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 is compulsory for new buildings and refurbishment projects, according to Approved Document E (ADE) updated 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. We understand how important it is for you to get a sound insulation certificate. That’s why we go the extra mile to make sure you get your certificate as quickly as possible. In fact, we pride ourselves on issuing our sound insulation testing certificates as quickly as possible.

Our highly qualified site engineers can arrive on site when needed. They will provide verbal results after the test and a written report will be sent to you within 24 working hours.

Our Guarantee

  • Over 15 years experience
  • State of the art equiptment
  • Onsite Support
  • Next Day Report Turn Around
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?

Developments must test all walls, floors and ceilings that separate buildings or neighbours in a dwelling, to conform to Approved Document E (ADE) of the Building Regulations. You may not have to test your building if you used Robust Details which were approved before their installation. Sound insulation 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 Insulation Testing

The sound test itself produces very high levels of noise but also requires relatively quiet conditions on site. For these reasons, any workforce in the testing area will have to leave temporarily to ensure test accuracy. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. A dwelling or development of normal size and simplicity will more than likely be tested in 90 minutes.

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 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. How much testing that is required for each category can be found below.

Why is Sound Insulation Testing Required? Why is it Important?

Sound insulation testing is required because ADE of Building Regulations has made it compulsory for all new buildings to take a sound test prior to finishing construction. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result. This is to be certain that all new developments meet a uniform minimum criterion for resistance to sound from other parts of the development and adjoining developments. 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. 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. 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.

Do You Need a Sound 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.

Sound insulation is covered and made mandatory under Approved Document E of The Building Regulations.

There are 2 ways you can comply. Test for sound insulation using the method of Approved Document E or use Robust Details in your development. Robust Details are a set of specific design details for walls and floors that have been previously tested to show compliance and must be used if this route is selected. 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. 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?

Call us or email us to get a free quotation for your building. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a sound insulation report and certificates be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. If you get a better quote elsewhere, simply forward it to us and we will try and beat it!

Sound Insulation Test Time

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.

How is Sound Insulation Testing Done?

The method of taking the test is not complex and our sound test engineers can explain it thoroughly on site, if you wish. The separating walls undergo airborne tests while separating walls and floor undergo airborne and impact tests.

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.

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 tests are carried out by means of a tapping machine placed on the floor to be measured. The sound pressure level at the receiving room, which is below the source room, is measured. Calculations are done and the outcome is checked against ADE requirements for the type of building. This is a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.

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

Type of Sound Insulation Test Machines We Will be using

Our licensed engineers use UKAS calibrated equipment to measure sound insulation according to the present standards of Building Regulations. The calculation of the level of noise transmitted through the air between two adjoining units is known as an airborne sound insulation test. A loudspeaker and noise generator is used in one room while a sound level meter is used in both rooms for measuring level of noise. 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. The outcome of the test is written in a report and sent to the customer. This report helps Building Control sign off your building.

These kinds of properties should undergo a sound insulation test:

The airborne and impact sound going through new and old buildings are evaluated by sound testing. This can impact adjoining walls and floors between the building.

A new building with 2 or more dwellings

This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.

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.

Design that don’t have Robust Details factored in

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 building design does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. The minimum requirements during testing will depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).

Where doses AF Acoustics conduct tests in UK?

AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in Dulwich. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. You can find our consultants all over the south east region of the country. That way we give you the most affordable quotation that will meet your budget needs.

Why AF Acoustics is the right choice for your sound insulation test

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

15 years’ experience

We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. 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.

Great prices

Compared to other sound insulation testing service in Dulwich, our prices are extremely competitive. This is because we want you to be able to afford the best expert sound testing service there is. To get a free quote for your dwelling, contact us today.

Prompt and productive consultancy

We will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. Both your short and long-term needs are handled with our professional guidance and quick answers to your problems.

Test dates that are flexible

Because your convenience is important to us, we provide several options to help you choose a test date that is best for you. Call us to get your sound testing in Dulwich undertaken.

Next day reporting

We try to provide test reports within 24 working hours. That way, you can take the right action based on the results of the test. That way, you can take immediate action on the recommendations given. Our reports are thorough and cover all the important issues.

AF Acoustics sound testing services

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

These are taken on separating floors/ceilings between residences. Impact testing evaluates how much the sound flowing from one partition to another through party floors via impact is. Airborne and impact tests are conducted on the floor partitions between liveable rooms.

ADE testing

Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw for new structures. Converted properties get a slightly different requirement. Expected minimum airborne sound insulation test result is 43dB DnTw+Ctr while expected maximum impact sound test result is 64dB L’nTw.

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 properties, an airborne and impact test will help you guarantee the building meets the requirements of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. 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. 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.

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

BB93 testing of acoustic design in schools

For a school to meet up with Building Regulation acoustic requirements, it must adhere to Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which explains the sound insulation expectation for schools in detail. If building a new school in Dulwich, we can test the school to check if it meets the requirements of BB93.

Acoustic design details

AF Acoustics provide detailed acoustic design services and consulting on a wide range of buildings. We have the capability and experience to develop customised solutions, and have a strong working knowledge of available proprietary acoustic products. We will develop detailed design solutions suitable for the specific demands of the project.

It is critical to get right professional assistance ahead of schedule from a highly qualified acoustic specialist. AF Acoustics can assist you with identifying the right acoustic propertiesfor your project at very early on in the construction process and tell you the best way to get them, utilizing a deep know-how of acoustic design.

We will help you with:

Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. Detail plans for the educational, commercial and healthcare industry so as to meet with the current criteria. Specifications and building services design for control of noise in noise sensitive areas. Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)

Contact AF Acoustics specialist for sound insulation test quotes

At AF Acoustics, we are an independent acoustic consultancy. Our work embraces acoustic surveys, acoustic design and investigation work in the fields of planning and noise, architectural and building acoustics, the monitoring and control of vibrations and air tightness 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 info@af-acoustics.com

020 3372 4430 Contact us

Provide us with the following data

When contacting us, please give us the following information

Location of property

Where in Dulwich is your construction?

Total number of dwellings

Number of dwellings on the property

Number of levels in the structure

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

Configuration of dwellings (no. of units per level)

To help us get you an accurate quotation and evaluate the scope of the test to be taken, tell us how many dwellings there are per floor.

Type of development

Tell us the kind of property because different buildings require different amounts of tests.

New Build or conversion project

These two go require different types performance, so let us know which one it is and you’ll get an accurate test and quotation.

Sound Insulation Testing Regulations

Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building requirements. You can also get credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment projects.

Resistance to the passage of sound: Approved Document E (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.

Scotland Standard division for completed constructions

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 taken at the completion of the building, using procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. These standards don’t apply to detached structures that have access only for maintenance or are to used only by the occupants who live below.

How to get a pass certificate for your sound test

The most efficient way to make sure you pass sound insulation test is to have a plan that puts sound insulation into consideration from the begining. You don’t have to spend too much for this and it will save you money in the long run, ensuring you don’t pay remedial or re-test expenses. We offer design services that help you construct separating walls and floors with good sound performance that meet ADE demands. 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. The following will give you a better chance of passing the sound test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Skirting boards are fitted 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.

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

A certificate will be issued to you whether the sound insulation treatment of the building meets the requirements of Document E of Building Regulations or not. If a partition wall or floor does not comply with Part E standards, repair work and another sound test will be needed. We can give robust advice on that to ensure you pass.


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