Sound insulation testing involves the use of specialist equipment to examine how much sound is reduced off by floors and walls, of a building. It checks if a dwelling’s sound proofing treatment meets the requirements set out in Approved Document E. It has been a mandatory part of the Building Regulations for new build and refurbishment projects since Approved Document E (ADE) was revised in 2003.
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. As a result of this, we try to ensure that you are issued with a sound insulation certificate as fast as possible. In fact, we are proud of our turnaround times and our team will issue your certificates as quickly as we possibly can.
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.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What Sound Testing Does
To adhere to Building Regulations ADE requirements, adjoining walls, floors and ceilings in a building will have to be tested, except where licensed Robust Details were used. Sound insulation 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
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. A sound insulation test on a project is taken according to the scale and complexity of the construction and the conditions of the site. 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 report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out the next day. 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). 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. Find below the testing stipulation for each kind of development.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Relevant?
Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. 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 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 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 one way sound insulation can affect how a person lives. Sound insulation is also effective in buildings that have flats with mixed uses. If the building passed the sound test, you can be sure that noise reduction will be effective.
Do I Need a Sound Insulation Test?
Your development needs a sound insulation test if it meets one of the following criteria:
- It’s design does not have Robust Details
- It’s a new building with 2 or more dwellings
- It’s being constructed to be used as a residence, like a hotel room or a hostel, or as a nursing home
- It was once a single dwelling but is being turned into a development with several flats or units.
Sound insulation is covered and made mandatory under Approved Document E of The Building Regulations.
Either you follow the pre-completion sound testing process stipulated therein or you use Robust Details. This way, you have conformed to the requirements. If you choose the latter, you must use Robust Details which are a approved design details for partitioning walls and floors. When you use it, you don’t have to take a sound insulation test. However, you must abide strictly by the design from the Robust Details approved list. Sound testing provides more flexibility by allowing different designs and is often therefore more cost effective in many ways compared to the Robust Details Scheme. Sound insulation testing can also help architects enhance their building design and in turn the sound insulation of the building.
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!
Period Sound Insulation Test Should be Carried Out
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 achieve the best results we would need the following during the test: quietness during the time of the test, 240V power supply and access to all the rooms unless a test plan has been agreed upon prior to the test time.
How is sound insulation testing carried out?
Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. Airborne tests are conducted on party walls while impact and airborne tests are conducted on party floors.
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 sound is also calculated. Noise in the receiver room should be 10dB more than the background noise at all frequency measurements, so source noise is set to be greater than background noise. 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 sound tests are performed with a tapping machine positioned on the floor of the source room. The sound level in the room below it is recorded. 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 a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.
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. Airborne sound test is the measurement of sound moving through the air through a wall or floor. The equipment we use are a sound level meter, loudspeaker and white or pink noise generator. Sound level meter is also used for impact tests. Alongside it, a tapping machine that drops metal hammers is used. 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.
Sound insulation testing is essential for these dwelling types:
Sound testing measures the impact and airborne sound moving through new and old adjoining buildings. This could affect the separating walls between buildings or in-between the spaces in a development.
Property with two or more units
This ensures that a sound insulation system installed in residences meets the requirements of ADE.
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
Robust Detail Ltd set up the Robust Detail Scheme in 2004 to make sure architect and building designs construct partition walls and floors that comply with Approved Document E sound insulation standards. Once the design does not strictly abide by the design from Robust Detail approved list, the structure will have to undergo a sound test to ensure it conforms to 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).
Parts of the UK AF Acoustics Cover
AF Acoustics renders acoustics design services and consultancy to customers all over the UK, especially in Knightsbridge. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as 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 you should choose AF Acoustics
Our sound insulation testing expertise at AF Acoustics have aided several home and business owners in Knightsbridge. We come highly recommended by our clients because of the guarantees when you work with us
Sound testing experience of over 15 years
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. We have over 15 years of experience satisfying the acoustic needs of UK businesses and homeowners with a proven track record on both small scale and major projects. You can always rely on us for exceptional value for 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 Knightsbridge. Call us or email today to get a free quotation.
Prompt and productive 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 adaptable
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 now to schedule sound insulation testing in Knightsbridge
Test reports arrive the next day
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. The delivered report will be comprehensive and well detailed to ensure all relevant issues are covered and any recommendations are provided.
The sound testing services we provide
AF Acoustics provide a scope of exhaustive and detailed acoustic solutions for clients across the country, making certain our techniques have the best quality and performance. Phone or email us today for more information on how we can help you with your acoustic requirements.
Impact and Airborne floor test
These are only carried out on separating floor/ceiling between dwellings. The measurement of the extent of noise transmitted directly through impact from one adjoining room to another is known as impact testing. Airborne and impact tests are conducted on the floor partitions between liveable rooms.
Document E test
Our sound insulation tests meet the requirements of Building Regulations Part E, which describes building structures resistance to the movement of sound within and from adjoining structures. 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.
Sound Insulation Testing
We want to give our customers the most highest chance to acquire a pass and via our offer skilled services. 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 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. Contact us today for more information about our sound testing services or to book a no obligation quote, free of charge.
Acoustic design tests in schools in accordance with BB93
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. Are you building a new school in Knightsbridge? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.
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 are able to help with:
Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Construction designs and specifications for sound control in residential areas and other noise sensitive developments. Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)
Get a sound insulation testing quotation by contacting our experts
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. Our professional guidance and advice is provided to private individuals, businesses and government agencies amongst others. You can contact us by sending us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us for a free quote.
Please send the following information to us
Give us the following information when contacting us
Location of property
Provide the location of your building in Knightsbridge.
Number of dwellings in the structure
What is the number of units in the development?
How many storeys are there?
Let us know the number of floors in your development so that we can give you an accurate quotation.
Dwellings configuration per floor
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.
Kind of property
What is your building type? This will help us know the kind of test it will undergo.
New Build or conversion project
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.
Sounds test in accordance with building regulations
Get more credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment project by taking a sound insulation test which are aligned with approved document E building regulations rules.
Building regulations document E resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
We have fully accredited engineers who can visit your property to issue appropriate certification that complies with the building control.
Scotland Standard division for completed constructions
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.” Tests, which are conducted after building utilizing the methodology given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standard 5.1 does not apply to: completely disconnected houses, rooftops and walkways with access exclusively for the use of the occupants of the home underneath.
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. Take the following action to give your building the best opportunity to pass the sound insulation test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Skirting boards are fixed Plug sockets, light switches and fittings are in place and working. 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.
Analysis and Report Certificates
After the test, AF Acoustics’ competent and well trained engineers can let you know the verbal results of your sound test and provide feedback on issues noticed during the test. We endeavour to send an investigation and report certificate 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.
How the results are
A sound insulation certificate will be sent to you whether the property has a good sound performance in accordance with ADE or not. In the event of a wall or floor not achieving the Part E requirements, it may be necessary to carry out remedial works before having another sound test carried out. We can provide you with remedial design advice to help you achieve the Building Regulations 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.