Sound insulation testing is used to measure the resistance of sound provided by an element of a building (such as a floor or wall) between dwellings. It essentially measures the effectiveness of the sound proofing treatment installed as part of a build or property development. 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.
Building Control does not issue completion certificates to buildings that don’t have a sound insulation certificate. Contractors and developers have sometimes discovered this, to their detriment. 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 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 part of 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. Undertaking sound tests on site varies according to the size and complexity of the building project and the site conditions. Most of the time the test will be conducted in 90 minutes, for a simple, regular sized construction.
The sound testing engineers then proceed to give verbal results on the site and offer helpful advice on any problem areas noticed during the duration of the test.
The entire report and individual sound test certificate will be sent to you the day after. 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. How much testing that is required for each category can be found below.
Why Sound Testing is Required
After the 2003, Approved Document E mandates that all new structures in UK must take a sound insulation test before completion. 62dB L’nTw or less impact sound and 45dB DnTw+Ctr or higher airborne sound insulation is the required result. The aim of Approved Documet E of the Building Regulations is to establish a minimum standard for the reduction in noise levels between all dwellings in a new or refurbished building. Sound 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. 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. 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.
How to Know if You Need Sound Insulation Testing
If you’re doing one of the following, then you need a sound test:
- Constructing a building that has two or more units
- Constructing a nursing home or rooms that will be lived in, e.g. hotel room or hostel
- Converting a single development to flats
- Using designs where Robust Details are not included
Building Regulations Part E discusses sound testing in detail and has made it a requirement.
To conform, you can either follow the procedure outlined in ADE or make use of Robust Details. Robust Details are design details for separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. When you use it, you don’t have to take a sound insulation test. However, you must abide strictly by the design from the Robust Details approved list. 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. On-site pre-completion sound insulation testing gives architects more insight and ability to make their design lead to constructions that have a higher sound performance.
Cost of Sound Insulation Testing
We can send quotation that’s completely free of charge and is based on the kind of development you have. 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
We can undertake your sound tests when your building has almost been completed. By this time, you should have fixed internal and external doors and windows. We can conduct sound tests beforehand if required. For your sound tests to be conducted successfully we need the property to be quiet, with workers not near the rooms to be tested during the test time (a noisy environment makes the test difficult and sometimes unsuccessful). We also need access to all units unless the test program has been compiled earlier. Finally, we need 240V power supply.
The Procedures of a Sound Insulation Test
Our sound test engineers can answer your questions and make the sound test process easy to understand on site, during the time of the test. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.
The source sound is produced with a white or pink noise generator with a dodecahedron speaker in the largest room. The noise from the source room and received by the receiver room, and background noise is measured with a sound level meter. Background sound is also calculated. Noise in the receiver room should be 10dB more than the background noise at all frequency measurements, so source noise is set to be greater than background noise. 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.
The variations or differences in noise level are ‘corrected’ to take into consideration the already present background noise in the receiving room and the reverberation time – measure of time needed for a sound to decay or be absorbed in a closed room by 60dB. Impact tests are carried out by means of a tapping machine placed on the floor to be measured. 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. This is of course, a somewhat simplified explanation without the various mathematical formulae involved, but helps to explain the process.
Sound Test Equipment Used
Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving through a separating element. Equipment used for the test include a noise generator, speakers and sound level meter. Sound level meter is also used for impact tests. Alongside it, a tapping machine that drops metal hammers is used. Testing is done on rooms that can be lived in. E.g. lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. Test findings are fed into a report that will be sent to the client. This report will always be acceptable to Building Control and will help you to get your development signed off.
It’s important to undertake a sound test if you have this kind of building:
Sound testing measures the impact and airborne sound moving through new and old adjoining buildings. This could affect the separating walls between buildings or in-between the spaces in a development.
Property with two or more units
This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.
Conversions of former single dwelling properties into flats
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E of Building Regulations.
Designs without Robust Details
Robust Details Ltd began the Robust Details scheme in 2004. The scheme enables architects use design details for separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. If the building design does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. Minimum criterion differs based on the type and purpose of the development. A development with rooms intended as residences, like a hostel or hotel, won’t have the same criteria as a structure for permanent dwelling.
Where doses AF Acoustics conduct tests in UK?
AF Acoustics renders acoustics design services and consultancy to customers all over the UK, especially in Horley. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, 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 choose AF Acoustics
Our sound testing experts and engineers have worked with various homes and businesses in Horley. Our clients refer us to others because of the following benefits of working with us.
Sound testing experience of over 15 years
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. 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.
We want to ensure that you get the best value for your money. That is why we have one of the most unbeatable rates in and outside Horley. Call us or email today to get a free quotation.
Ultrafast and efficient consultancy
We will interpret your problems and necessities, present you with vigorous ideas and provide acoustic advice through our extensive 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
Your convenience is essential to us. This is the reason we provide you with adaptable choices that allow you to pick test dates that are most advantageous for you. Call us to get your sound testing in Horley undertaken.
Next day reporting
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.
AF Acoustics sound testing services
AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. Phone or email us today for more information on how we can help you with your acoustic requirements.
Airborne and impact tests for floors/ceilings
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. An impact test examines the level of noise moving from one dwelling to another through impact on adjoining floors/ceilings. Airborne and Impact tests are carried out on the separating floors between habitable rooms of flats.
Testing in line with Part E of Building Regulations
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. 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.
Sound Insulation Testing
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 regularly offer consultations to builders and project managers at the beginning of the development, so that they can take the appropriate action and are confident when it’s time to take the sound insulation test. Call or email us now for more details on our sound insulation testing services and for a quotation to be sent to you, free of charge.
BB93 Acoustic Design testing in Schools
For a school to meet up with Building Regulation acoustic requirements, it must adhere to Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which explains the sound insulation expectation for schools in detail. Are you building a new school in Horley? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of 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.
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 help with:
Creating acoustic detail plans for architects involved in residential construction that conform to Document E of Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail plans in commercial, educational and healthcare project for adhering to the prescribed standard. Designs and specifications that ensure good sound performance of buildings in residential areas and other noise sensitive places. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms 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 professional guidance and advice is provided to private individuals, businesses and government agencies amongst others. You can contact us by sending us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us for a free quote.
We will need the following information:
When calling or emailing us please provide the following data
Location of property
Where in Horley is your construction?
Number of dwellings in the structure
Total number of dwellings in the building.
Number of floors in the building
To give you an appropriate quotation, would like to know the number of floors in your building.
Dwellings arrangements per level
This will also be needed to determine scope of the testing and provide an accurate quote
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
We provide sound testing and sound insulation testing on all types of buildings, for compliance with Part E Building Regulations in England and Wales and Section 5 of the Scottish Building Standards. Testing can also gain credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment schemes.
Sound resistance and performance: Document E of Building Regulations (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 Do I Pass a Sound Insulation 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. If you are unsure of how to build the separating floor and wall constructions and associated junctions across your development to satisfy the requirements of Document E 2003, we can offer design advice. 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 criteria should be followed to provide you with the best chance of passing your sound test: Install and make sure that all external and internal doors and windows are operational Skirting boards are fitted and sealed 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.
Analysis and 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.
How the results are
You will get your sound insulation test certificate whether you pass or fail the sound tests. 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.