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.
Building Control does not issue completion certificates to buildings that don’t have a sound insulation certificate. Contractors and developers have sometimes discovered this, to their detriment. 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 are proud of our turnaround times and our team will issue your certificates as quickly as we possibly can.
Even before you get the certificate, you will receive the results of the test. First, our skilled and competent sound insulation test will engineers give you a verbal result at the site. Then, a written report is sent to you within 24 hours of a working day.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What Sound Testing Does
Walls and floors that separate dwellings in a building are expected to be sound tested, as mandated by Document E of Building Regulations. Only dwellings that have used Robust Details, which licensed before the installation, are exempted from the test. Sound Insulation 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.
The Procedures Involved in a Sound Insulation Test
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. The process of a sound test is determined by the size and complexity of the site being 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 full and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you 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. ADE also states the categories of developments that should be tested. There are three: rooms, flats and houses (including bungalows) that are lived in. Examples are student accommodation, hotel rooms and care homes. Find below the testing stipulation for each kind of development.
Why Sound Testing is Required
After the 2003, Approved Document E mandates that all new structures in UK must take a sound insulation test before completion. 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. This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that new buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings. Sound affects our life no matter where we are, at home, work or while relaxing. Places with lowered noise are more comfortable and enabling. Sound testing ensures that noise reduction in a building is effective.
There are so many more reasons why sound insulation and speech privacy are vital. An inefficient sound insulation treatment will lead to uneasiness for the inhabitants of the dwelling. 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.
How Do I Know if I Need a Sound Test?
You need a sound insulation test if you’re:
- Constructing a nursing home or residential rooms like hostel or hotel rooms,
- Converting a building with a single dwelling into flats,
- Constructing a property with two or more units,
- Using designs without Robust Details to build
Sound insulation is covered and made mandatory under Approved Document E of The Building Regulations.
There are two ways in which to show compliance. You can either test to the regime set out in Approved Document E (ADE), or pay to use Robust Details. If you choose the latter, you must use Robust Details which are a approved design details for partitioning walls and floors. 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. Being able to adapt your design to suit your needs is more efficient and costs less in the long run. On-site pre-completion sound insulation testing gives architects more insight and ability to make their design lead to constructions that have a higher sound performance.
Cost of Sound Insulation Testing
Contact us and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test cost based on the requirements of your building. Our prices are extremely competitive and we’ve worked on developments of various sizes and types. You’re also assured of a quick turnaround time for your sound insulation test report and certificates.
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. For your sound tests to be conducted successfully we need the property to be quiet, with workers not near the rooms to be tested during the test time (a noisy environment makes the test difficult and sometimes unsuccessful). We also need access to all units unless the test program has been compiled earlier. Finally, we need 240V power supply.
How is Sound Insulation Testing Done?
The procedures of a sound insulation test are not difficult. Our site engineers can help you understand it better during the testing time. For partition walls, airborne tests are carried out. For floors there are two types, airborne and impact tests.
The source sound is produced with a white or pink noise generator with a dodecahedron speaker in the largest room. The sound generated and received 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. When conducting airborne sound insulation tests, two speakers are placed in each source room. The noise level in the receiving room is measured to get the sound difference between the source and receiving 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. Impact tests are conducted by fixing a tapping machine on the floor. The sound pressure level at the receiving room, which is below the source room, is measured. Calculations are undertaken, and results achieved. The results are crosschecked to ensure they meet Document E of Building Regulations target. This is a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.
Sound Testing Equipment to Expect
You can expect UKAS calibrated equipment from us, as stipulated by Building Regulations. Our certified engineers conduct tests to meet the current guidelines. An airborne sound test measures levels of sound transmitted through the air through a separating element. Equipment used for the test include a noise generator, speakers and sound level meter. For impact sound testing, the equipment used is a tapping machine that uses dropping hammers to create noise and a sound level meter. Testing can only be completed on ‘habitable’ rooms. Habitable rooms can be bedrooms, lounges, living rooms and open plan kitchen/ living spaces. Test findings are compiled in a report and issued to the client. The report will be accepted by Building Control and used for signing off your project.
These kinds of properties should undergo a sound insulation test:
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 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.
Redevelopment of a building with a single dwelling into flats
The transformation of a single dwelling property into flats must adhere to the sound insulation standards of Building Regulations.
Designed in a way that does not adhere to 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 design does not completely follow Robust Details, sound insulation testing will occur to be certain the building meets ADE criteria. 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 renders acoustics design services and consultancy to customers all over the UK, especially in Farringdon-Without. 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 you should choose AF Acoustics
Our sound testing experts and engineers have worked with various homes and businesses in Farringdon-Without. Our clients refer us to others because of the following benefits of working with us.
More than 15 years’ experience
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. 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.
Compared to other sound insulation testing service in Farringdon-Without, 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.
Ultrafast and efficient 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.
Adaptable test dates
Your convenience is also important to us. This is why we offer you flexible options that let you pick test dates that are most convenient for you. Contact us today to get sound testing in Farringdon-Without
Next day reporting
Getting your report quickly ensures you can take immediate action. We work towards issuing test reports within the next working day, despite the size or complexity of the construction. The report will be detailed and thorough so that all necessities are written out and any advice provided.
AF Acoustics sound testing services
AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. To find out more about we can help you with your acoustics needs, call or email us right away.
Airborne and impact ceilings/floor tests
These are performed on floors and/or ceilings between units. The measurement of the extent of noise transmitted directly through impact from one adjoining room to another is known as impact testing. Impact and airborne testing is undertaken between party floors.
Document E test
AF Acoustics sound testing adheres to ADE which stipulates information bearing on the sound resistance and performance of a property. 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.
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 newly completed constructions, an airborne wall test and an airborne and impact floor test will be needed to meets the standards of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. We regularly provide consultations for project managers and developers from the very start of developments, ensuring peace of mind when it comes time to having a sound test. 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.
BB93 acoustic design tests in schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) explains the sound performance requirement for the acoustics of school buildings. It likewise states how a school can meet this requirement. If you’re constructing a new school in Farringdon-Without, we can test the sound performance to evaluate if it meets the standards of BB93.
Acoustic design 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.
Getting advice on the acoustics of a development as early as possible is crucial. AF Acoustics can enable you to do that by advising you on the appropriate acoustic requirements of your property very early in the building process and recommending what to do to fulfil them.
We are able to help with:
Acoustic detail design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail 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 system
Contact our professionals for a sound test quotation
Our services at AF Acoustics include acoustic design and investigation, evaluation and calculation of noise, acoustic survey, building an architectural acoustics and air pressure 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
Please send the following information to us
Give us the following information when contacting us
Location of development
Where in Farringdon-Without is your construction?
How many dwellings are there?
Number of dwellings on the property
Number of floors in the building
For an accurate calculation of the quote, tell us the number of storeys
Dwellings arrangements per level
To get an appropriate quotation and determine the kind of tests to be conducted, we will also need this.
Kind of property
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
New construction or refurbished building
The testing requirement for new builds and conversion projects are different. We will need this information to determine what standard the testing ought to follow. With this information, we can easily provide you with an accurate and competitive quote on your project in little time.
Building regulations for sound test
Our ADE compliant sound tests can help you gain credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment structures.
Building regulations document E 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.
Standard division for structures (Scotland)
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.” 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 get a pass certificate for your 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 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: All windows and door have been fixed and are functioning Skirting boards are fitted Light switches, plug sockets, and light fittings are adequately fixed. 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
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 report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out usually the next working day. 6. Even before you get the certificate, you get the verbal results of the test. First, our completely skilled and competent sound insulation test engineers give you a verbal result at the site. They also offer advice on potential problems. Then the test report certificate is sent to you within 24 working hours, when feasible.
What do the results look like?
A sound insulation certificate will be issued whether the Sound Testing results and report indicate compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations or not. We can provide professional advice on designs that will surpass Document E standards if the building fails the test.
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.