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.
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. We know how important a sound insulation certificate is to you. That is why we work hard to make certain that you get the certificate quickly. 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
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What is a Sound Insulation Test?
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. Sound testing conducts impact and airborne sound test on structures. The tests include the separating floors, walls and areas between buildings within developments.
What is involved in Sound Insulation Testing
A sound insulation test creates a high amount of noise but needs a site with low noise levels to be taken effectively. As a result of this, workers in a testing area might have to leave the development temporarily, so that the test can be free from errors. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. If the site is simple and of regular size, it typically takes about 90 minutes to complete the sound test.
Once this is done, the sound test engineers give temporary results while they’re still on the site. They will also provide suggested solutions to possible problem areas noted during testing.
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. ADE also states the categories of developments that should be tested. There are three: rooms, flats and houses (including bungalows) that are lived in. Examples are student accommodation, hotel rooms and care homes. How much testing that should be done on each group is listed below:
Why Sound Testing is Required
Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. This is to be certain that all new developments meet a uniform minimum criterion for resistance to sound from other parts of the development and adjoining developments. 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 one way sound insulation can affect how a person 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 I 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. Document E of the Building Regulations explains sound insulation testing and makes it a necessity.
All you have to do is follow the guidelines listed in the document or pay to use Robust Details and you will have fulfilled the requirements. Robust Details are design details for walls that were tested formerly and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. Being able to adapt your design to suit your needs is more efficient and costs less in the long run. 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?
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 worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a sound insulation report and certificates be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. If you get a better quote elsewhere, simply forward it to us and we will try and beat it!
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 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
The procedures of a sound insulation test are not difficult. Our site engineers can help you understand it better during the testing time. For partition walls, airborne tests are carried out. For floors there are two types, airborne and impact tests.
A pink or white noise generator and a large speaker is used for the test in the biggest room between the two undergoing testing. The noise from the source room and received by the receiver room, and background noise 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. For airborne sound tests, two individual speaker positions are used for each source room. Measurements are then made to determine the levels in the receiving room of the tested partition in question. This gives a basic level difference between source and receiver rooms.
The sound difference is adjusted to make an allowance for reverberation time (time in which the sound decays by 60dB) and background noise in the receiver room. Impact tests are conducted by fixing a tapping machine on the floor. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. This is used in calculating and computing the results. These results are checked against Building Regulations ADE conditions for that kind of dwelling. Of course, this is a simple way of describing the procedure followed when a sound test is carried out, but it enables you to understand it better.
Sound Testing Equipment to Expect
The testing equipment used are UKAS calibrated. Our highly qualified engineers test based on present Building Regulations conditions. Airborne sound test is the measurement of sound moving through the air through a wall or floor. We use a loudspeaker and noise generator that produces white or pink noise on one side of the partition, and measure with a sound level meter on both sides to calculate the sound insulation performance of the partition. We use a tapping machine, which drops metal hammers onto the floor to create impact noise. We then measure the amount of sound that passes through the partition with a sound level meter in the room under the tapping machine. The tests are carried out in rooms suitable for residential use like bedrooms, lounges and kitchens. 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:
Sound Insulation Testing checks for both airborne and impact noise travelling through new or existing buildings. This may affect party walls and floors between new and existing buildings, or between spaces within a new development.
Two or more new build dwellings or flats
This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.
Conversions of former single dwelling properties into flats
The transformation of a single dwelling property into flats must adhere to the sound insulation standards of Building Regulations.
Design that don’t have Robust Details factored in
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. 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. 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.
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 Shepherds-Bush. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants can be found in various places in the south east region. This way you get an affordable price.
Why you should choose AF Acoustics
Our sound insulation testing expertise at AF Acoustics have aided several home and business owners in Shepherds-Bush. We come highly recommended by our clients because of the guarantees when you work with us
Sound testing experience of over 15 years
We understand the sectors our clients work in. Our advice is not only technically robust but also practical and helpful to our client’s particular situation. 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 ensure all clients in Shepherds-Bush can afford superior quality sound insulation testing, we offer some of the most competitive rates you can both in and outside Shepherds-Bush. If in doubt, contact us now for a free no-obligation quote.
Fast and efficient consultancy
We will interpret your problems and necessities, present you with vigorous ideas and provide acoustic advice through our extensive experience. When you reach out to us for professional guidance, we make it a priority and deliver accurate answers fast. We recommend effective solutions that are most in line with your current and long-term needs.
Test dates that are flexible
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. Call us to get your sound testing in Shepherds-Bush undertaken.
Get your test reports quickly
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. The delivered report will be comprehensive and well detailed to ensure all relevant issues are covered and any recommendations are provided.
Sound insulation services we provide
AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. Telephone or email us today for more data on how we can assist you with your acoustic requirements.
Impact and airborne floor test
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. The calculation of the sound level transferred from one unit to another through a separating floor via impact is called an impact test. The adjoining floors/ceilings of rooms intended as residences usually have both impact and airborne sound tests.
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.
Sound Insulation Testing
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. 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. Contact us today for more information about our sound testing services or to book a no obligation quote, free of charge.
BB93 testing of acoustic design in schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) states the benchmarks for the acoustics of school buildings. It additionally portrays the typical methods for aligning with the Building Regulations. If building a new school in Shepherds-Bush, we can test the school to check if it meets the requirements of BB93.
Acoustic design 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 anybody who has needed to handle the acoustics for a building will know, it’s essential to get proper advice, early in the project from a good acoustic expert. AF Acoustics can help you with identifying the right acoustic needs and standard for your construction at the beginning period and advise you on how to meet them.
We will help you with:
Acoustic detail design for architects involved in residential developments for compliance with Part E Regs, BS8233, and so on. Detail designs for the health, educational and commercial projects in order to meet up with the necessary requirements. Specifications and design details that enable good sound insulation and reduction of noise in residences. Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)
Contact our professionals for a sound test quotation
As an independent acoustics consultancy, AF Acoustics is able to provide extensive acoustic survey and design, investigations in the field of planning and noise, architectural and building acoustics, and air permeability testing. 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 email@example.com
We would like to know the following
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
The development’s location
Where in Shepherds-Bush the property is situated
Total number of dwellings
Total number of dwellings in the building.
Total number of floors
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
The type of building, as different building types typically require a different testing.
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.
Sound Insulation Testing Regulations
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.
Building regulations document E 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.
Building Standards Division (Scotland)
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 pass a sound 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. If you’re not certain of how to construct your party walls and floors, to meet Document E 2003 targets, simply contact us for an efficient design service. Our consultation may include several site visits and thorough design reports, or more basic initial tests on your structure. Take the following action to give your building the best opportunity to pass the sound insulation test: All windows and doors have been fitted and work Skirting boards are fitted and sealed Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted 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.
Investigation 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.
A sound insulation certificate will be issued whether the Sound Testing results and report indicate compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations or not. If parts or all the building fails the test, repair work and a retest is recommended. We provide design advice to ensure your property does proper remedial and meets up with the necessary 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.