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. It is compulsory for new buildings and refurbishment projects, according to Approved Document E (ADE) updated in 2003.

As many contractors and developers have found to their detriment, without a sound insulation certificate, the Building Control Officer will not issue a completion certificate. As a result of this, we try to ensure that you are issued with a sound insulation certificate as fast as possible. When the tests are completed, we work quickly to issue your certificates; we take great pride in our efficiency.

AF Acoustics’ competent and well-trained engineers, who will be available for testing, can even let you know the verbal results of your sound test. You will receive a written report in the space of a working day.

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  • Over 15 years experience
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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 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 a Sound Test

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. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. Most of the time the test will be conducted in 90 minutes, for a simple, regular sized construction.

Once it is completed, the engineers will give a verbal interim result on the site and basic helpful information on what was noticed during the test, e.g. possible sound issues and future places that could cause problems.

A complete report and sound insulation test certificate can be produced and issued within 24 working hours. The sound testing guidelines are stipulated in Building Regulations ADE. It requires one set of test to be conducted on 10 units in a group or sub-group. You can find out what is meant by a sub-group in Section 1 of ADE. There are three types of grouping criteria that need to be assessed: dwelling houses (including bungalows), flats and rooms for residential purposes, such as student accommodation and hotel rooms, care homes etc. The extent of testing required for these three groups is shown below.

Why Should Your Dwelling Undergo Sound Testing

Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. The impact sound test result should not be more than 62dB L’nTw and the airborne sound insulation should not be less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. These result limits were put in to create and maintain a uniform standard for sound resistance in different parts of a dwelling and between adjacent buildings. 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 speech privacy are critical for a variety of reasons. Inadequate sound insulation can be extremely distressing to those affected by it. 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. This is just one instance of the influence of sound insulation on our lives. 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.

How to Know if You Need Sound Insulation Testing

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

Building Regulations Part E discusses sound testing in detail and has made it a requirement.

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. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. 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. Sound insulation testing can also help architects enhance their building design and in turn the sound insulation of the building.

Cost of Sound Insulation Testing

Simply contact us and we will be able to provide a free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have 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.

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. During the test, you should provide the following:

  • Access to all rooms. The only exception is if a schedule was created before the test time.
  • 240V power supply
  • A noiseless site

How is sound insulation testing carried out?

Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. The separating walls undergo airborne tests while separating walls and floor undergo airborne and impact tests.

The airborne sound insulation test is carried out with a large speaker or dodecahedron speaker, using a white or pink noise generator to create the source sound, almost always in the largest room of the two rooms under testing. The sound in the source room and receiver room (sharing a separating wall with the source room) is measured with a sound level meter. 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. 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.

The sound difference is adjusted to make an allowance for reverberation time (time in which the sound decays by 60dB) and background noise in the receiver room. Impact sound tests are performed with a tapping machine positioned on the floor of the source room. Noise level in the room below is measured at various different frequencies. Calculations are undertaken, and results achieved. The results are crosschecked to ensure they meet Document E of Building Regulations target. 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.

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

Kind of Testing Equipments Used

Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving through a separating element. The equipment we use are a sound level meter, loudspeaker and white or pink noise generator. 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. 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:

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.

A structure with 2 or more units/flats

This makes sure that the sound insulation for the building meets all the necessary requirements.

Conversions of former single dwelling properties into flats

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 is slightly different from Robust Details, a sound test is essential so that Building Regulations criteria can be met. The minimum criterion is based on various factors such as the purpose of the development and if it is a permanent dwelling or rooms to be used as residences like students’ accommodations and hotels.

Areas in the UK AF Acoustics Conduct Test

AF Acoustics provides acoustic design services to customer nationwide, especially in Cowley. Af Acoustics work with individuals, government agencies, planning and environmental consultancies, and architects. We’re based in several strategic locations in the south east of UK to enable you get the best quotation and price possible.

Why choose AF Acoustics for Sound Insulation Testing?

Our sound insulation testing expertise at AF Acoustics have aided several home and business owners in Cowley. We come highly recommended by our clients because of the guarantees when you work with us

15 years’ experience

We are able to offer helpful functional solutions that will solve our customer’s needs. We have over 15 years of experience satisfying the acoustic needs of UK businesses and homeowners with a proven track record on both small scale and major projects. You can always rely on us for exceptional value for money.

Great prices

To make sure you can afford high quality sound insulation projects in UK, we offer one of the most affordable prices in Cowley. Contact us immediately and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test.

Fast and efficient consultancy

Our expert acoustic advice is tailored to your specific needs based on our experience which enable us to provide strong solutions. 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

We make your convenience our priority. Therefore, we offer flexible alternatives that can help you select test dates that suit you itinerary. If you want to schedule sound insulation testing in Cowley, phone or email us immediately.

Get your test reports quickly

When you get your sound test report fast, you’re able to take corrective action. We try to issue reports on the next working day no matter how large or complex the project. That way, you can take immediate action on the recommendations given. Our reports are thorough and cover all the important issues.

Sound Insulation Testing Services We offer

AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.

Airborne and impact ceilings/floor tests

These are only carried out on separating floor/ceiling between dwellings. An impact test examines the level of noise moving from one dwelling to another through impact on adjoining floors/ceilings. These floors in habitable rooms of flats undergo both impact and airborne tests.

Approved Document E test

Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. The impact sound test of new dwellings should be 62dB L’nTw or less and airborne sound insulation 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more while impact results for reconstructed properties should be 64dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation 43dB DnTw+Ctr or more.

Testing for sound insulation

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. To find out more about our sound testing services and get a free quotation, contact us now.

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

Acoustic design testing in schools in line with BB93

Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) describes the minimum requirement for the acoustics of a school building. It also stipulates how a school can conform to Building Regulations. If you’re constructing a new school in Cowley, we can conduct a test to be certain it meets the standards of BB93.

Acoustic layout

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 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 can help with:

Creating acoustic detail plans for architects involved in residential construction that conform to Document E of Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)

Get a sound insulation testing quotation by contacting our experts

AF Acoustics is a leading acoustic consultancy. It provides the following services: architectural and building acoustics, acoustics design, survey and investigation in the field of planning and noise, and examining and controlling air vibrations while conducting air leakage tests. 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 info@af-acoustics.com

020 3372 4430 Contact us

Please send the following information to us

When contacting us, please give us the following information

The development’s location

Provide the location of your building in Cowley.

Number of dwellings in the building

Total number of dwellings in the structure

Number of Storeys

To give you an appropriate quotation, would like to know the number of floors in your building.

Dwellings configuration per floor

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

Types of construction

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

New property or reconstructed dwelling

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.

Building regulations for sound insulation test

We provide sound testing and sound insulation testing on all types of buildings, for compliance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building Standards. Testing can also gain credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment schemes.

Sound resistance: approved document of building regulations (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.

Building Standards Division (Scotland)

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.” Fully detached roofs or walkways that are not used for residential purposes do not have to take the sound tests of the Scottish Standards 5.1.

How to pass a sound 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. Our consultation may include several site visits and thorough design reports, or more basic initial tests on your structure. Take the following action to give your building the best opportunity to pass the sound insulation test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Skirting boards are fixed Fix all light switches, light fittings and plug sockets. Our experienced acoustic consultants work with developers, contractors, architects and planners of all sizes from the early design stage to help minimise any potential issues right through to project completion, ensuring that all properties are compliant with Building Regulations Document E 2003.

Test report certificates

To 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 results

Your test certificate will show if your development passed or failed the test and show if it adheres to the requirements of Part E of Building Regulations. In the event that some part of the building does not meet up with the conditions of Document E, remedial work and a retest is required. We give remedial design advice to help you achieve Building Regulations standards.


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