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. The Building Regulations Approved Document E (ADE) states all new dwellings and renovated constructions should undergo sound testing.
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. Because we understand how the sound insulation certificate affects your building project, we ensure that you get it as quickly as possible after the test. We pride ourselves on the facts that our sound insulation certificates are issued with speed and efficiency.
Even before you get the certificate, you will receive the results of the test. First, our skilled and competent sound insulation test will engineers give you a verbal result at the site. Then, a written report is sent to you within 24 hours of a working day.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What is a Sound Test?
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 conducts impact and airborne sound test on structures. The tests include the separating floors, walls and areas between buildings within developments.
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. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. Generally, a sound insulation test takes about 90 minutes for a simple, regular sized project.
The sound testing engineers then proceed to give verbal results on the site and offer helpful advice on any problem areas noticed during the duration of the test.
A complete report and sound insulation test certificate can be produced and issued within 24 working hours. 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. There are three types of grouping criteria that need to be assessed: dwelling houses (including bungalows), flats and rooms for residential purposes, such as student accommodation and hotel rooms, care homes etc. The volume of testing carried out on each group is written below.
Why Sound Testing is Required
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 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 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.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are critical for a variety of reasons. Inadequate sound insulation can be extremely distressing to those affected by it. 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 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 You Need a Sound 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.
ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.
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. Robust details are separating elements that have been pre-tested and conform to Approved Document E sound insulation standards. 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. With sound testing, however, you’re free to pick from any design, including more cost effective and appropriate ones. This makes it a more efficient process than Robust Details. Conducting on-site pre-completion sound testing also enables the architects more scope with their design and can lead to improved sound insulation performance.
Cost of Sound Insulation Testing
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.
Period Sound Insulation Test Should be Carried Out
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. 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.
The Procedures of a Sound Insulation Test
Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. The boundary floors and walls get airborne tests. Floors get an additional impact test.
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 generated and received 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. 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.
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. A tapping machine is placed on the floor to execute an impact sound insulation test. 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. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.
Kind of Testing Equipments Used
Our licensed engineers use UKAS calibrated equipment to measure sound insulation according to the present standards of Building Regulations. An airborne sound test measures levels of sound transmitted through the air through a separating element. We use pink or white noise generator and speakers on one side of the partition. A sound level meter is used on calculating sound in both units. For impact test, a tapping machine that makes impact sound by dropping metal hammers is used. A sound level meter is used to measure in the receiving room below the room the tapping machine is in. Testing can only be completed on ‘habitable’ rooms. Habitable rooms can be bedrooms, lounges, living rooms and open plan kitchen/ living spaces. Test results, which are approved by Building Control and used to sign off the building, are recorded in a report and sent to the client.
Sound Insulation Testing is necessary for these types of builds:
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 not less than two rooms
This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.
Converting a single development to flats
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E of Building Regulations.
Designs without Robust Details
The Robust Detail Scheme, set up in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd, architects create design details for walls and floors that were tested formerly for sound insulation and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. 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 criterion is based on various factors such as the purpose of the development and if it is a permanent dwelling or rooms to be used as residences like students’ accommodations and hotels.
Where doses AF Acoustics conduct tests in UK?
AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in Seven-Kings. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as private individuals and government agencies. We’re based in several strategic locations in the south east of UK to enable you get the best quotation and price possible.
Why you should choose AF Acoustics
We have worked with many organisations and individuals in Seven-Kings. Our clients have endorsed us for the following reasons:
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.
To make certain that all clients in Seven-Kings can pay for excellent sound insulation testing services, we have one of the best and most competitive prices found in and around Seven-Kings. Contact us right now to get a quotation that’s completely free of charge.
Ultrafast 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 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.
Test dates that are adaptable
Your convenience is essential to us. This is the reason we provide you with adaptable choices that allow you to pick test dates that are most advantageous for you. Take the first step towards your sound insulation testing in Seven-Kings by calling us now.
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 AF Acoustics undertake
With AF Acoustics, you get a highly effective and expert acoustic advice which our customers all over UK have benefited from. To find out more about we can help you with your acoustics needs, call or email us right away.
Impact and airborne tests for floors
The ceilings/floors of developments undergo impact and airborne floor testing. An impact test examines the level of noise moving from one dwelling to another through impact on adjoining floors/ceilings. Airborne and impact tests are conducted on the floor partitions between liveable rooms.
Document E test
Our sound insulation testing in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document E, which sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound. The 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.
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. In newly completed constructions, an airborne wall test and an airborne and impact floor test will be needed to meets the standards of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. 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.
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. If you’re developing a new school in Seven-Kings, we can test it to find out if it aligns with BB93.
AF Acoustics provide detailed acoustic design services and consulting on a wide range of buildings. We have the capability and experience to develop customised solutions, and have a strong working knowledge of available proprietary acoustic products. We will develop detailed design solutions suitable for the specific demands of the 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 can assist with:
Creating acoustic detail plans for architects involved in residential construction that conform to Document E of Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail plans for the educational, commercial and healthcare industry so as to meet with the current criteria. Construction designs and specifications for sound control in residential areas and other noise sensitive developments. Public address and sound reinforcement for conference room, lecture theatres and so on.
To get a sound test quote for your building, call or email our highly skilled professionals
At AF Acoustics, we are an independent acoustic consultancy. Our work embraces acoustic surveys, acoustic design and investigation work in the fields of planning and noise, architectural and building acoustics, the monitoring and control of vibrations and air tightness testing. Whether you are a company or a private individual, we are here to advise and guide you. If you would like a friendly and accurate sound insulation testing quote, please send an email to email@example.com or give us a call.
Please send the following information to us
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
Place where the building is being built
Provide the location of your building in Seven-Kings.
How many dwellings are there?
Total number of dwellings in the building.
Number of levels in the structure
To get a precise quote, let us know the total number of floors you have.
Number of dwellings per floor
How many units are on each floor? Knowing this will help us give you an appropriate quotation.
Type of development
Tell us the kind of property because different buildings require different amounts of tests.
New construction or refurbished building
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.
Building regulations for sound test
We undertake sound insulation test on various buildings that adhere to Building Regulations Document E. Testing can also enable you get more credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment constructions.
Sound resistance and performance: Document E 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 structures (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.” The following are exempt from the testing techniques given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standard and Standard 5.1 – completely segregated rooftops, houses or walkways whose access is only used for upkeep or for the utilization of the inhabitants of the dwelling beneath.
How Do I Pass a Sound Insulation Test?
The best method to guarantee you pass your sound test is to design the building with a view to good sound insulation performance. This shouldn’t be exorbitant, and can save time and cost at the end, without your having to correct sound problem or pay for a re-test. If you are unsure of how to build the separating floor and wall constructions and associated junctions across your development to satisfy the requirements of Document E 2003, we can offer design advice. The degree of guidance you require can vary, from site visits and comprehensive design reports, to simpler initial testing to know the starting point for construction. The following conditions will provide you with an ample chance of passing the sound test: All windows and doors have been fitted and work Skirting boards are fitted Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted 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.
Investigation and 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 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. We can provide professional advice on designs that will surpass Document E standards if the building fails the test.
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.