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. New structures and reconstructed developments have been mandated by the Building Regulations to test for sound upon completion, since Approved Document E (ADE) was reappraised in 2003.
Not having a sound insulation certificate issued after a test, has resulted in additional costs and expenses for developers. Any development that has not taken a sound test will not be given a completion certificate by Building Control. 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. We take great pride in providing our certificates to you as soon as possible after the tests.
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
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.
The Procedures Involved in a Sound Insulation Test
A sound insulation test creates a high amount of noise but needs a site with low noise levels to be taken effectively. As a result of this, workers in a testing area might have to leave the development temporarily, so that the test can be free from errors. Undertaking sound tests on site varies according to the size and complexity of the building project and the site conditions. Most of the time the test will be conducted in 90 minutes, for a simple, regular sized construction.
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern.
A full and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you within 24 working hours. The sound testing regime is set out in the Approved Document E of the Building Regulations. It states that one set of tests is required for every 10 units in a group or sub-group. Sub-groups are defined in Section 1 of Approved Document E (ADE). Buildings to be tested are categorised into three kinds: houses, flats and rooms like care homes, student accommodation and hotel rooms. Find below the testing stipulation for each kind of development.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Relevant?
After the 2003, Approved Document E mandates that all new structures in UK must take a sound insulation test before completion. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result. 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 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.
Insufficient sound insulation causes distress and comfort while an effective sound insulation system brings about speech privacy. This is one of the several reasons why sound insulation is a key element in building. 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. Sound insulation helps improve the quality of a person’s life in diverse ways. It can be useful in dwellings with neighbouring units/flats/rooms which have diverse purposes, by guaranteeing that an occupant in a room will hear as little noise as possible from the neighbouring room.
Do You 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
ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.
To conform, you can either follow the procedure outlined in ADE or make use of Robust Details. If you choose the latter, you must use Robust Details which are a approved design details for partitioning walls and floors. Using Robust Details, without taking a test, limits you to the design you’ve picked. With sound testing, however, you’re free to pick from any design, including more cost effective and appropriate ones. This makes it a more efficient process than Robust Details. Conducting on-site pre-completion sound testing also enables the architects more scope with their design and can lead to improved sound insulation performance.
Price for Sound Insulation Testing
To get a free quote for your dwelling, contact us. 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!
When can I carry out the sound insulation tests?
We can undertake your sound tests when your building has almost been completed. By this time, you should have fixed internal and external doors and windows. We can conduct sound tests beforehand if required. To be able to conduct sound insulation testing we require the provision of a 240V power supply, and a quiet site (a noisy site can make conducting the tests extremely difficult). Access will be required to all rooms of the development unless a test schedule is determined in advance.
How is sound insulation testing carried out?
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. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.
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. 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 variations or differences in noise level are ‘corrected’ to take into consideration the already present background noise in the receiving room and the reverberation time – measure of time needed for a sound to decay or be absorbed in a closed room by 60dB. Impact 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 done and the outcome is checked against ADE requirements for the type of building. Without the mathematical formulae, this explanation highlights sound insulation testing procedures in a simple manner.
Type of Sound Insulation Test Machines We Will be using
The testing equipment used are UKAS calibrated. Our highly qualified engineers test based on present Building Regulations conditions. An airborne sound test measures levels of sound transmitted through the air through a separating element. We use pink or white noise generator and speakers on one side of the partition. A sound level meter is used on calculating sound in both units. 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 is done on rooms that can be lived in. E.g. lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. 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.
Sound insulation testing is essential for these dwelling types:
Sound insulation tests examine airborne and impact sound moving through buildings. It is usually undertaken between party walls and floors between buildings or between spaces within a new development.
A structure with 2 or more units/flats
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.
Design not using Robust Details
Architects are able to use pre-tested and approved Robust Details design for partitioning walls and floors. The Robust Details scheme was formed in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd. If the building design is not in line with any Robust Details, it will require sound testing to ensure its compliance with the buildings regulations. 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 provides acoustic design services to customer nationwide, especially in Harrow-on-the-Hill. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants are based in several strategic locations across the south east of the country to ensure that we can provide the most competitive quotations in the industry for sound insulation testing.
Why AF Acoustics is the right choice for your sound insulation test
We have worked with many organisations and individuals in Harrow-on-the-Hill. Our clients have endorsed us for the following reasons:
More than 15 years’ experience
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. We also have a track record of providing superior acoustic services to our customers (home and business owners) in the UK in small and large projects, giving them astounding value for their money.
To ensure all clients in Harrow-on-the-Hill can afford superior quality sound insulation testing, we offer some of the most competitive rates you can both in and outside Harrow-on-the-Hill. If in doubt, contact us now for a free no-obligation quote.
Fast and efficient consultancy
We will interpret your problems and necessities, present you with vigorous ideas and provide acoustic advice through our extensive experience. We will give you the right answers and expert guidance so that you can get effectual solutions to your problems.
Adjustable test dates
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 Harrow-on-the-Hill by calling us now.
Get your test reports quickly
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.
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. 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 only carried out on separating floor/ceiling between dwellings. Impact testing evaluates how much the sound flowing from one partition to another through party floors via impact is. The adjoining floors/ceilings of rooms intended as residences usually have both impact and airborne sound tests.
Testing in line with Part E of Building Regulations
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. 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.
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. 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.
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 you’re developing a new school in Harrow-on-the-Hill, we can test it to find out if it aligns with BB93.
Acoustic design details
AF Acoustics give definite design services and consultancy services to all types of developments. We create bespoke solution and can provide information on the best available acoustic products. We will tailor our design solutions to your 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 can help with:
Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. Detail layout for the commercial, health and educational constructions in order to align with regulations. Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms etc.
To get a sound test quote for your building, call or email our highly skilled professionals
As an independent acoustics consultancy, AF Acoustics is able to provide extensive acoustic survey and design, investigations in the field of planning and noise, architectural and building acoustics, and air permeability testing. We 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
Provide us with the following data
When contacting us for sound insulation testing quote, we will need you to provide the following information
Location of property
Where is your development situated in Harrow-on-the-Hill
Total number of dwellings
Total number of dwellings in the structure
Number of Storeys
To get a precise quote, let us know the total number of floors you have.
Dwellings arrangements 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.
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
Newly completed construction or conversion
These two go require different types performance, so let us know which one it is and you’ll get an accurate test and quotation.
Building regulations for sound test
We undertake sound insulation test on various buildings that adhere to Building Regulations Document E. Testing can also enable you get more credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment constructions.
Building regulations document E resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
We can send our authorised engineers to your development whenever the timing is ideal to undertake sound insulation testing that conforms to Building Regulations Document E consistence, as accepted by Building Control.
Scotland Standard division for properties
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 make sure you pass your sound test
The most effective way to ensure you pass your sound test is to plan the project with sound insulation in mind. This does not need to be costly, and can save considerable time and expense at the end of the project, not to mention avoiding escalating remedial and re-test costs. We offer design services that help you construct separating walls and floors with good sound performance that meet ADE demands. Our consultation may include several site visits and thorough design reports, or more basic initial tests on your structure. The following conditions will provide you with an ample chance of passing the sound test: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Skirting boards are fitted 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.
Test and report certificates
To obtain a thorough evaluation of your building, we issue a report certificate within 24 working hours where possible. Our highly capable sound test engineers will give you a verbal result of the test, once the test is taken and proffer solutions to possible problems or future areas of concern. 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?
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.