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.

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. The significance of a sound insulation certificate cannot be overrated. Therefore, we ensure that you get the certificate speedily. 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. The airborne and impact sound going through new and old structures are evaluated by sound testing. This can impact adjoining walls and floors between the structures.

What is involved in Sound Insulation 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. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. Generally, a sound insulation test takes about 90 minutes for a simple, regular sized project.

After the test, the sound insulation test engineers will let you know the outcome of the test and supply simple feedback of important things noted during the test; e.g. problems that might occur in the future.

A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out the next day. The way a sound test is conducted is determined by ADE of Building Regulations. It mandates that in all developments, every 10 units in a group or sub-group will undertake one set of tests. It explicitly states what a sub-group is in Section 1. 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.

Importance of Sound Insulation Testing

Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. Results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. These result limits were put in to create and maintain a uniform standard for sound resistance in different parts of a dwelling and between adjacent buildings. 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.

Sound insulation and having privacy while speaking are crucial for a number of reasons. When sound insulation is deficient, it can cause discomfort to occupants. 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. In a structure with flats for mixed purposes, a sound insulation test will make sure that there is maximum sound resistance from party walls and floors and less noise.

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

It is imperative that sound insulation tests be undertaken, as explained and stipulated by ADE.

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. Robust Details are design details for walls that were tested formerly and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. 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. This becomes difficult when you need to pick a more appropriate or cost-effective design that will suit your needs. Sound tests enable you do that, making it more flexible. It also gives architects the opportunity to evaluate their design and give your structure a much better sound insulation which will increase sound performance.

Cost of Sound Insulation Testing

Contact us and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test cost based on the requirements of your building. 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.

When Should the Sound Tests be done?

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. During the test, you should provide the following:

  • Access to all rooms. The only exception is if a schedule was created before the test time.
  • 240V power supply
  • A noiseless site

The Process of a Sound Test

The procedures of a sound insulation test are not difficult. Our site engineers can help you understand it better during the testing time. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.

A big or multidirectional speaker, with a generator of pink or white noise is used to the biggest room. A sound level meter calculates the noise in the source room and 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. 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 sound level in the room below it is recorded. Calculations based on these measurements are undertaken and the results compared to the Building Regulations Part E requirements for the given type of the building. 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

Type of Sound Insulation Test Machines We Will be using

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. 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. 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. 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:

Sound insulation tests examine airborne and impact sound moving through buildings. It is usually undertaken between party walls and floors between buildings or between spaces within a new development.

A structure with 2 or more units/flats

With the sound test, you can be certain that the property has a good acoustic performance.

A single dwelling that was turned into a development with several flats or units

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

Design not using Robust Details

The Robust Details scheme was set up in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd as a way to help architects and builders design and construct separating elements with the confidence that the separating wall and/or floor will be capable of achieving the sound performance parameters in Approved Document E, and comply with the Building Regulations. If the building design is slightly different from Robust Details, a sound test is essential so that Building Regulations criteria can be met. The minimum requirements during testing will depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).

Towns in the UK AF Acoustics Services can be Found

AF Acoustics is an acoustics design services and consultancy company. Our clients can be found nationwide, especially in Oxfordshire. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as private individuals and government agencies. We’re based in several areas across the south east region of UK so that we can give you the most cost effective quote in the industry.

Why choose AF Acoustics for Sound Insulation Testing?

Having rendered high quality service to numerous customers in Oxfordshire, we have gotten great positive feedback and recommendation from our clientele due to the following:

15 years’ experience

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. Our clients in the UK are completely satisfied with our acoustic solutions. Irrespective of the type of project you have, minor or major, you can be assured that we’ll give outstanding value for your money.

Competitive prices

Compared to other sound insulation testing service in Oxfordshire, 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 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.

Adjustable 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 Oxfordshire 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. 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 variety of complete acoustic slutions to clients all over the Uk, Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.

Airborne and impact ceilings/floor tests

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.

ADE testing

Document E of Building Regulations requires certain criteria for the sound performance of a dwelling. Our sound insulation tests are conducted in accordance to these criteria. 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

Our services and expertise is unbeatable and we are glad to work with our clients to help pass their sound insulation tests. In new build properties an airborne test or an airborne and impact test may be required to ensure it meets the requirements 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. To find out more about our sound testing services and get a free quotation, contact us now.

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

BB93 acoustic design tests 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 Oxfordshire? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.

Acoustic plan

We have provided acoustic design services and consulting to various clients with different types and sizes of dwellings. We also give customised solutions and have a deep understanding of acoustic merchandise. Due to this fact, we will provide precise design answers suitable for the specific needs 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 involved in residential developments for compliance with Part E Regs, BS8233, and so on. Detail layout for the commercial, health and educational constructions in order to align with regulations. Specifications and design details that enable good sound insulation and reduction of noise in residences. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms etc.

To get a sound test quote for your building, call or email our highly skilled professionals

AF Acoustics is a leading acoustic consultancy. It provides the following services: architectural and building acoustics, acoustics design, survey and investigation in the field of planning and noise, and examining and controlling air vibrations while conducting air leakage tests. Whether you are a company or a private individual, we are here to advise and guide you. If you would like a friendly and accurate sound insulation testing quote, please send an email to info@af-acoustics.com or give us a call.

020 3372 4430 Contact us

We would like to know the following

Give us the following information when contacting us

Construction’s location

Where is your property located in Oxfordshire?

Number of dwellings in the building

Tell us how many dwellings you have in the property.

Total number of floors

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

Number of dwellings per floor

Tell us how many units are in your structure so that we can give you the right calculation for your quotation and know the scope of the test.

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

The testing requirements for new dwellings and converted properties are not the same. Tell us the type of building you have so that we give you the right quote.

Sounds test in accordance with building regulations

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 and performance: Document E of Building Regulations (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 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

The most effective way to ensure you pass your sound test is to plan the project with sound insulation in mind. This does not need to be costly, and can save considerable time and expense at the end of the project, not to mention avoiding escalating remedial and re-test costs. 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 will give you a better chance of passing the sound test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Skirting boards are fixed Plug sockets, light switches and fittings are in place and working. Our experienced acoustic consultants work with developers, contractors, architects and planners of all sizes from the early design stage to help minimise any potential issues right through to project completion, ensuring that all properties are compliant with Building Regulations Document E 2003.

Certificates for test evaluation and report

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

A sound insulation certificate will be issued whether the Sound Testing results and report indicate compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations or not. In the event that some part of the building does not meet up with the conditions of Document E, remedial work and a retest is required. We give remedial design advice to help you achieve Building Regulations standards.


Sound Insulation FAQ’s

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