Sound testing calculates the extent to which sound is blocked by the partition (walls, floors etc) of a building between dwellings. It evaluates the efficiency of the soundproofing materials that make up the structure. 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. We pride ourselves on the facts that our sound insulation certificates are issued with speed and 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 Insulation 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 testing conducts impact and airborne sound test on structures. The tests include the separating floors, walls and areas between buildings within developments.
What is involved in a Sound 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. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. If the site is simple and of regular size, it typically takes about 90 minutes to complete the sound test.
After the test, the sound insulation test engineers will let you know the outcome of the test and supply simple feedback of important things noted during the test; e.g. problems that might occur in the future.
A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out the next day. 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 goes on to define and group the type of structures that will undergo testing. They are houses, flats and rooms that are being used or are planned to be used as residences; such as student accommodation, care homes and hotel rooms. The extent of testing required for these three groups is shown below.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Required? Why is it Important?
Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. Results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. The aim of Approved Documet E of the Building Regulations is to establish a minimum standard for the reduction in noise levels between all dwellings in a new or refurbished building. Sound testing is essential due to the fact that sound impacts us wherever we are, whether it’s at home, leisure or the office. Reduced noise in the partitions and flooring of a structure leads to greater ease and a more efficient environment.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are important because not having them results in an unfavourable environment for those living in the development. Let’s take a look at this scenario. An individual living in a block of flats might spend the weekend with friends relaxing and playing loud music. If the sound insulation on adjoining walls and floor is insufficient, the music will be distressful to neighbours, especially if they work at night. This is just one instance of the influence of sound insulation on our lives. There are also developments where the neighbouring units are used for different purposes. In such cases, a sound test ensures that the noise coming from each unit is minimal.
Do I Need a Sound Insulation Test?
You need sound insulation testing if you:
- Build a new development of 2 or more dwellings / flats
- Convert a former single dwelling into flats
- Build a Nursing Home or rooms for residential use, i.e. hotel or hostel
- Have designs which do not adhere to Robust Details
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. If you choose the latter, you must use Robust Details which are a approved design details for partitioning walls and floors. The Robust Details scheme means that testing is not necessary, but is strictly limited to the design given in the Robust Details approved list. 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. 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.
How much does sound insulation testing cost?
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.
Sound Insulation Test Time
Ideally, we would conduct a test when a development nears completion, and once all internal and external doors and windows have been fitted. We can test earlier to check if there are any problems. During the test, you should provide the following:
- Access to all rooms. The only exception is if a schedule was created before the test time.
- 240V power supply
- A noiseless site
The Procedures of a Sound Insulation Test
The method of taking the test is not complex and our sound test engineers can explain it thoroughly on site, if you wish. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.
A pink or white noise generator and a large speaker is used for the test in the biggest room between the two undergoing testing. A sound level meter calculates the noise in the source room and 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 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. 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.
Sound Test Equipment Used
Our licensed engineers use UKAS calibrated equipment to measure sound insulation according to the present standards of Building Regulations. An airborne test is used to check how much sound is moving through the air between partitions. 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 is done on rooms that can be lived in. E.g. lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. Test findings are fed into a report that will be sent to the client. This report will always be acceptable to Building Control and will help you to get your development signed off.
It’s important to undertake a sound test if you have this kind of building:
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 ensures that a sound insulation system installed in residences meets the requirements of ADE.
A single dwelling that was turned into a development with several flats or units
The transformation of a single dwelling property into flats must adhere to the sound insulation standards 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 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 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 Kingsbury. 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 choose AF Acoustics for Sound Insulation Testing?
We have helped many homes and business owners in Kingsbury with their sound tests and building’s sound performance. Our customers endorse and recommend us because of the following advantages of working with us.
Over 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.
We want to ensure that you get the best value for your money. That is why we have one of the most unbeatable rates in and outside Kingsbury. Call us or email today to get a free quotation.
Effective and quick consultancy
Our expert acoustic advice is tailored to your specific needs based on our experience which enable us to provide strong solutions. When you reach out to us for professional guidance, we make it a priority and deliver accurate answers fast. We recommend effective solutions that are most in line with your current and long-term needs.
Test dates that are flexible
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. Call us to get your sound testing in Kingsbury undertaken.
Get your test reports quickly
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. We make certain all relevant issues are covered and quality tips are supplied by detailing all the aspects of the test in the report.
The sound testing services we provide
AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. Telephone or email us today for more data on how we can assist you with your acoustic requirements.
Airborne and impact tests for floors/ceilings
The ceilings/floors of developments undergo impact and airborne floor testing. The measurement of the extent of noise transmitted directly through impact from one adjoining room to another is known as impact testing. These floors in habitable rooms of flats undergo both impact and airborne tests.
PART E 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.
Sound Insulation Testing
Our services and expertise is unbeatable and we are glad to work with our clients to help pass their sound insulation tests. A new dwelling may have to undergo an airborne and impact test to meet the benchmark 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.
BB93 testing of acoustic design in schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) describes the minimum requirement for the acoustics of a school building. It also stipulates how a school can conform to Building Regulations. If building a new school in Kingsbury, we can test the school to check if it meets the requirements of BB93.
Acoustic design details
AF Acoustics provide extensive design services and consultancy on a variety of buildings. We have the ability and experience to create bespoke solutions, and have solid working information of accessible acoustic items. We will create design solutions appropriate for the explicit requests 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 can help 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 design details that enable good sound insulation and reduction of noise in residences. Increasing sound through public enterprise and sound reinforcement systems in conference rooms, halls, lecture theatres and the like.
Contact AF Acoustics specialist for sound insulation test quotes
We are an independent acoustic organisation that handles everything concerning acoustics including survey, design, architectural and building acoustics and air tightness testing. Our expert consultation is available to individuals and companies with all types and sizes of constructions. We will give you free quotation with highly competitive rates. Simply call us or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Giving the following information to us will be helpful
When contacting us, please give us the following information
Place where the building is being built
Where in Kingsbury is your construction?
Total number of dwellings
What is the number of units in the development?
How many storeys are there?
For the right calculation of your quotation, tell us how many levels are in your building.
Dwellings configuration per floor
To get an appropriate quotation and determine the kind of tests to be conducted, we will also need this.
Type of development
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
New property or reconstructed dwelling
The testing requirements for new dwellings and converted properties are not the same. Tell us the type of building you have so that we give you the right quote.
Sound Insulation Testing Regulations
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.
Sound resistance: approved document of building regulations (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 developments (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.” 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. Our consultation may include several site visits and thorough design reports, or more basic initial tests on your structure. The following criteria should be followed to provide you with the best chance of passing your sound test: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Fit and seal skirting boards Plug sockets, light switches and fittings are in place 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.
Test report certificates
To get details of the results of a completed sound insulation test, we will provide you with an analysis and report certificate. 6. Even before you get the certificate, you get the verbal results of the test. First, our completely skilled and competent sound insulation test engineers give you a verbal result at the site. They also offer advice on potential problems. Then the test report certificate is sent to you within 24 working hours, when feasible.
The way the results look
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. If parts or all the building fails the test, repair work and a retest is recommended. We provide design advice to ensure your property does proper remedial and meets up with the necessary requirements.
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.