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. We take great pride in providing our certificates to you as soon as possible after the tests.
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
What Sound Insulation Testing Does
To adhere to Building Regulations ADE requirements, adjoining walls, floors and ceilings in a building will have to be tested, except where licensed Robust Details were 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. The process of a sound test is determined by the size and complexity of the site being tested. A dwelling or development of normal size and simplicity will more than likely be tested in 90 minutes.
After the 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. There are three types of grouping criteria that need to be assessed: dwelling houses (including bungalows), flats and rooms for residential purposes, such as student accommodation and hotel rooms, care homes etc. Find below the testing stipulation for each kind of development.
Why Should Your Dwelling Undergo Sound Testing
From 2003, Approved Document E states that all new UK builds must undergo pre-completion sound insulation testing. Results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that new buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings. Sound affects our life no matter where we are, at home, work or while relaxing. Places with lowered noise are more comfortable and enabling. Sound testing ensures that noise reduction in a building is effective.
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. This is one way sound insulation can affect how a person lives. Sound insulation is also effective in buildings that have flats with mixed uses. If the building passed the sound test, you can be sure that noise reduction will be effective.
Do I Need a Sound Insulation Test?
You need sound insulation testing if you:
- Build a new development of 2 or more dwellings / flats
- Convert a former single dwelling into flats
- Build a Nursing Home or rooms for residential use, i.e. hotel or hostel
- Have designs which do not adhere to Robust Details
Document E of the Building Regulations explains sound insulation testing and makes it a necessity.
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 separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. You also cannot expand or tweak the design from the Robust Detail Approved listing. However, you are exempt from the sound test. 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. When on-site pre–completion building sound tests are taken, architects have more scope with their design and can increase the sound insulation performance of the construction.
Cost of Sound Insulation Testing
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 worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a sound insulation report and certificates be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. If you get a better quote elsewhere, simply forward it to us and we will try and beat it!
When can I carry out the sound insulation tests?
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 be able to conduct sound insulation testing we require the provision of a 240V power supply, and a quiet site (a noisy site can make conducting the tests extremely difficult). Access will be required to all rooms of the development unless a test schedule is determined in advance.
How is sound insulation testing carried out?
The method of taking the test is not complex and our sound test engineers can explain it thoroughly on site, if you wish. The separating walls undergo airborne tests while separating walls and floor undergo airborne and impact tests.
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. A sound level meter calculates the noise in the source room and receiver room. Background noise is measured to make certain that the source noise is greater. This way the standard of the receiver room having a 10dB higher noise level at all calculated frequencies can be realised. Airborne sound testing is done in a similar way. First, two speaker positions are used for each source room. Then, the level of sound in the receiver room is measured so that the difference in noise level between the two rooms can be calculated.
Finally, the difference in noise level is modified to accommodate reverberation time and background noise that was already in the receiver room. Reverberation time is how long it takes sound to decay by 60dB. Impact sound tests are performed with a tapping machine positioned on the floor of the source room. The room under it is then measured for the noise levels. 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.
Type of Sound Insulation Test Machines We Will be using
The testing equipment used are UKAS calibrated. Our highly qualified engineers test based on present Building Regulations conditions. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving through a separating element. We use pink or white noise generator and speakers on one side of the partition. A sound level meter is used on calculating sound in both units. We use a tapping machine, which drops metal hammers onto the floor to create impact noise. We then measure the amount of sound that passes through the partition with a sound level meter in the room under the tapping machine. Testing is done on rooms that can be lived in. E.g. lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. You will get the test results in a report within a working day. This report can be used to help sign off your building as it is accepted by Building Control.
It’s important to undertake a sound test if you have this kind of building:
For sound testing we usually undertake impact and airborne sound test on buildings. This affects the separating floors and walls between habitable rooms of buildings and developments.
A new building with not less than two rooms
This makes certain that the dwellings have adequate sound proofing.
Converting a single development to flats
When the development is completed, ADE of Building Regulations should be checked, and sound insulation tested accordingly.
Using designs where Robust Details are not included
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 design does not completely follow Robust Details, sound insulation testing will occur to be certain the building meets ADE criteria. 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).
Where doses AF Acoustics conduct tests in UK?
AF Acoustics is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in Chipping-Norton. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants are based in several strategic locations across the south east of the country to ensure that we can provide the most competitive quotations in the industry for sound insulation testing.
Why choose AF Acoustics for Sound Insulation Testing?
We have helped many homes and business owners in Chipping-Norton 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 industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. 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.
Best rates available
To make sure you can afford high quality sound insulation projects in UK, we offer one of the most affordable prices in Chipping-Norton. Contact us immediately and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test.
Consultancy that is effective and efficient
We will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. We will give you the right answers and expert guidance so that you can get effectual solutions to your problems.
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. Contact us today to get sound testing in Chipping-Norton
Next day reporting
Getting your report quickly ensures you can take immediate action. We work towards issuing test reports within the next working day, despite the size or complexity of the construction. The delivered report will be comprehensive and well detailed to ensure all relevant issues are covered and any recommendations are provided.
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. Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.
Impact and Airborne floor test
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. Impact testing evaluates how much the sound flowing from one partition to another through party floors via impact is. Impact and airborne testing is undertaken between party floors.
Approved Document E test
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. The impact sound test of new dwellings should be 62dB L’nTw or less and airborne sound insulation 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more while impact results for reconstructed properties should be 64dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation 43dB DnTw+Ctr or more.
Sound Insulation Testing
With our professional and highly skilled expertise, we are willing to work with our clients to help them get a pass certificate in every situation. 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. 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.
Acoustic design tests in schools in accordance with BB93
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. If you’re constructing a new school in Chipping-Norton, we can conduct a test to be certain it meets the standards 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.
When constructing a building, it’s vital you get advice from the right acoustic consultant on time. AF Acoustics uses professional expertise to discover your acoustic needs early on and proffer ideas on how to meet them.
We are able to assist with:
Acoustic detail design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail designs for the health, educational and commercial projects in order to meet up with the necessary requirements. Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms etc.
Contact our professionals for a sound test quotation
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 expert consultation is available to individuals and companies with all types and sizes of constructions. We will give you free quotation with highly competitive rates. Simply call us or email email@example.com
We will need the following information:
When contacting us, please give us the following information
Location of development
Where is your property located in Chipping-Norton?
How many dwellings are there?
What is the number of units in the development?
Number of Storeys
For the right calculation of your quotation, tell us how many levels are in your building.
Number of dwellings per floor
How many units are on each floor? Knowing this will help us give you an appropriate quotation.
Type of development
Let us know the type of development you have so that we can undertake the required tests for it.
New Build or conversion project
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.
Sound testing regulations
Our ADE compliant sound tests can help you gain credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment structures.
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.
Scotland Standard division for properties
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.” 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 make sure you pass 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. We offer design services that help you construct separating walls and floors with good sound performance that meet ADE demands. Whether you want some initial tests on your project, or comprehensive reports at the end, we can help you at the level that you need. The are required in order to have good conditions to undertake the sound insulation tests: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Fit and seal skirting boards Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted Our accomplished acoustic consultants work with developers, planners, contractors, and architects of all sizes from the early stages of the building plan to help limit any potential sound insulation performance problems to the completion of the construction, guaranteeing that all properties meet the criteria of Building Regulations Document E 2003.
Test report certificates
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern. A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out usually the next working day. 6. Even before you get the certificate, you get the verbal results of the test. First, our completely skilled and competent sound insulation test engineers give you a verbal result at the site. They also offer advice on potential problems. Then the test report certificate is sent to you within 24 working hours, when feasible.
What the results look like
A certificate will be issued to you whether the sound insulation treatment of the building meets the requirements of Document E of Building Regulations or not. We can provide professional advice on designs that will surpass Document E standards if the building fails the test.
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.