’re free to pick from any design, including more cost effective and appropriate ones. This makes it a more efficient process than Robust Details. When on-site pre–completion building sound tests are taken, architects have more scope with their design and can increase the sound insulation performance of the construction.
How much does sound insulation testing cost?
Contact us and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test cost based on the requirements of your building. 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.
Ideal Period for a Sound Insulation Test
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 Process of a Sound Test
Sound insulation testing is not complicated. Our highly qualified engineers will be willing to explain it in detail on the site. Airborne tests are conducted on party walls while impact and airborne tests are conducted on party floors.
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 meter is also used to measure the background sound, to ensure that it’s 10dB lower than the source sound, as is the standard. More background sound leads to creating a higher source sound. 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.
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 sound tests are performed with a tapping machine positioned on the floor of the source room. The room under it is then measured for the noise levels. This is used in calculating and computing the results. These results are checked against Building Regulations ADE conditions for that kind of dwelling. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.
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. Airborne sound test is the measurement of sound moving through the air through a wall or floor. We use a loudspeaker and noise generator that produces white or pink noise on one side of the partition, and measure with a sound level meter on both sides to calculate the sound insulation performance of the partition. For impact test, a tapping machine that makes impact sound by dropping metal hammers is used. A sound level meter is used to measure in the receiving room below the room the tapping machine is in. Testing can only be completed on ‘habitable’ rooms. Habitable rooms can be bedrooms, lounges, living rooms and open plan kitchen/ living spaces. 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 Testing checks for both airborne and impact noise travelling through new or existing buildings. This may affect party walls and floors between new and existing buildings, or between spaces within a new development.
A structure with 2 or more units/flats
This makes sure that the sound insulation for the building meets all the necessary requirements.
Converting a property into several units
When turning the single dwelling into several flats or units, the sound performance requirements of Building Regulations must be met.
Designs without Robust Details
The Robust Detail Scheme, set up in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd, architects create design details for walls and floors that were tested formerly for sound insulation and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. If the building design does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. A building built as a permanent dwelling has different minimum standards from a building with rooms built for residential purpose, like a hotel or a hostel.
Towns in the UK AF Acoustics Services can be Found
As an acoustics design services firm, AF Acoustics provides acoustic consultancy to various individuals and businesses nationwide, especially in Chelsea. 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
We have worked with many organisations and individuals in Chelsea. Our clients have endorsed us for the following reasons:
Sound testing experience of over 15 years
With more than 15 years of experience, we have a deep knowledge of our customers’ industry and provide actionable strong advice tailored to 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.
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 Chelsea. Call us or email today to get a free quotation.
Consultancy that is effective and efficient
We will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. We will give you the right answers and expert guidance so that you can get effectual solutions to your problems.
Test dates that are adaptable
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 Chelsea, phone or email us immediately.
Test reports arrive the next day
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. The conveyed report will be exhaustive, covering every issue point by point to guarantee that the best suggestions are given.
Sound Insulation Testing Services We offer
With AF Acoustics, you get a highly effective and expert acoustic advice which our customers all over UK have benefited from. Phone or email us today for more information on how we can help you with your acoustic requirements.
Airborne and impact ceilings/floor tests
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. Airborne and Impact tests are carried out on the separating floors between habitable rooms of flats.
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. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result for newly completed constructions. On the other hand, 64dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 43dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is expected from refurbished buildings.
With our professional and highly skilled expertise, we are willing to work with our clients to help them get a pass certificate in every situation. 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 regularly offer consultations to builders and project managers at the beginning of the development, so that they can take the appropriate action and are confident when it’s time to take the sound insulation test. Simply contact us immediately ad you’ll get a free quotation in addition to more details about our sound testing services.
Acoustic design testing in schools in line with BB93
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. Are you building a new school in Chelsea? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.
Acoustic plan 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.
As anybody who has needed to handle the acoustics for a building will know, it’s essential to get proper advice, early in the project from a good acoustic expert. AF Acoustics can help you with identifying the right acoustic needs and standard for your construction at the beginning period and advise you on how to meet them.
We are able to help with:
Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. 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. Public address and sound reinforcement for conference room, lecture theatres and so on.
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. We want to give you expert guidance and provide working solutions, whether you are an individual or an organisation. For a quotation, call or email email@example.com
Provide us with the following data
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
Location of development
Where is your development situated in Chelsea
Number of dwellings in the building
What is the number of units in the development?
Total number of floors
For the right calculation of your quotation, tell us how many levels are in your building.
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.
Types of construction
The type of building, as different building types typically require a different testing.
New Build or conversion project
Knowing if your building is new or converted allows us to give you a competitive quotation and prepare the right test for it.
Building regulations for sound insulation test
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.
Part E of building regulations resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
Our expert engineers can issue certificates for the sound insulation testing. They can visit the site and conduct the test that will lead to getting a certificate which is in line with Building Regulations and Building Control requirements.
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.” Tests should be performed after construction, using the procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. Standard 5.1 does not apply to: fully detached houses or roofs or walkways with access solely for maintenance, or solely for the use of the residents of the dwelling below.
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 that help you construct separating walls and floors with good sound performance that meet ADE demands. 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 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 fixed are sealed Fix all light switches, light fittings and plug sockets. 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.
Test report certificates
To get details of the results of a completed sound insulation test, we will provide you with an analysis and report certificate. 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.
The way the results look
A sound insulation certificate will be issued whether the Sound Testing results and report indicate compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations 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.
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.