The measurement of the sound reduced by partitions in a development, such as a wall or floor, is known as sound insulation testing or sound testing. It assesses how good the soundproofing materials fixed to the property development are. It is compulsory for new buildings and refurbishment projects, according to Approved Document E (ADE) updated in 2003.
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. The significance of a sound insulation certificate cannot be overrated. Therefore, we ensure that you get the certificate speedily. When the tests are completed, we work quickly to issue your certificates; we take great pride in our efficiency.
Our fully trained sound insulation test engineers can be on site when you need them. Your AF Acoustics engineer will give you immediate verbal results from the sound test, and you can will have a written report by the following working day.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
What is a Sound Insulation 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 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 part of a Sound Insulation Test
The sound test itself produces very high levels of noise but also requires relatively quiet conditions on site. For these reasons, any workforce in the testing area will have to leave temporarily to ensure test accuracy. A sound insulation test on a project is taken according to the scale and complexity of the construction and the conditions of the site. If the site is simple and of regular size, it typically takes about 90 minutes to complete the sound test.
After the test, the sound insulation test engineers will let you know the outcome of the test and supply simple feedback of important things noted during the test; e.g. problems that might occur in the future.
A complete report and sound insulation test certificate can be produced and issued within 24 working hours. The way a sound test is conducted is determined by ADE of Building Regulations. It mandates that in all developments, every 10 units in a group or sub-group will undertake one set of tests. It explicitly states what a sub-group is in Section 1. 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. How much testing that should be done on each group is listed below:
Why Should Your Dwelling Undergo Sound Testing
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. ADE ensures that new building are resistant to noise from adjoining buildings and other rooms within the same building. 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 having privacy while speaking are crucial for a number of reasons. When sound insulation is deficient, it can cause discomfort to occupants. Let’s take a look at this scenario. An individual living in a block of flats might spend the weekend with friends relaxing and playing loud music. If the sound insulation on adjoining walls and floor is insufficient, the music will be distressful to neighbours, especially if they work at night. This is just one example of how sound insulation can affect the quality of life of people in different ways. In a structure with flats for mixed purposes, a sound insulation test will make sure that there is maximum sound resistance from party walls and floors and less noise.
Do You Need a Sound Test?
You need sound insulation testing if you:
- Build a new development of 2 or more dwellings / flats
- Convert a former single dwelling into flats
- Build a Nursing Home or rooms for residential use, i.e. hotel or hostel
- Have designs which do not adhere to Robust Details
Building Regulations Part E discusses sound testing in detail and has made it a requirement.
Either you follow the pre-completion sound testing process stipulated therein or you use Robust Details. This way, you have conformed to the requirements. Robust details are separating elements that have been pre-tested and conform to Approved Document E sound insulation standards. Using Robust Details, without taking a test, limits you to the design you’ve picked. This becomes difficult when you need to pick a more appropriate or cost-effective design that will suit your needs. Sound tests enable you do that, making it more flexible. On-site pre-completion sound insulation testing gives architects more insight and ability to make their design lead to constructions that have a higher sound performance.
Cost of Sound Testing
We can send quotation that’s completely free of charge and is based on the kind of development you have. We have tested all types and sizes of construction in the UK and issue a report and sound test certificate within 24 working hours. We offer one of the best prices. If you get a better price from another company, let us know and we will try to beat it.
When can I carry out the sound insulation tests?
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 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 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 separating walls undergo airborne tests while separating walls and floor undergo airborne and impact tests.
A big or multidirectional speaker, with a generator of pink or white noise is used to the biggest room. A sound level meter is then used to take noise measurements within the source room and the receiver room. The meter is also used to measure the background sound, to ensure that it’s 10dB lower than the source sound, as is the standard. More background sound leads to creating a higher source sound. 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 carried out by means of a tapping machine placed on the floor to be measured. The sound pressure level at the receiving room, which is below the source room, is measured. This is used in calculating and computing the results. These results are checked against Building Regulations ADE conditions for that kind of dwelling. This is of course, a somewhat simplified explanation without the various mathematical formulae involved, but helps to explain the process.
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. Equipment used for the test include a noise generator, speakers and sound level meter. 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 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:
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.
Two or more new build dwellings or flats
This makes sure that the sound insulation for the building meets all the necessary requirements.
Converting a single development to flats
When the development is completed, ADE of Building Regulations should be checked, and sound insulation tested accordingly.
Using designs where Robust Details are not included
Robust Details Ltd began the Robust Details scheme in 2004. The scheme enables architects use design details for separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. If the building design does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. Minimum criterion differs based on the type and purpose of the development. A development with rooms intended as residences, like a hostel or hotel, won’t have the same criteria as a structure for permanent dwelling.
Areas in the UK AF Acoustics Conduct Test
AF Acoustics is an acoustics design services and consultancy company. Our clients can be found nationwide, especially in Shadwell. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants are based in several strategic locations across the south east of the country to ensure that we can provide the most competitive quotations in the industry for sound insulation testing.
Why AF Acoustics is the best choice for sound insulation testing
We have worked with many organisations and individuals in Shadwell. Our clients have endorsed us for the following reasons:
15 years’ experience
With more than 15 years of experience, we have a deep knowledge of our customers’ industry and provide actionable strong advice tailored to 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.
Best rates available
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 Shadwell. Call us or email today to get a free quotation.
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 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.
Flexible test dates
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 Shadwell
Get your test reports quickly
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. 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 AF Acoustics undertake
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 tests for floors/ceilings
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.
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. 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.
Testing for sound insulation
We want to give our customers the most highest chance to acquire a pass and via our offer skilled services. 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. When working with AF Acoustics, developers and project managers get acoustic advice right from the start of the building project. That way, they can make sure their developments have a good sound performance. Simply contact us immediately ad you’ll get a free quotation in addition to more details about our sound testing services.
BB93 Acoustic Design testing in Schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) describes the minimum requirement for the acoustics of a school building. It also stipulates how a school can conform to Building Regulations. If you’re constructing a new school in Shadwell, we can test the sound performance to evaluate if it meets the standards of BB93.
Acoustic plan details
We provide acoustic layout services and consultancy for a huge range of building types and sizes. Our experience and expertise enables us to create bespoke solutions and understand diverse acoustic products. As a result, we’re able to provide targeted solutions to the 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 are able to help with:
Acoustic detail design for architects involved in residential developments for compliance with Part E Regs, BS8233, and so on. Detail plans in commercial, educational and healthcare project for adhering to the prescribed standard. Construction designs and specifications for sound control in residential areas and other noise sensitive developments. Public address and sound reinforcement system
Contact AF Acoustics specialist for sound insulation test quotes
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. We will give you sound advice and guidance no matter who you are or the kind of project you have. To get an accurate quotation, either call us or email email@example.com
We will need the following information:
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
Place where the building is being built
Where in Shadwell is your construction?
Number of dwellings in the structure
Tell us how many dwellings you have in the property.
Number of levels in the structure
Let us know the number of floors in your development so that we can give you an accurate quotation.
Dwellings arrangements per level
This will also be needed to determine scope of the testing and provide an accurate quote
Kind of structure
The type of building, as different building types typically require a different testing.
New Build or conversion project
Knowing if your building is new or converted allows us to give you a competitive quotation and prepare the right test for it.
Sound Insulation Testing 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.
Resistance to the passage of sound: Approved Document E (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 properties
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 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
The most effective way to ensure you pass your sound test is to plan the project with sound insulation in mind. This does not need to be costly, and can save considerable time and expense at the end of the project, not to mention avoiding escalating remedial and re-test costs. 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. Our consultation process is led by your project requirements and may include assessment of design reports, test of the development and multiple site visits. 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 fitted Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted We work with several professionals in construction from the beginning of the design stage to the completion of the development to make certain it conforms to Document E 2003 of Building Regulations.
Certificates for test evaluation and report
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?
Your test certificate will show if your development passed or failed the test and show if it adheres to the requirements of Part E of Building Regulations. In the event that some part of the building does not meet up with the conditions of Document E, remedial work and a retest is required. We give remedial design advice to help you achieve Building Regulations standards.
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.