Sound testing calculates the extent to which sound is blocked by the partition (walls, floors etc) of a building between dwellings. It evaluates the efficiency of the soundproofing materials that make up the structure. It is compulsory for new buildings and refurbishment projects, according to Approved Document E (ADE) updated in 2003.
Not having a sound insulation certificate issued after a test, has resulted in additional costs and expenses for developers. Any development that has not taken a sound test will not be given a completion certificate by Building Control. The significance of a sound insulation certificate cannot be overrated. Therefore, we ensure that you get the certificate speedily. In fact, we pride ourselves on issuing our sound insulation testing certificates as quickly as possible.
Our fully trained sound insulation test engineers can be on site when you need them. Your AF Acoustics engineer will give you immediate verbal results from the sound test, and you can will have a written report by the following working day.
- Over 15 years experience
- State of the art equiptment
- Onsite Support
- Next Day Report Turn Around
How Sound Testing Works
Developments must test all walls, floors and ceilings that separate buildings or neighbours in a dwelling, to conform to Approved Document E (ADE) of the Building Regulations. You may not have to test your building if you used Robust Details which were approved before their installation. 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
Workers on a site will vacate the premises while the sound test is being conducted. This will facilitate an enabling and quiet environment for the tests to be carried out. The process of a sound test is determined by the size and complexity of the site being tested. A structure that is simple and the conventional size will usually take 90 minutes to be tested.
Once it is completed, the engineers will give a verbal interim result on the site and basic helpful information on what was noticed during the test, e.g. possible sound issues and future places that could cause problems.
A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out the next day. 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 to be tested are categorised into three kinds: houses, flats and rooms like care homes, student accommodation and hotel rooms. Find below the testing stipulation for each kind of development.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Required? Why is it Important?
From 2003, Approved Document E states that all new UK builds must undergo pre-completion sound insulation testing. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw. The aim of Approved Documet E of the Building Regulations is to establish a minimum standard for the reduction in noise levels between all dwellings in a new or refurbished building. Sound testing is essential due to the fact that sound impacts us wherever we are, whether it’s at home, leisure or the office. Reduced noise in the partitions and flooring of a structure leads to greater ease and a more efficient 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. 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 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.
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.
Either you follow the pre-completion sound testing process stipulated therein or you use Robust Details. This way, you have conformed to the requirements. Robust Details are a set of specific design details for walls and floors that have been previously tested to show compliance and must be used if this route is selected. Using Robust Details, without taking a test, limits you to the design you’ve picked. Being able to adapt your design to suit your needs is more efficient and costs less in the long run. 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.
How much does sound insulation testing cost?
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 tested all types and sizes of construction in the UK and issue a report and sound test certificate within 24 working hours. We offer one of the best prices. If you get a better price from another company, let us know and we will try to beat it.
Sound Insulation Test Time
The best time for a sound insulation test is just before the construction of the property is finished and after all windows and doors are fixed. However, in the case of a problem we can take the test before then. 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. Airborne tests are conducted on party walls while impact and airborne tests are conducted on party floors.
The source sound is produced with a white or pink noise generator with a dodecahedron speaker in the largest room. 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. 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.
The variations or differences in noise level are ‘corrected’ to take into consideration the already present background noise in the receiving room and the reverberation time – measure of time needed for a sound to decay or be absorbed in a closed room by 60dB. Impact tests are conducted by fixing a tapping machine on the floor. 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. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.
Kind of Testing Equipments Used
You can expect UKAS calibrated equipment from us, as stipulated by Building Regulations. Our certified engineers conduct tests to meet the current guidelines. An airborne test is used to check how much sound is moving through the air between partitions. Equipment used for the test include a noise generator, speakers and sound level meter. 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. 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.
These kinds of properties should undergo a sound insulation test:
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 makes sure that the sound insulation for the building meets all the necessary requirements.
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.
Using designs where Robust Details are not included
Robust Details Ltd began the Robust Details scheme in 2004. The scheme enables architects use design details for separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. If the building design is slightly different from Robust Details, a sound test is essential so that Building Regulations criteria can be met. 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.
Parts of the UK AF Acoustics Cover
As an acoustics design services firm, AF Acoustics provides acoustic consultancy to various individuals and businesses nationwide, especially in Upper-Holloway. Our clients include architects, planning and environmental consultancies. We also work with government agencies and private individuals. 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 you should pick AF Acoustics for your sound testing
We have helped many homes and business owners in Upper-Holloway with their sound tests and building’s sound performance. Our customers endorse and recommend us because of the following advantages of working with us.
We’ve been conducting sound tests for more than 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. In more than 15 years, we have acquired extensive experience with providing acoustic solutions to private individuals and organisations in the UK, no matter the size or scale of the project. You get expedience and value for the price.
To make sure you can afford high quality sound insulation projects in UK, we offer one of the most affordable prices in Upper-Holloway. Contact us immediately and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test.
Ultrafast and efficient consultancy
Our expert acoustic advice is tailored to your specific needs based on our experience which enable us to provide strong solutions. When you reach out to us for professional 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.
Test dates that are adaptable
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. Take the first step towards your sound insulation testing in Upper-Holloway by calling us now.
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. That way, you can take immediate action on the recommendations given. Our reports are thorough and cover all the important issues.
The sound testing services we provide
AF Acoustics offer a variety of complete acoustic slutions to clients all over the Uk, Telephone or email us today for more data on how we can assist you with your acoustic requirements.
Impact and airborne tests for floors
These are performed on floors and/or ceilings between units. 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.
Approved Document E test
AF Acoustics sound testing adheres to ADE which stipulates information bearing on the sound resistance and performance of a property. 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 test
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 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 the sound performance requirement for the acoustics of school buildings. It likewise states how a school can meet this requirement. If building a new school in Upper-Holloway, we can test the school to check if it meets the requirements of BB93.
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.
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 can assist with:
Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. Detail plans in commercial, educational and healthcare project for adhering to the prescribed standard. Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Increasing sound through public enterprise and sound reinforcement systems in conference rooms, halls, lecture theatres and the like.
Contact our professionals for a sound test quotation
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Giving the following information to us will be helpful
When contacting us, please give us the following information
Where is your development situated in Upper-Holloway
How many dwellings are there?
What is the number of units in the development?
Total number of floors
To get a precise quote, let us know the total number of floors you have.
Configuration of dwellings (no. of units per level)
To help us get you an accurate quotation and evaluate the scope of the test to be taken, tell us how many dwellings there are per floor.
Type of development
Tell us the kind of property because different buildings require different amounts of tests.
New construction or refurbished building
Knowing if your building is new or converted allows us to give you a competitive quotation and prepare the right test for it.
Building regulations for sound insulation test
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)
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 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.” The following are exempt from the testing techniques given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standard and Standard 5.1 – completely segregated rooftops, houses or walkways whose access is only used for upkeep or for the utilization of the inhabitants of the dwelling beneath.
How to get a pass certificate for your 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. 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 following conditions will provide you with an ample 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 Our professional acoustic professionals work with contractors, architects, developers, and planner from the beginning of the design to make sure that all requirements are met.
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.
What the results look like
Your test certificate will show if your development passed or failed the test and show if it adheres to the requirements of Part E of Building Regulations. If a partition wall or floor does not comply with Part E standards, repair work and another sound test will be needed. We can give robust advice on that to ensure you pass.
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.