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. The Building Regulations Approved Document E (ADE) states all new dwellings and renovated constructions should undergo sound testing.

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. In fact, we are proud of our turnaround times and our team will issue your certificates as quickly as we possibly can.

Even before you get the certificate, you will receive the results of the test. First, our skilled and competent sound insulation test will engineers give you a verbal result at the site. Then, a written report is sent to you within 24 hours of a working day.

Our Guarantee

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

How Sound Testing Works

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.

The Procedures Involved in a Sound Insulation Test

While producing lots of noise, sound test needs a quiet site to be conducted efficiently. Due to this fact, the workers in the site should not be present at the time of the test. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. Generally, a sound insulation test takes about 90 minutes for a simple, regular sized project.

The sound testing engineers then proceed to give verbal results on the site and offer helpful advice on any problem areas noticed during the duration of the test.

A complete report and sound insulation test certificate can be produced and issued within 24 working hours. Every 10 units in a group or sub-group are to be tested, according to ADE. A sub-group is stipulated in Section 1. Of ADE 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. Find below the testing stipulation for each kind of development.

Why is Sound Insulation Testing Relevant?

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. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result. 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. Testing for sound insulation is vital because sound influences how we live in the office, while relaxing or in the house. Restricting the sound that moves between floors and walls could result in a more relaxed and better surrounding.

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. It would mean noise moving from one flat to another in a block of flats. If, for example, an occupant works at night and happens to hear loud music from a neighbour upstairs on a weekend night, it would be very discomforting. This is just one example of how sound insulation can affect the quality of life of people in different ways. It can be useful in dwellings with neighbouring units/flats/rooms which have diverse purposes, by guaranteeing that an occupant in a room will hear as little noise as possible from the neighbouring room.

How Do I Know if I Need a Sound Test?

Your development needs a sound insulation test if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • It’s design does not have Robust Details
  • It’s a new building with 2 or more dwellings
  • It’s being constructed to be used as a residence, like a hotel room or a hostel, or as a nursing home
  • It was once a single dwelling but is being turned into a development with several flats or units.

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

There are 2 ways you can comply. Test for sound insulation using the method of Approved Document E or use Robust Details in your development. If you choose the latter, you must use Robust Details which are a approved design details for partitioning walls and floors. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. Sound insulation testing is a more flexible approach. You can pick from a plethora of designs, as opposed to Robust Details. 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

Contact us and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test cost based on the requirements of your building. We have handled all kinds of sound insulation projects in UK and issue a report and certificate as quickly as possible. Our prices are affordable too and can beat others.

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. 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 a Sound Test is Done

Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. Airborne tests are conducted on party walls while impact and airborne tests are conducted on party floors.

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. 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. 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. A tapping machine is placed on the floor to execute an impact sound insulation test. The sound pressure level at the receiving room, which is below the source room, is measured. Once the calculations are completed and the result is achieved, it is compared with Building Regulations Part E standards. This is a simple way of explaining how a sound test is conducted.

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

Sound Test Equipment Used

You can expect UKAS calibrated equipment from us, as stipulated by Building Regulations. Our certified engineers conduct tests to meet the current guidelines. The calculation of the level of noise transmitted through the air between two adjoining units is known as an airborne sound insulation test. 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. 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. 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.

A sound test is mandatory for these buildings:

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.

A new building with not less than two rooms

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

Converting a single development to flats

When turning the single dwelling into several flats or units, the sound performance requirements of Building Regulations must be met.

Design that don’t have Robust Details factored in

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.

Which areas of the UK does AF Acoustics cover?

AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in St-Giles. 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 choose AF Acoustics for Sound Insulation Testing?

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

We’ve been conducting sound tests for more than 15 years

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. 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.

Affordably rates

Compared to other sound insulation testing service in St-Giles, our prices are extremely competitive. This is because we want you to be able to afford the best expert sound testing service there is. To get a free quote for your dwelling, contact us today.

Consultancy that is effective and efficient

We offer strong durable advice based on your problem and give highly knowledgeable acoustic advice. We will give you the right answers and expert guidance so that you can get effectual solutions to your problems.

Flexible test dates

Your convenience is also important to us. This is why we offer you flexible options that let you pick test dates that are most convenient for you. Contact us today to get sound testing in St-Giles

You get your report the next day

When you get your sound test report fast, you’re able to take corrective action. We try to issue reports on the next working day no matter how large or complex the project. The conveyed report will be exhaustive, covering every issue point by point to guarantee that the best suggestions are given.

The sound testing services we provide

With AF Acoustics, you get a highly effective and expert acoustic advice which our customers all over UK have benefited from. 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

The ceilings/floors of developments undergo impact and airborne floor testing. Impact testing evaluates how much the sound flowing from one partition to another through party floors via impact is. Airborne and impact tests are conducted on the floor partitions between liveable rooms.

Approved Document E test

Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result for newly completed constructions. On the other hand, 64dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 43dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is expected from refurbished buildings.

Sound Insulation Testing

Our services and expertise is unbeatable and we are glad to work with our clients to help pass their sound insulation tests. A new dwelling may have to undergo an airborne and impact test to meet the benchmark of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. We regularly provide consultations for project managers and developers from the very start of developments, ensuring peace of mind when it comes time to having a sound test. Call or email us now for more details on our sound insulation testing services and for a quotation to be sent to you, free of charge.

Call us today for an assessment 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) explains minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings. It also describes the normal means of demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulations. Are you building a new school in St-Giles? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.

Acoustic Design

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 can assist with:

Acoustic detail layout for architect developing structures complying to Building regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail plans in commercial, educational and healthcare project for adhering to the prescribed standard. Specifications and design details that enable good sound insulation and reduction of noise in residences. Public address and sound reinforcement for conference room, lecture theatres and so on.

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. Our professional guidance and advice is provided to private individuals, businesses and government agencies amongst others. You can contact us by sending us an email on info@af-acoustics.com or calling us for a free quote.

020 3372 4430 Contact us

We will need the following information:

When calling or emailing us please provide the following data

Place where the building is being built

Where in St-Giles the property is situated

Number of dwellings in the building

What is the number of units in the development?

How many storeys are there?

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

Dwellings configuration per floor

This will also be needed to determine scope of the testing and provide an accurate quote

Type of development

Knowing the kind of building is essential because it helps identify the type of test that will be conducted.

New construction or refurbished building

Newly completed constructions and refurbished structures have different requirements for sound insulation testing. This is why it’s important to provide this information beforehand. Our quotation is available at any time.

Sound 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.

Part E of building regulations resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)

Our certified engineers can come to your building whenever it might suit you to undertake sound insulation testing to Part E of Building Regulations adherence, recognised by Building Control.

Standard division for developments (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, which are conducted after building utilizing the methodology given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standard 5.1 does not apply to: completely disconnected houses, rooftops and walkways with access exclusively for the use of the occupants of the home underneath.

How Do I Pass a Sound Insulation 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 are unsure of how to build the separating floor and wall constructions and associated junctions across your development to satisfy the requirements of Document E 2003, we can offer design advice. The degree of guidance you require can vary, from site visits and comprehensive design reports, to simpler initial testing to know the starting point for construction. The following will give you a better chance of passing the sound test: Install and make sure that all external and internal doors and windows are operational 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.

Investigation and report certificates

To get details of the results of a completed sound insulation test, we will provide you with an analysis and report certificate. 6. Even before you get the certificate, you get the verbal results of the test. First, our completely skilled and competent sound insulation test engineers give you a verbal result at the site. They also offer advice on potential problems. Then the test report certificate is sent to you within 24 working hours, when feasible.

The way the results look

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. 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

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 an assessment 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