Sound insulation testing involves the use of specialist equipment to examine how much sound is reduced off by floors and walls, of a building. It checks if a dwelling’s sound proofing treatment meets the requirements set out in Approved Document E. New structures and reconstructed developments have been mandated by the Building Regulations to test for sound upon completion, since Approved Document E (ADE) was reappraised 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. 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. We take great pride in providing our certificates to you as soon as possible after the tests.
Our highly capable sound test engineers will be available on site when you need them. They will give you a verbal result of the test, once taken and a written report will be issued to you 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 adhere to Building Regulations ADE requirements, adjoining walls, floors and ceilings in a building will have to be tested, except where licensed Robust Details were used. 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 part of 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.
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern.
A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out the next day. 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 extent of testing required for these three groups is shown 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. Results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. 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 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.
There are so many more reasons why sound insulation and speech privacy are vital. An inefficient sound insulation treatment will lead to uneasiness for the inhabitants of the dwelling. 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. 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.
How Do I Know if I Need a Sound Test?
You need a sound insulation test if you’re:
- Constructing a nursing home or residential rooms like hostel or hotel rooms,
- Converting a building with a single dwelling into flats,
- Constructing a property with two or more units,
- Using designs without Robust Details to build
ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.
To conform, you can either follow the procedure outlined in ADE or make use of Robust Details. Robust details are separating elements that have been pre-tested and conform to Approved Document E sound insulation standards. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. Sound testing provides more flexibility by allowing different designs and is often therefore more cost effective in many ways compared to the Robust Details Scheme. 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 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 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!
Period Sound Insulation Test Should be Carried Out
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. For your sound tests to be conducted successfully we need the property to be quiet, with workers not near the rooms to be tested during the test time (a noisy environment makes the test difficult and sometimes unsuccessful). We also need access to all units unless the test program has been compiled earlier. Finally, we need 240V power supply.
The Process of a Sound Test
Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. 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. When conducting airborne sound insulation tests, two speakers are placed in each source room. The noise level in the receiving room is measured to get the sound difference between the source and receiving room.
This basic level difference is then ‘corrected’ to allow for the reverberation time (the time is taken, in seconds, for a noise source to decay by 60dB) and the existing levels of background noise monitored whilst in the receiving room. Impact tests are carried out by means of a tapping machine placed on the floor to be measured. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. Calculations are undertaken, and results achieved. The results are crosschecked to ensure they meet Document E of Building Regulations target. 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
Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. An airborne test is used to check how much sound is moving through the air between partitions. A loudspeaker and noise generator is used in one room while a sound level meter is used in both rooms for measuring level of noise. Sound level meter is also used for impact tests. Alongside it, a tapping machine that drops metal hammers is used. Testing can only be completed on ‘habitable’ rooms. Habitable rooms can be bedrooms, lounges, living rooms and open plan kitchen/ living spaces. 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:
Sound insulation tests examine airborne and impact sound moving through buildings. It is usually undertaken between party walls and floors between buildings or between spaces within a new development.
A new building with 2 or more dwellings
This ensures that a sound insulation system installed in residences meets the requirements of ADE.
A single dwelling that was turned into a development with several flats or units
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E 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. 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).
Which areas of the UK does AF Acoustics cover?
AF Acoustics renders acoustics design services and consultancy to customers all over the UK, especially in Shortlands. Our clientele also include government agencies, architects, and organisations involved in planning and environmental consultancy. We’re based in several areas across the south east region of UK so that we can give you the most cost effective quote in the industry.
Why AF Acoustics is the right choice for your sound insulation test
Having rendered high quality service to numerous customers in Shortlands, we have gotten great positive feedback and recommendation from our clientele due to the following:
We’ve been conducting sound tests for more than 15 years
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. We have over 15 years of experience satisfying the acoustic needs of UK businesses and homeowners with a proven track record on both small scale and major projects. You can always rely on us for exceptional value for money.
To make certain that all clients in Shortlands can pay for excellent sound insulation testing services, we have one of the best and most competitive prices found in and around Shortlands. Contact us right now to get a quotation that’s completely free of charge.
Ultrafast and efficient consultancy
We offer strong durable advice based on your problem and give highly knowledgeable acoustic advice. When you reach out to us for professional advice, we make certain that we render accurate solutions rapidly. We suggest productive answers that handle your present and long-term desires to the maximum.
Flexible test dates
We make your convenience our priority. Therefore, we offer flexible alternatives that can help you select test dates that suit you itinerary. Contact us today to get sound testing in Shortlands
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 conveyed report will be exhaustive, covering every issue point by point to guarantee that the best suggestions are given.
Sound insulation services we provide
AF Acoustics offer a variety of complete acoustic slutions to clients all over the Uk, To find out more about we can help you with your acoustics needs, call or email us right away.
Impact and Airborne floor test
These are only carried out on separating floor/ceiling between dwellings. The calculation of the sound level transferred from one unit to another through a separating floor via impact is called an impact test. Impact and airborne testing is undertaken between party floors.
Document E test
Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. 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 want to give our customers the most highest chance to acquire a pass and via our offer skilled services. In new properties, an airborne and impact test will help you guarantee the building meets the requirements of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. We regularly offer consultations to builders and project managers at the beginning of the development, so that they can take the appropriate action and are confident when it’s time to take the sound insulation test. 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) explains minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings. It also describes the normal means of demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulations. If you’re developing a new school in Shortlands, we can test it to find out if it aligns with 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.
Getting advice on the acoustics of a development as early as possible is crucial. AF Acoustics can enable you to do that by advising you on the appropriate acoustic requirements of your property very early in the building process and recommending what to do to fulfil them.
We will help you with:
Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. 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. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms etc.
Get a sound insulation testing quotation by contacting our experts
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
When contacting us for sound insulation testing quote, we will need you to provide the following information
Location of development
Where is your development situated in Shortlands
Total number of dwellings
Tell us how many dwellings you have in the property.
How many storeys are there?
For an accurate calculation of the quote, tell us the number of storeys
Number of dwelling units per storey
To get an appropriate quotation and determine the kind of tests to be conducted, we will also need this.
Types of construction
Tell us the kind of property because different buildings require different amounts of tests.
New dwelling or converted property
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 Insulation Testing Regulations
Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building requirements. You can also get credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment projects.
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.
Standard division for developments (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.” 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 to pass a sound test
The most efficient way to make sure you pass sound insulation test is to have a plan that puts sound insulation into consideration from the begining. You don’t have to spend too much for this and it will save you money in the long run, ensuring you don’t pay remedial or re-test expenses. We offer design services to enable separating walls and floors with good sound insulation to meet the requirements of ADE, 2003. Whether you want some initial tests on your project, or comprehensive reports at the end, we can help you at the level that you need. 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 fixed are sealed Light switches, plug sockets, and light fittings are adequately fixed. 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
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern. A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out usually the next working day. 6. Even before you get the certificate, you get the verbal results of the test. First, our completely skilled and competent sound insulation test engineers give you a verbal result at the site. They also offer advice on potential problems. Then the test report certificate is sent to you within 24 working hours, when feasible.
The way the results look
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.