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 has been a mandatory part of the Building Regulations for new build and refurbishment projects since Approved Document E (ADE) was revised in 2003.
At the completion of the test, a sound insulation certificate is issued. Without the certificate, Building Control will not release the building completion certificate to the contractors and developers of the project. We know how important a sound insulation certificate is to you. That is why we work hard to make certain that you get the certificate quickly. We pride ourselves on the facts that our sound insulation certificates are issued with speed and efficiency.
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 is a Sound Test?
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 testing measures the impact and airborne sound moving through new and old adjoining buildings. This tests include the boundary walls between buildings and in-between the spaces in a 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 way a sound test is administered depends on the size and type of building and the development’s condition. If the site is simple and of regular size, it typically takes about 90 minutes to complete the sound test.
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.
You will get a detailed written report and sound test certificate about a day after, if possible. 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. How much testing that should be done on each group is listed below:
Importance of Sound Insulation 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 is to be certain that all new developments meet a uniform minimum criterion for resistance to sound from other parts of the development and adjoining developments. Testing for sound insulation is vital because sound influences how we live in the office, while relaxing or in the house. Restricting the sound that moves between floors and walls could result in a more relaxed and better surrounding.
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 instance, an inhabitant in an apartment building sleeps during the day and works at night all the days of the week. If the neighbour in the upstairs flat has friends over and plays loud music, without a good sound insulation system, the working occupant will be uncomfortable and uneasy. This is just one example of how sound insulation can affect the quality of life of people in different ways. Then there are developments where each neighbouring room / flat / unit has mixed uses. If the development has passed the sound insulation test, noise is reduced to a minimum.
Does Your Development Need a Sound Insulation 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.
ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.
All you have to do is follow the guidelines listed in the document or pay to use Robust Details and you will have fulfilled the requirements. 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. With sound testing, however, you’re free to pick from any design, including more cost effective and appropriate ones. This makes it a more efficient process than Robust Details. Sound insulation testing can also help architects enhance their building design and in turn the sound insulation of the building.
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. 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.
When Should the Sound Tests be done?
The ideal period for a sound insulation test is after the fitting of windows and doors, and before the building is finished. If you want, AF Acoustics can conduct tests before then to find out if there are any problems on your property. 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 Process of a Sound Test
Sound insulation testing is not complicated. Our highly qualified engineers will be willing to explain it in detail on the site. For partition walls, airborne tests are carried out. For floors there are two types, airborne and impact tests.
The test uses a dodecahedron speaker and pink or white noise generator for source sound. The sound source is placed in the largest room of the two. The sound generated and received is measured with a sound level meter. 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. 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.
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 tests are done by placing a standardised tapping machine on the floor. The sound pressure level at the receiving room, which is below the source room, is measured. 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. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.
Sound Test Equipment Used
Our licensed engineers use UKAS calibrated equipment to measure sound insulation according to the present standards of Building Regulations. Airborne sound test is the measurement of sound moving through the air through a wall or floor. 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 sound testing, the equipment used is a tapping machine that uses dropping hammers to create noise and a sound level meter. The tests are administered in room with residential purposes. For example, kitchens/living spaces, lounges, bedrooms and living rooms. Test results, which are approved by Building Control and used to sign off the building, are recorded in a report and sent to the client.
A sound test is mandatory for these buildings:
Sound insulation 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 new building with not less than two rooms
This makes sure that the sound insulation for the building meets all the necessary requirements.
Converting a single development to flats
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E of Building Regulations.
Designs without 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. Once the design does not strictly abide by the design from Robust Detail approved list, the structure will have to undergo a sound test to ensure it conforms to 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 provides acoustic design services to customer nationwide, especially in Egham. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants can be found in various places in the south east region. This way you get an affordable price.
Why you should pick AF Acoustics for your sound testing
Having rendered high quality service to numerous customers in Egham, we have gotten great positive feedback and recommendation from our clientele due to the following:
We’ve been conducting sound tests for more than 15 years
We are able to offer helpful functional solutions that will solve our customer’s needs. We also have a track record of providing superior acoustic services to our customers (home and business owners) in the UK in small and large projects, giving them astounding value for their money.
To make sure you can afford high quality sound insulation projects in UK, we offer one of the most affordable prices in Egham. Contact us immediately and we’ll give you a free quote on the sound test.
Ultrafast and efficient consultancy
We will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. When you reach out to us for professional guidance, we make it a priority and deliver accurate answers fast. We recommend effective solutions that are most in line with your current and long-term needs.
Adjustable test dates
We make your convenience our priority. Therefore, we offer flexible alternatives that can help you select test dates that suit you itinerary. Call us to get your sound testing in Egham undertaken.
You get your report the next day
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 report will be detailed and thorough so that all necessities are written out and any advice provided.
Sound insulation 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. To find out more about we can help you with your acoustics needs, call or email us right away.
Airborne and impact tests for floors/ceilings
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. An impact test measures the levels of noise transmitted directly through a separating construction. The adjoining floors/ceilings of rooms intended as residences usually have both impact and airborne sound tests.
Testing in line with Part E of Building Regulations
Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. 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.
We offer the highest amount of aptitude and high quality service, and are constantly ready to work with our clients to give the most ideal chance of accomplishing 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 routinely give advice to developers and project managers from the beginning of the project, guaranteeing certainty when the time for a sound test is at hand. Contact us today for more information about our sound testing services or to book a no obligation quote, free of charge.
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 Egham, 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.
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 layout for architect developing structures complying to 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. Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)
Contact our professionals for a sound test quotation
Our services at AF Acoustics include acoustic design and investigation, evaluation and calculation of noise, acoustic survey, building an architectural acoustics and air pressure 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Provide us with the following data
Give us the following information when contacting us
Where is your property located in Egham?
Total number of dwellings
Total number of dwellings in the building.
How many storeys are there?
To get a precise quote, let us know the total number of floors you have.
Number of dwelling units per storey
To get an appropriate quotation and determine the kind of tests to be conducted, we will also need this.
Type of development
Let us know the type of development you have so that we can undertake the required tests for it.
New property or reconstructed dwelling
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.
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.
Part E of building regulations resistance to the passage of sound (England and Wales)
We can have fully accredited engineers sent to your property at your convenience to provide certification for Building Regulations Part E compliance, recognised by Building Control.
Standard division for structures (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.” Tests, which are conducted after building utilizing the methodology given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standard 5.1 does not apply to: completely disconnected houses, rooftops and walkways with access exclusively for the use of the occupants of the home underneath.
How to get a pass certificate for your sound test
The best method to guarantee you pass your sound test is to design the building with a view to good sound insulation performance. This shouldn’t be exorbitant, and can save time and cost at the end, without your having to correct sound problem or pay for a re-test. We offer design services that help you construct separating walls and floors with good sound performance that meet ADE demands. We can study design reports, complete site visits and sound test the development to provide you with the level of assessment and consultation that your project requires from start to finish. Take the following action to give your building the best opportunity to pass the sound insulation test: Inner and outer doors and windows have been installed and can be used Skirting boards are fixed Fix all light switches, light fittings and plug sockets. 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.
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. In the event of a wall or floor not achieving the Part E requirements, it may be necessary to carry out remedial works before having another sound test carried out. We can provide you with remedial design advice to help you achieve the Building Regulations requirements.
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.