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.

Not doing so is a costly venture for developers and contractors as Building Control will not give a completion certificate for developments that have not undergone the test. 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.

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.

Our Guarantee

  • Over 15 years experience
  • State of the art equiptment
  • Onsite Support
  • Next Day Report Turn Around
Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com

What is a Sound Test?

In order to comply with Part E of the Building Regulations, developments will require the testing of separating walls and floors. The only exception is where Robust Details have been used. Sound Insulation Testing tests for both the airborne sound and the impact sound which travels through new or existing buildings . The tests cover party walls and floors between new and existing buildings, or between spaces within a new development entirely.

What is involved in Sound testing?

Even though sound insulation testing equipment produces lots of noise, sound testing requires quiet conditions and dwellings. Because of this, workers on the site would have to leave during the time of the test, to avoid errors in the test calculation. The process of a sound test is determined by the size and complexity of the site being tested. A dwelling or development of normal size and simplicity will more than likely be tested in 90 minutes.

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 insulation testing methodology has been outlined by Document E of the Building Regulations. The document states that every 10 units in a sub-group or group should undergo one set of test, and defines a sub-group in Section 1. Buildings are divided into three kinds for the test – houses, flats and rooms built for or converted to residential dwellings, like student accommodation, care homes and hotel rooms. The extent of testing required for these three groups is shown below.

Why Should Your Dwelling Undergo Sound Testing

Sound insulation testing is required because ADE of Building Regulations has made it compulsory for all new buildings to take a sound test prior to finishing construction. 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. When sound resistance is high in party walls and floors, the environment is more comfortable, since sound affects every aspect of our lives – work environment, home environment and while relaxing. This is why sound testing is crucial.

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 instance, in an apartment building, the neighbour upstairs might invite friends over during the weekend and put on loud music. The inhabitant downstairs might spend night hours as work time. If the sound insulation is inefficient, this could lead to lots of problems. This is just one instance of the influence of sound insulation on our 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.

Does Your Development Need a Sound Insulation 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

Building Regulations Part E discusses sound testing in detail and has made it a requirement.

There are two ways in which to show compliance. You can either test to the regime set out in Approved Document E (ADE), or pay to use Robust Details. Robust Details are design details for walls that were tested formerly and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. Using Robust Details, without taking a test, limits you to the design you’ve picked. With sound testing, however, you’re free to pick from any design, including more cost effective and appropriate ones. This makes it a more efficient process than Robust Details. When on-site pre–completion building sound tests are taken, architects have more scope with their design and can increase the sound insulation performance of the construction.

Cost of Sound Insulation Testing

We can send quotation that’s completely free of charge and is based on the kind of development you have. 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.

Ideal Period for a Sound Insulation Test

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.

How is sound insulation testing carried out?

The method of taking the test is not complex and our sound test engineers can explain it thoroughly on site, if you wish. Airborne tests are conducted on party walls while impact and airborne tests are conducted on party floors.

The test uses a dodecahedron speaker and pink or white noise generator for source sound. The sound source is placed in the largest room of the two. A sound level meter is then used to take noise measurements within the source room and the receiver room. Noise in the background is also calculated. More noise in the background means a higher level of source sound will be created since it’s supposed to be 10dB higher than background noise on all calculated 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 sound tests are performed with a tapping machine positioned on the floor of the source room. Noise level in the room below is measured at various different frequencies. 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.

Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com

Sound Test Equipment Used

Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. The calculation of the level of noise transmitted through the air between two adjoining units is known as an airborne sound insulation test. 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. The tests are administered in room with residential purposes. For example, kitchens/living spaces, lounges, bedrooms and living rooms. Test findings are fed into a report that will be sent to the client. This report will always be acceptable to Building Control and will help you to get your development signed off.

It’s important to undertake a sound test if you have this kind of building:

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.

A structure with 2 or more units/flats

This makes sure that the sound insulation for the building meets all the necessary requirements.

Conversions of former single dwelling properties into flats

All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E of Building Regulations.

Design not using Robust Details

Robust Detail Ltd set up the Robust Detail Scheme in 2004 to make sure architect and building designs construct partition walls and floors that comply with Approved Document E sound insulation standards. If the building design does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. The minimum requirements are dependent on the kind of dwelling. Permanent dwellings and rooms for residential use have different requirements.

Where doses AF Acoustics conduct tests in UK?

AF Acoustics is an acoustics design services and consultancy company. Our clients can be found nationwide, especially in Spitalfields. 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 choose AF Acoustics for Sound Insulation Testing?

Our sound testing experts and engineers have worked with various homes and businesses in Spitalfields. Our clients refer us to others because of the following benefits of working with us.

More than 15 years’ experience

We are able to offer helpful functional solutions that will solve our customer’s needs. We also have a track record of providing superior acoustic services to our customers (home and business owners) in the UK in small and large projects, giving them astounding value for their money.

Competitive prices

To make sure you can afford high quality sound insulation projects in UK, we offer one of the most affordable prices in Spitalfields. Contact us immediately and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test.

Effective and quick consultancy

We offer strong durable advice based on your problem and give highly knowledgeable acoustic advice. 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.

Adjustable 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 to get your sound testing in Spitalfields undertaken.

Next day reporting

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. That way, you can take immediate action on the recommendations given. Our reports are thorough and cover all the important issues.

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. To find out more about we can help you with your acoustics needs, call or email us right away.

Airborne and impact ceilings/floor tests

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. These floors in habitable rooms of flats undergo both impact and airborne tests.

PART E Testing

AF Acoustics sound testing adheres to ADE which stipulates information bearing on the sound resistance and performance of a property. For new buildings, results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. Converted structures expected impact sound results increases by 2dB L’nTw while the airborne sound results reduces by 2dB DnTw+Ctr.

Testing for sound insulation

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. 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. Phone or email us for a free quote and more information on our sound insulation testing services.

Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com

BB93 testing of acoustic design 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 developing a new school in Spitalfields, we can test it to find out if it aligns with BB93.

Acoustic Design

AF Acoustics provide extensive design services and consultancy on a variety of buildings. We have the ability and experience to create bespoke solutions, and have solid working information of accessible acoustic items. We will create design solutions appropriate for the explicit requests of the construction.

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 can assist with:

Acoustic detail design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E 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 (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)

Get a sound insulation testing quotation by contacting our experts

We are an independent acoustic organisation that handles everything concerning acoustics including survey, design, architectural and building acoustics and air tightness 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 info@af-acoustics.com

020 3372 4430 Contact us

Provide us with the following data

Give us the following information when contacting us

Construction’s location

Where is your property located in Spitalfields?

Number of dwellings in the structure

What is the number of units in the development?

Number of floors in the building

To give you an appropriate quotation, would like to know the number of floors in your building.

Dwellings arrangements per level

How many units are on each floor? Knowing this will help us give you an appropriate quotation.

Kind of property

Tell us the kind of property because different buildings require different amounts of tests.

New construction or refurbished building

These two go require different types performance, so let us know which one it is and you’ll get an accurate test and quotation.

Building regulations for sound insulation 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: approved document 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.

Scotland Standard division for properties

Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards stipulates that “Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that each wall and floor separating one dwelling from another, or one dwelling from another part of the building, or one dwelling from a building other than a dwelling, will limit the transmission of noise to the dwelling to a level that will not threaten the health of the occupants or inconvenience them in the course of normal domestic activities.” Fully detached roofs or walkways that are not used for residential purposes do not have to take the sound tests of the Scottish Standards 5.1.

How to make sure you pass your sound test

Make sure you pass your sound test by having efficient sound insulation included in the building design. It saves time and money and helps you avoid repair work and re-test expenses. Are you uncertain that the separating floor and walls you will build will adhere to Document E 2003 conditions? You can book our design services. 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. The are required in order to have good conditions to undertake the sound insulation tests: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable 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

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.

What the results look like

You will get your sound insulation test certificate whether you pass or fail the sound tests. We can provide professional advice on designs that will surpass Document E standards if the building fails the test.


Sound Insulation FAQ’s

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.

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Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com
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Adrian Finn

AF Acoustics lead Acoustic Engineer, Adrian is your first port of call for all sound insulation testing questions enquiries and surveys.

Working Hours

  • Monday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Tuesday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Wednesday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Thursday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Friday 08:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed