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. Part E of Building Regulations requires sound insulation in buildings and mandates that all newly completed constructions and rehabilitated developments go through sound testing.
At the completion of the test, a sound insulation certificate is issued. Without the certificate, Building Control will not release the building completion certificate to the contractors and developers of the project. We understand how important it is for you to get a sound insulation certificate. That’s why we go the extra mile to make sure you get your certificate as quickly as possible. In fact, we pride ourselves on issuing our sound insulation testing certificates as quickly as possible.
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
How Sound Testing Works
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. The airborne and impact sound going through new and old structures are evaluated by sound testing. This can impact adjoining walls and floors between the structures.
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. 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 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. Every 10 units in a group or sub-group are to be tested, according to ADE. A sub-group is stipulated in Section 1. Of ADE Buildings are divided into three kinds for the test – houses, flats and rooms built for or converted to residential dwellings, like student accommodation, care homes 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?
Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw. 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. This is just one instance of the influence of sound insulation on our lives. Then there are developments where each neighbouring room / flat / unit has mixed uses. If the development has passed the sound insulation test, noise is reduced to a minimum.
Does Your Development Need a Sound Insulation 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. Building Regulations Part E discusses sound testing in detail and has made it a requirement.
There are two ways in which to show compliance. You can either test to the regime set out in Approved Document E (ADE), or pay to use Robust Details. Robust Details are design details for separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. 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. When on-site pre–completion building sound tests are taken, architects have more scope with their design and can increase the sound insulation performance of the construction.
Cost of Sound Insulation Testing
Simply contact us and we will be able to provide a free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have handled all kinds of sound insulation projects in UK and issue a report and certificate as quickly as possible. Our prices are affordable too and can beat others.
Ideal Period for a Sound Insulation Test
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. 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 a Sound Test is Done
Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.
The airborne sound insulation test is carried out with a large speaker or dodecahedron speaker, using a white or pink noise generator to create the source sound, almost always in the largest room of the two rooms under testing. 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 tests are conducted in this manner: two singular speaker positions are used for every source room. The noise in the receiver room is measured to determine the variations in noise level between the source and receiver room.
This difference is modified to include background noise in the receiver room and reverberation time – time whereby a sound fades away in a closed space by 60dB. Impact tests are conducted by fixing a tapping machine on the floor. The sound level in the room below it is recorded. Calculations are undertaken, and results achieved. The results are crosschecked to ensure they meet Document E of Building Regulations target. This is a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.
Sound Test Equipment Used
You can expect UKAS calibrated equipment from us, as stipulated by Building Regulations. Our certified engineers conduct tests to meet the current guidelines. An airborne sound test measures levels of sound transmitted through the air through a separating element. Equipment used for the test include a noise generator, speakers and sound level meter. For impact sound testing, the equipment used is a tapping machine that uses dropping hammers to create noise and a sound level meter. The tests are administered in room with residential purposes. For example, kitchens/living spaces, lounges, bedrooms and living rooms. The outcome of the test is written in a report and sent to the customer. This report helps Building Control sign off your building.
Sound insulation testing is essential for these dwelling types:
The airborne and impact sound going through new and old buildings are evaluated by sound testing. This can impact adjoining walls and floors between the building.
A new building with 2 or more dwellings
This makes certain that the dwellings have adequate sound proofing.
A single dwelling that was turned into a development with several flats or units
When turning the single dwelling into several flats or units, the sound performance requirements of Building Regulations must be met.
Designed in a way that does not adhere to 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 design does not completely follow Robust Details, sound insulation testing will occur to be certain the building meets ADE criteria. The minimum requirements during testing will depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).
Parts of the UK AF Acoustics Cover
AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in Orpington. Our clients include architects, planning and environmental consultancies. We also work with government agencies and private individuals. Our consultants can be found in various places in the south east region. This way you get an affordable price.
Why you should pick AF Acoustics for your sound testing
We have helped many homes and business owners in Orpington with their sound tests and building’s sound performance. Our customers endorse and recommend us because of the following advantages of working 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. By doing this, we have been able to continuously satisfy clients in the UK and meet their acoustic needs for over 15 years, providing great value for money.
Best rates available
To make certain that all clients in Orpington can pay for excellent sound insulation testing services, we have one of the best and most competitive prices found in and around Orpington. Contact us right now to get a quotation that’s completely free of charge.
Effective and quick consultancy
We will listen to your wishes, provide you sturdy solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our expertise. When you contact us for expert direction, we make it our utmost priority and convey exact answers quickly. We suggest compelling solutions that are in accordance with your present and long-term needs.
Adaptable test dates
Your convenience is also important to us. This is why we offer you flexible options that let you pick test dates that are most convenient for you. Contact us today to get sound testing in Orpington
You get your report the next day
When you get your sound test report fast, you’re able to take corrective action. We try to issue reports on the next working day no matter how large or complex the project. We make certain all relevant issues are covered and quality tips are supplied by detailing all the aspects of the test in the report.
Sound Insulation Testing Services We offer
We offer a wide range of thorough acoustic solutions for our clients nationwide, and we ensure a high calibre and effective approach. Telephone or email us today for more data on how we can assist you with your acoustic requirements.
Airborne and impact ceilings/floor tests
These are taken on separating floors/ceilings between residences. The calculation of the sound level transferred from one unit to another through a separating floor via impact is called an impact test. 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 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.
With our professional and highly skilled expertise, we are willing to work with our clients to help them get a pass certificate in every situation. 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 frequently give robust advice to project managers and developers from the start of the construction, ensuring that they’ll have adequate sound insulation to pass a sound test. Simply contact us immediately ad you’ll get a free quotation in addition to more details about our sound testing services.
Acoustic design tests in schools in accordance with BB93
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. Are you building a new school in Orpington? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.
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.
As anyone who has had to deal with the acoustic properties of a building will know, it’s important to get the correct advice, as early as possible from a good acoustic consultant. AF Acoustics can help you to identify the correct acoustic requirements for your project at an early stage and advise on the best means to meet them using expert knowledge of acoustic design.
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 Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)
Contact AF Acoustics specialist for sound insulation test quotes
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. We want to give you expert guidance and provide working solutions, whether you are an individual or an organisation. For a quotation, call or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Provide us with the following data
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
Location of property
Where in Orpington the property is situated
Total number of dwellings
Total number of dwellings in the building.
How many storeys are there?
To give you an appropriate quotation, would like to know the number of floors in your building.
Number of dwellings per floor
To get an appropriate quotation and determine the kind of tests to be conducted, we will also need this.
Type of development
The type of building, as different building types typically require a different testing.
New property or reconstructed dwelling
Newly completed constructions and refurbished structures have different requirements for sound insulation testing. This is why it’s important to provide this information beforehand. Our quotation is available at any time.
Sound 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.
Building regulations document E resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
Our expert engineers can issue certificates for the sound insulation testing. They can visit the site and conduct the test that will lead to getting a certificate which is in line with Building Regulations and Building Control requirements.
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 performed after construction, using the procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. Standard 5.1 does not apply to: fully detached houses or roofs or walkways with access solely for maintenance, or solely for the use of the residents of the dwelling below.
How Do I Pass a Sound Insulation Test?
All you have to do to pass your sound test is include adequate sound insulation in the design. That way, you save time and cost for repair work and re-test. 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 will give you a better chance of passing the sound test: All windows and doors have been fitted and work Skirting boards are fitted and sealed Light switches, plug sockets, and light fittings are adequately fixed. Our experienced acoustic consultants work with developers, contractors, architects and planners of all sizes from the early design stage to help minimise any potential issues right through to project completion, ensuring that all properties are compliant with Building Regulations Document E 2003.
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 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.