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. Part E of Building Regulations requires sound insulation in buildings and mandates that all newly completed constructions and rehabilitated developments go through sound testing.

As many contractors and developers have found to their detriment, without a sound insulation certificate, the Building Control Officer will not issue a completion certificate. 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 pride ourselves on issuing our sound insulation testing certificates as quickly as possible.

AF Acoustics’ competent and well-trained engineers, who will be available for testing, can even let you know the verbal results of your sound test. You will receive a written report in the space of a working day.

Our Guarantee

  • Over 15 years experience
  • State of the art equiptment
  • Onsite Support
  • 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

What Sound Testing Does

Walls and floors that separate dwellings in a building are expected to be sound tested, as mandated by Document E of Building Regulations. Only dwellings that have used Robust Details, which licensed before the installation, are exempted from the test. Sound 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.

What is involved in a Sound 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. 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 and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you within 24 working hours. 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 volume of testing carried out on each group is written below.

Why is Sound Insulation Testing Relevant?

Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result. ADE ensures that new building are resistant to noise from adjoining buildings and other rooms within the same building. Sound insulation testing is important because sound affects the way we live, whether at work, in the home or whilst at leisure. Noise reduction between walls and floors could result in a more comfortable, productive environment.

Insufficient sound insulation causes distress and comfort while an effective sound insulation system brings about speech privacy. This is one of the several reasons why sound insulation is a key element in building. For example, in a block of flats, your upstairs neighbour may (and not unreasonably) like to have friends over at the weekend, resulting in the playing of loud music. However, the downstairs occupant may be working nights and sleeping throughout the day, thus any inadequate sound insulation between these two flats would cause great disturbance and distress to the downstairs occupant. Sound insulation impacts people’s lives in various 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.

Do I 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

Sound insulation is covered and made mandatory under Approved Document E of The Building Regulations.

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 separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. With it, you don’t need a sound insulation test, but you must completely follow every aspect of the design from the Robust Detail Approved list. Sound insulation testing is a more flexible approach. You can pick from a plethora of designs, as opposed to Robust Details. It also gives architects the opportunity to evaluate their design and give your structure a much better sound insulation which will increase sound performance.

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. Not only are we highly experienced in providing sound testing services in UK, our reports and certificates get to the client within one of the fastest turnaround time and our prices are competitive. Send us a price you got that’s better than our 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. These are the things we need to conduct the test:

  • 240V power supply
  • A quiet environment
  • Access to all the units of the structure unless places to test have been decided before then.

The Procedures of a Sound Insulation Test

Sound insulation testing is not complicated. Our highly qualified engineers will be willing to explain it in detail on the site. The boundary floors and walls get airborne tests. Floors get an additional impact test.

The airborne sound insulation test is carried out with a large speaker or dodecahedron speaker, using a white or pink noise generator to create the source sound, almost always in the largest room of the two rooms under testing. The noise from the source room and received by the receiver room, and background noise is measured with a sound level meter. The background noise level is also measured. The higher the background noise then the higher the source noise will need to be set, since the resulting noise level in the receiver room needs to be 10dB higher than the background noise at all measured frequencies. Airborne sound tests are conducted in this manner: two singular speaker positions are used for every source room. The noise in the receiver room is measured to determine the variations in noise level between the source and receiver room.

The sound difference is adjusted to make an allowance for reverberation time (time in which the sound decays by 60dB) and background noise in the receiver room. Impact tests are conducted by fixing a tapping machine on the floor. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. Calculations are done and the outcome is checked against ADE requirements for the type of building. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.

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

Kind of Testing Equipments Used

Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. Airborne sound test is the measurement of sound moving through the air through a wall or floor. The equipment we use are a sound level meter, loudspeaker and white or pink noise generator. For impact sound testing, the equipment used is a tapping machine that uses dropping hammers to create noise and a sound level meter. Testing is done on rooms that can be lived in. E.g. lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. Test findings are compiled in a report and issued to the client. The report will be accepted by Building Control and used for signing off your project.

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

The airborne and impact sound going through new and old buildings are evaluated by sound testing. This can impact adjoining walls and floors between the building.

Property with two or more units

This ensures that a sound insulation system installed in residences meets the requirements of ADE.

Converting a property into several units

When the development is completed, ADE of Building Regulations should be checked, and sound insulation tested accordingly.

Design not using Robust Details

Architects are able to use pre-tested and approved Robust Details design for partitioning walls and floors. The Robust Details scheme was formed in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd. If the building design does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. A building built as a permanent dwelling has different minimum standards from a building with rooms built for residential purpose, like a hotel or a hostel.

Towns in the UK AF Acoustics Services can be Found

AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in Westminster. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as private individuals and government agencies. We’re based in several strategic locations in the south east of UK to enable you get the best quotation and price possible.

Why you should pick AF Acoustics for your sound testing

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

Sound testing experience of over 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. By doing this, we have been able to continuously satisfy clients in the UK and meet their acoustic needs for over 15 years, providing great value for money.

Competitive rates

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

Prompt and productive consultancy

We will interpret your problems and necessities, present you with vigorous ideas and provide acoustic advice through our extensive experience. We will give you the right answers and expert guidance so that you can get effectual solutions to your problems.

Flexible test dates

Our test date options let you pick what will suit your schedule because your comfort is essential to us. Call us to get your sound testing in Westminster undertaken.

You get your report the next day

The sooner you receive the details of your sound insulation test results, the sooner you can get your building signed or remedy any problems. We endeavour to give you the report the following working day in all situations, even when the project is complex and large in size. 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

AF Acoustics provide a scope of exhaustive and detailed acoustic solutions for clients across the country, making certain our techniques have the best quality and performance. Call or mail us today so we can provide you with more knowledge on your acoustics needs.

Impact and Airborne floor test

These are taken on separating floors/ceilings between residences. The measurement of the extent of noise transmitted directly through impact from one adjoining room to another is known as impact testing. Airborne and Impact tests are carried out on the separating floors between habitable rooms of flats.

Document E test

Our sound insulation testing in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document E, which sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound. 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 test

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. When working with AF Acoustics, developers and project managers get acoustic advice right from the start of the building project. That way, they can make sure their developments have a good sound performance. Phone or email us for a free quote and more information on our sound insulation testing services.

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

BB93 Acoustic Design testing 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 Westminster, we can test it to find out if it aligns with BB93.

Acoustic plan details

AF Acoustics provide detailed acoustic design services and consulting on a wide range of buildings. We have the capability and experience to develop customised solutions, and have a strong working knowledge of available proprietary acoustic products. We will develop detailed design solutions suitable for the specific demands of the project.

As anybody who has needed to handle the acoustics for a building will know, it’s essential to get proper advice, early in the project from a good acoustic expert. AF Acoustics can help you with identifying the right acoustic needs and standard for your construction at the beginning period and advise you on how to meet them.

We are able to assist with:

Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Specifications and building services design for control of noise in noise sensitive areas. Increasing sound through public enterprise and sound reinforcement systems in conference rooms, halls, lecture theatres and the like.

Call Our Experts Now For A Sound Insulation Testing Quote

We are an independent acoustic organisation that handles everything concerning acoustics including survey, design, architectural and building acoustics and air tightness testing. We will give you sound advice and guidance no matter who you are or the kind of project you have. To get an accurate quotation, either call us or email info@af-acoustics.com

020 3372 4430 Contact us

Provide us with the following data

When contacting us for sound insulation testing quote, we will need you to provide the following information

Location of development

Where in Westminster the property is situated

Number of dwellings in the building

Total number of dwellings in the structure

How many storeys are there?

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

Configuration of dwellings (no. of units per level)

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

Kind of structure

Let us know the type of development you have so that we can undertake the required tests for it.

New Build or conversion project

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

Get more credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment project by taking a sound insulation test which are aligned with approved document E building regulations rules.

Sound resistance and performance: Document E of Building Regulations (England and Wales)

We have fully accredited engineers who can visit your property to issue appropriate certification that complies with the building control.

Building Standards Division (Scotland)

In the words of Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards, “Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that each wall and floor separating one dwelling from another, or one dwelling from another part of the building, or one dwelling from a building other than a dwelling, will limit the transmission of noise to the dwelling to a level that will not threaten the health of the occupants or inconvenience them in the course of normal domestic activities.” Tests should be taken at the completion of the building, using procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. These standards don’t apply to detached structures that have access only for maintenance or are to used only by the occupants who live below.

How to get a pass certificate for 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. If you’re not certain of how to construct your party walls and floors, to meet Document E 2003 targets, simply contact us for an efficient design service. Our consultation may include several site visits and thorough design reports, or more basic initial tests on your structure. The following criteria should be followed to provide you with the best chance of passing your sound test: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Skirting boards are fixed 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.

Test report certificates

We try to issue a certificate to give you the details of the test evaluation and report, by the next day. After the test, our site engineers will provide verbal results and advise you on how to solve potential problem 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.

The results

A sound insulation certificate will be sent to you whether the property has a good sound performance in accordance with ADE or not. 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

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

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