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 has been a mandatory part of the Building Regulations for new build and refurbishment projects since Approved Document E (ADE) was revised in 2003.
As many contractors and developers have found to their detriment, without a sound insulation certificate, the Building Control Officer will not issue a completion certificate. 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. When the tests are completed, we work quickly to issue your certificates; we take great pride in our 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 Testing Does
To completely fulfil Building Regulations Part E requirements, the separating walls and floors of dwellings will be tested, unless approved Robust Details are used. Sound testing measures the impact and airborne sound moving through new and old adjoining buildings. This tests include the boundary walls between buildings and in-between the spaces in a development.
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. A sound insulation test on a project is taken according to the scale and complexity of the construction and the conditions of the site. A structure that is simple and the conventional size will usually take 90 minutes to be tested.
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern.
A complete report and sound insulation test certificate can be produced and issued within 24 working hours. The sound testing 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. How much testing that is required for each category can be found below.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Required? Why is it Important?
After the 2003, Approved Document E mandates that all new structures in UK must take a sound insulation test before completion. Results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. These result limits were put in to create and maintain a uniform standard for sound resistance in different parts of a dwelling and between 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.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are important because not having them results in an unfavourable environment for those living in the development. For instance, in an apartment building, the neighbour upstairs might invite friends over during the weekend and put on loud music. The inhabitant downstairs might spend night hours as work time. If the sound insulation is inefficient, this could lead to lots of problems. 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 You Need a Sound Test?
Are you converting your property into several units? Does your design not use Robust Details? Are you constructing a new building with more than two rooms? Are you building a nursing home or rooms that will used for residential purposes, like hotels and hostels? If so, your structure needs to undergo a sound test. Document E of the Building Regulations explains sound insulation testing and makes it a necessity.
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. 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. Sound insulation testing is a more flexible approach. You can pick from a plethora of designs, as opposed to Robust Details. Sound insulation testing can also help architects enhance their building design and in turn the sound insulation of the building.
How Much Will I Pay for a Sound Insulation Test?
Contact us and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test cost based on the requirements of your building. Not only are we highly experienced in providing sound testing services in UK, our reports and certificates get to the client within one of the fastest turnaround time and our prices are competitive. Send us a price you got that’s better than our and we will try to beat it.
Ideal Period for a Sound Insulation Test
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. 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
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. The boundary floors and walls get airborne tests. Floors get an additional impact test.
The source sound is produced with a white or pink noise generator with a dodecahedron speaker in the largest room. The sound in the source room and receiver room (sharing a separating wall with the source room) is measured with a sound level meter. 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. 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.
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. A tapping machine is placed on the floor to execute an impact sound insulation test. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. Calculations are done and the outcome is checked against ADE requirements for the type of building. This is a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.
Kind of Testing Equipments Used
Our accredited engineers are testing to the current standards. We use only UKAS calibrated equipment, as stated by the building regulations. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving through a separating element. The equipment we use are a sound level meter, loudspeaker and white or pink noise generator. For impact sound testing, the equipment used is a tapping machine that uses dropping hammers to create noise and a sound level meter. The tests are administered in room with residential purposes. For example, kitchens/living spaces, lounges, bedrooms and living rooms. You will get the test results in a report within a working day. This report can be used to help sign off your building as it is accepted by Building Control.
Sound Insulation Testing is necessary for these types of builds:
For sound testing we usually undertake impact and airborne sound test on buildings. This affects the separating floors and walls between habitable rooms of buildings and developments.
A new building with 2 or more dwellings
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 development that has been converted must conform to Building Regulations sound requirements.
Designs without Robust Details
The Robust Details scheme was set up in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd as a way to help architects and builders design and construct separating elements with the confidence that the separating wall and/or floor will be capable of achieving the sound performance parameters in Approved Document E, and comply with the Building Regulations. If the building design is slightly different from Robust Details, a sound test is essential so that Building Regulations criteria can be met. A building built as a permanent dwelling has different minimum standards from a building with rooms built for residential purpose, like a hotel or a hostel.
Where doses AF Acoustics conduct tests in UK?
As an acoustics design services firm, AF Acoustics provides acoustic consultancy to various individuals and businesses nationwide, especially in Merton-Park. 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 testing experts and engineers have worked with various homes and businesses in Merton-Park. Our clients refer us to others because of the following benefits of working with us.
We’ve been conducting sound tests for more than 15 years
Our experience of over 15 years has enabled us understand our clients need and industry extensively. As a result, our advice is applicative, serviceable and will meet the client at the point of their 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 Merton-Park. Call us or email today to get a free quotation.
Fast and efficient 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.
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. Call us now to schedule sound insulation testing in Merton-Park
You get your report the next day
The sooner you get a report on the completed sound insulation test, the sooner you can take appropriate action. We strive to deliver next day reporting in all scenarios regardless of the complexity or size of the project. 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 provide a scope of exhaustive and detailed acoustic solutions for clients across the country, making certain our techniques have the best quality and performance. Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.
Impact and airborne tests for floors
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. Airborne and impact tests are conducted on the floor partitions between liveable rooms.
Approved Document E test
Document E of Building Regulations requires certain criteria for the sound performance of a dwelling. Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance to these criteria. 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
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 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. To find out more about our sound testing services and get a free quotation, contact us now.
BB93 testing of acoustic design in schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) explains minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings. It also describes the normal means of demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulations. If you’re constructing a new school in Merton-Park, we can conduct a test to be certain it meets the standards of 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 will help you with:
Acoustic detail design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Specifications and building services design for control of noise in noise sensitive areas. Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)
To get a sound test quote for your building, call or email our highly skilled professionals
AF Acoustics is a leading acoustic consultancy. It provides the following services: architectural and building acoustics, acoustics design, survey and investigation in the field of planning and noise, and examining and controlling air vibrations while conducting air leakage tests. 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
Provide us with the following data
When contacting us for sound insulation testing quote, we will need you to provide the following information
Place where the building is being built
Where is your development situated in Merton-Park
How many dwellings are there?
What is the number of units in the development?
Number of floors in the building
For an accurate calculation of the quote, tell us the number of storeys
Configuration of dwellings (no. of units per level)
To get an appropriate quotation and determine the kind of tests to be conducted, we will also need this.
Types of construction
Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.
New Build or conversion project
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
We provide sound testing and sound insulation testing on all types of buildings, for compliance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building Standards. Testing can also gain credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment schemes.
Part E of building regulations 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 completed constructions
Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards stipulates that “Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that each wall and floor separating one dwelling from another, or one dwelling from another part of the building, or one dwelling from a building other than a dwelling, will limit the transmission of noise to the dwelling to a level that will not threaten the health of the occupants or inconvenience them in the course of normal domestic activities.” Tests should be taken at the completion of the building, using procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. These standards don’t apply to detached structures that have access only for maintenance or are to used only by the occupants who live below.
How to make sure you pass your sound test
Make sure you pass your sound test by having efficient sound insulation included in the building design. It saves time and money and helps you avoid repair work and re-test expenses. Are you uncertain that the separating floor and walls you will build will adhere to Document E 2003 conditions? You can book our design services. We can study design reports, complete site visits and sound test the development to provide you with the level of assessment and consultation that your project requires from start to finish. 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 Light fittings and switches and plug sockets are fitted and working. Our accomplished acoustic consultants work with developers, planners, contractors, and architects of all sizes from the early stages of the building plan to help limit any potential sound insulation performance problems to the completion of the construction, guaranteeing that all properties meet the criteria of Building Regulations Document E 2003.
Test 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 certificate will be issued to you whether the sound insulation treatment of the building meets the requirements of Document E of Building Regulations or not. 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.