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. It is compulsory for new buildings and refurbishment projects, according to Approved Document E (ADE) updated in 2003.
Not doing so is a costly venture for developers and contractors as Building Control will not give a completion certificate for developments that have not undergone the test. We understand how important it is for you to get a sound insulation certificate. That’s why we go the extra mile to make sure you get your certificate as quickly as possible. In fact, we pride ourselves on issuing our sound insulation testing certificates as quickly as possible.
Our highly qualified site engineers can arrive on site when needed. They will provide verbal results after the test and a written report will be sent to you within 24 working hours.
- 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 involved in a Sound Test
Workers on a site will vacate the premises while the sound test is being conducted. This will facilitate an enabling and quiet environment for the tests to be carried out. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. A structure that is simple and the conventional size will usually take 90 minutes to be tested.
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern.
A full and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you within 24 working hours. The sound testing guidelines are stipulated in Building Regulations ADE. It requires one set of test to be conducted on 10 units in a group or sub-group. You can find out what is meant by a sub-group in Section 1 of ADE. Buildings to be tested are categorised into three kinds: houses, flats and rooms like care homes, student accommodation and hotel rooms. How much testing that should be done on each group is listed below:
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Relevant?
Document E of Building regulations, from 2003, made it compulsory for all new UK constructions to undertake a pre-completion sound test. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw. 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 testing is essential due to the fact that sound impacts us wherever we are, whether it’s at home, leisure or the office. Reduced noise in the partitions and flooring of a structure leads to greater ease and a more efficient environment.
Insufficient sound insulation causes distress and comfort while an effective sound insulation system brings about speech privacy. This is one of the several reasons why sound insulation is a key element in building. For example, in a block of flats, your upstairs neighbour may (and not unreasonably) like to have friends over at the weekend, resulting in the playing of loud music. However, the downstairs occupant may be working nights and sleeping throughout the day, thus any inadequate sound insulation between these two flats would cause great disturbance and distress to the downstairs occupant. This is one way sound insulation can affect how a person lives. 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.
Do You Need a Sound Test?
Are you converting your property into several units? Does your design not use Robust Details? Are you constructing a new building with more than two rooms? Are you building a nursing home or rooms that will used for residential purposes, like hotels and hostels? If so, your structure needs to undergo a sound test. ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.
There are two ways in which to show compliance. You can either test to the regime set out in Approved Document E (ADE), or pay to use Robust Details. Robust Details are design details for walls that were tested formerly and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. 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. Sound insulation testing is a more flexible approach. You can pick from a plethora of designs, as opposed to Robust Details. It also gives architects the opportunity to evaluate their design and give your structure a much better sound insulation which will increase sound performance.
Price for 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 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 can I carry out the sound insulation tests?
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. These are the things we need to conduct the test:
- 240V power supply
- A quiet environment
- Access to all the units of the structure unless places to test have been decided before then.
How a Sound Test is Done
Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. For partition walls, airborne tests are carried out. For floors there are two types, airborne and impact tests.
The source sound is produced with a white or pink noise generator with a dodecahedron speaker in the largest room. The sound in the source room and receiver room (sharing a separating wall with the source room) 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. For airborne tests, two speakers positions are used in the source room and the level of noise entering into the receiving partition room is measured. That way the difference in sound level is calculated.
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 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. 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 licensed engineers use UKAS calibrated equipment to measure sound insulation according to the present standards of Building Regulations. 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. A sound level meter and a tapping machine which drops metal hammers is used for impact testing. 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.
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 ensures that a sound insulation system installed in residences meets the requirements of ADE.
Converting a single development to flats
When turning the single dwelling into several flats or units, the sound performance requirements of Building Regulations must be met.
Designed in a way that does not adhere to Robust Details
Robust Detail Ltd set up the Robust Detail Scheme in 2004 to make sure architect and building designs construct partition walls and floors that comply with Approved Document E sound insulation standards. If the building design does not strictly adhere to Robust Details, a sound insulation test becomes necessary to meet Building Regulations. The minimum criterion is based on various factors such as the purpose of the development and if it is a permanent dwelling or rooms to be used as residences like students’ accommodations and hotels.
Areas in the UK AF Acoustics Conduct Test
AF Acoustics is an acoustics design services and consultancy company. Our clients can be found nationwide, especially in Leatherhead. We work with architects, planning and environmental consultancies as well as 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 Leatherhead with their sound tests and building’s sound performance. Our customers endorse and recommend us because of the following advantages 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. In more than 15 years, we have acquired extensive experience with providing acoustic solutions to private individuals and organisations in the UK, no matter the size or scale of the project. You get expedience and value for the price.
Best rates available
To make certain that all clients in Leatherhead can pay for excellent sound insulation testing services, we have one of the best and most competitive prices found in and around Leatherhead. Contact us right now to get a quotation that’s completely free of charge.
Consultancy that is effective and efficient
We will listen to your wishes, provide you sturdy solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our expertise. Both your short and long-term needs are handled with our professional guidance and quick answers to your problems.
Test dates that are adaptable
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. Contact us today to get sound testing in Leatherhead
Next day reporting
When you get your sound test report fast, you’re able to take corrective action. We try to issue reports on the next working day no matter how large or complex the project. The report will be detailed and thorough so that all necessities are written out and any advice provided.
Sound insulation services we provide
We offer a wide range of thorough acoustic solutions for our clients nationwide, and we ensure a high calibre and effective approach. 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
These are performed on floors and/or ceilings between units. 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.
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. 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 want to give our customers the most highest chance to acquire a pass and via our offer skilled services. 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 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. To find out more about our sound testing services and get a free quotation, contact us now.
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. If you’re constructing a new school in Leatherhead, we can test the sound performance to evaluate if it meets the standards of BB93.
AF Acoustics give definite design services and consultancy services to all types of developments. We create bespoke solution and can provide information on the best available acoustic products. We will tailor our design solutions to your project.
As anybody who has needed to handle the acoustics for a building will know, it’s essential to get proper advice, early in the project from a good acoustic expert. AF Acoustics can help you with identifying the right acoustic needs and standard for your construction at the beginning period and advise you on how to meet them.
We are able to help with:
Acoustic detail design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Specification and design of building services for noise control in residential and other noise sensitive scenarios 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. 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 email@example.com or calling us for a free quote.
Please send the following information to us
In your email or during your phone call, tell us about the following
The development’s location
Provide the location of your building in Leatherhead.
Number of dwellings in the building
What is the number of units in the development?
How many storeys are there?
To give you an appropriate quotation, would like to know the number of floors in your building.
Dwellings arrangements per level
To help us get you an accurate quotation and evaluate the scope of the test to be taken, tell us how many dwellings there are per floor.
Tell us the kind of property because different buildings require different amounts of tests.
New construction or refurbished building
Newly completed constructions and refurbished structures have different requirements for sound insulation testing. This is why it’s important to provide this information beforehand. Our quotation is available at any time.
Sound testing 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.
Resistance to the passage of sound: Approved Document E (England and Wales)
Our expert engineers can issue certificates for the sound insulation testing. They can visit the site and conduct the test that will lead to getting a certificate which is in line with Building Regulations and Building Control requirements.
Scotland Standard division for properties
According to Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards, “Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that each wall and floor separating one dwelling from another, or one dwelling from another part of the building, or one dwelling from a building other than a dwelling, will limit the transmission of noise to the dwelling to a level that will not threaten the health of the occupants or inconvenience them in the course of normal domestic activities.” Tests should be taken at the completion of the building, using procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. These standards don’t apply to detached structures that have access only for maintenance or are to used only by the occupants who live below.
Passing a sound insulation test
The most efficient way to make sure you pass sound insulation test is to have a plan that puts sound insulation into consideration from the begining. You don’t have to spend too much for this and it will save you money in the long run, ensuring you don’t pay remedial or re-test expenses. 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. Take the following action to give your building the best opportunity to pass the sound insulation test: All windows and door have been fixed and are functioning Skirting boards are fixed Light fittings and switches and plug sockets are fitted and working. 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
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.
The way the results look
You will get your sound insulation test certificate whether you pass or fail the sound tests. If a partition wall or floor does not comply with Part E standards, repair work and another sound test will be needed. We can give robust advice on that to ensure you pass.
Sound Insulation FAQ’s
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.
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.