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 has been a mandatory part of the Building Regulations for new build and refurbishment projects since Approved Document E (ADE) was revised in 2003.
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. 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. 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.
- 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 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.
What is involved in Sound Insulation Testing
While producing lots of noise, sound test needs a quiet site to be conducted efficiently. Due to this fact, the workers in the site should not be present at the time of the test. The process of a sound test is determined by the size and complexity of the site being tested. A dwelling or development of normal size and simplicity will more than likely be tested in 90 minutes.
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.
A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out the next day. The sound insulation testing methodology has been outlined by Document E of the Building Regulations. The document states that every 10 units in a sub-group or group should undergo one set of test, and defines a sub-group in Section 1. 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. 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. 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 insulation testing is important because sound affects the way we live, whether at work, in the home or whilst at leisure. Noise reduction between walls and floors could result in a more comfortable, productive 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. 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. 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?
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.
It is imperative that sound insulation tests be undertaken, as explained and stipulated by ADE.
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. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. Sound testing provides more flexibility by allowing different designs and is often therefore more cost effective in many ways compared to the Robust Details Scheme. Conducting on-site pre-completion sound testing also enables the architects more scope with their design and can lead to improved sound insulation performance.
How Much Will I Pay for a Sound Insulation Test?
Call us or email us to get a free quotation for 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. These are the things we need to conduct the test:
- 240V power supply
- A quiet environment
- Access to all the units of the structure unless places to test have been decided before then.
The Process of a Sound Test
Our sound test engineers can answer your questions and make the sound test process easy to understand on site, during the time of the test. The boundary floors and walls get airborne tests. Floors get an additional impact test.
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 is then used to take noise measurements within the source room and the 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 tests are conducted in this manner: two singular speaker positions are used for every source room. The noise in the receiver room is measured to determine the variations in noise level between the source and receiver room.
This basic level difference is then ‘corrected’ to allow for the reverberation time (the time is taken, in seconds, for a noise source to decay by 60dB) and the existing levels of background noise monitored whilst in the receiving room. A tapping machine is placed on the floor to execute an impact sound insulation test. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. This is used in calculating and computing the results. These results are checked against Building Regulations ADE conditions for that kind of dwelling. This is of course, a somewhat simplified explanation without the various mathematical formulae involved, but helps to explain the process.
What Sound Insulation Testing Equipment do we use?
You can expect UKAS calibrated equipment from us, as stipulated by Building Regulations. Our certified engineers conduct tests to meet the current guidelines. The calculation of the level of noise transmitted through the air between two adjoining units is known as an airborne sound insulation test. 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. 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. Testing is done on rooms that can be lived in. E.g. lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. The outcome of the test is written in a report and sent to the customer. This report helps Building Control sign off your building.
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.
Property with two or more units
This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.
Converting a single development to flats
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E of Building Regulations.
Using designs where Robust Details are not included
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 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.
Which areas of the UK does AF Acoustics cover?
AF Acoustics is an acoustics design services and consultancy company. Our clients can be found nationwide, especially in Cranford. 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 you should choose AF Acoustics
Having rendered high quality service to numerous customers in Cranford, we have gotten great positive feedback and recommendation from our clientele due to the following:
15 years’ experience
We are able to offer helpful functional solutions that will solve our customer’s needs. Our clients in the UK are completely satisfied with our acoustic solutions. Irrespective of the type of project you have, minor or major, you can be assured that we’ll give outstanding value for your money.
To ensure all clients in Cranford can afford superior quality sound insulation testing, we offer some of the most competitive rates you can both in and outside Cranford. If in doubt, contact us now for a free no-obligation quote.
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 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. Take the first step towards your sound insulation testing in Cranford by calling us now.
Fast turnaround for your report
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 delivered report will be comprehensive and well detailed to ensure all relevant issues are covered and any recommendations are provided.
Sound insulation testing services AF Acoustics undertake
AF Acoustics offer a variety of complete acoustic slutions to clients all over the Uk, Telephone or email us today for more data on how we can assist you with your acoustic requirements.
Impact and Airborne floor test
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. The calculation of the sound level transferred from one unit to another through a separating floor via impact is called an impact test. These floors in habitable rooms of flats undergo both impact and airborne tests.
Approved Document E test
Our sound insulation testing in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document E, which sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound. For new buildings, results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. Converted structures expected impact sound results increases by 2dB L’nTw while the airborne sound results reduces by 2dB DnTw+Ctr.
Testing for sound insulation
We offer the highest levels of service and expertise and are always happy to work with you to give you the best possible chance of achieving 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. When working with AF Acoustics, developers and project managers get acoustic advice right from the start of the building project. That way, they can make sure their developments have a good sound performance. Call or email us now for more details on our sound insulation testing services and for a quotation to be sent to you, free of charge.
Acoustic design testing in schools in line with BB93
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) explains minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings. It also describes the normal means of demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulations. If building a new school in Cranford, we can test the school to check if it meets the requirements of BB93.
We have provided acoustic design services and consulting to various clients with different types and sizes of dwellings. We also give customised solutions and have a deep understanding of acoustic merchandise. Due to this fact, we will provide precise design answers suitable for the specific needs 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 are able to help with:
Acoustic detail design for architects involved in residential developments for compliance with Part E Regs, BS8233, and so on. Detail plans in commercial, educational and healthcare project for adhering to the prescribed standard. Specification and design of building services for noise control in residential and other noise sensitive scenarios 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
We are an independent acoustic organisation that handles everything concerning acoustics including survey, design, architectural and building acoustics and air tightness 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
Please send the following information to us
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
Location of property
Where in Cranford is your construction?
Number of dwellings in the building
Total number of dwellings in the building.
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 dwelling units per storey
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
Tell us the kind of property because different buildings require different amounts of tests.
New property or reconstructed dwelling
Newly completed constructions and refurbished structures have different requirements for sound insulation testing. This is why it’s important to provide this information beforehand. Our quotation is available at any time.
Sound Insulation Testing Regulations
Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building requirements. You can also get credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment projects.
Building regulations document E resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
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 completed constructions
Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards explicitly describes expected energy performance of dwellings. It states, “Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that each wall and floor separating one dwelling from another, or one dwelling from another part of the building, or one dwelling from a building other than a dwelling, will limit the transmission of noise to the dwelling to a level that will not threaten the health of the occupants or inconvenience them in the course of normal domestic activities.” Tests 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 to make sure you pass your sound 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. Are you uncertain that the separating floor and walls you will build will adhere to Document E 2003 conditions? You can book our design services. Whether you want some initial tests on your project, or comprehensive reports at the end, we can help you at the level that you need. Take the following action to give your building the best opportunity to pass the sound insulation test: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Skirting boards are fitted and sealed Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted 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.
Investigation and 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
You will get your sound insulation test certificate whether you pass or fail the sound tests. 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
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.