Sound insulation testing involves the use of specialist equipment to examine how much sound is reduced off by floors and walls, of a building. It checks if a dwelling’s sound proofing treatment meets the requirements set out in Approved Document E. It is compulsory for new buildings and refurbishment projects, according to Approved Document E (ADE) updated 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. The significance of a sound insulation certificate cannot be overrated. Therefore, we ensure that you get the certificate speedily. 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?
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. 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
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. 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.
Once this is done, the sound test engineers give temporary results while they’re still on the site. They will also provide suggested solutions to possible problem areas noted during testing.
A full and thorough report with the certificate of the test will be given to you within 24 working hours. 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. ADE also states the categories of developments that should be tested. There are three: rooms, flats and houses (including bungalows) that are lived in. Examples are student accommodation, hotel rooms and care homes. The extent of testing required for these three groups is shown below.
Importance of Sound Insulation Testing
After the 2003, Approved Document E mandates that all new structures in UK must take a sound insulation test before completion. The impact sound test result should not be more than 62dB L’nTw and the airborne sound insulation should not be less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. 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 speech privacy are important because not having them results in an unfavourable environment for those living in the development. 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. There are also developments where the neighbouring units are used for different purposes. In such cases, a sound test ensures that the noise coming from each unit is minimal.
Does Your Development Need a Sound Insulation Test?
You need a sound insulation test if you’re:
- Constructing a nursing home or residential rooms like hostel or hotel rooms,
- Converting a building with a single dwelling into flats,
- Constructing a property with two or more units,
- Using designs without Robust Details to build
Document E of the Building Regulations explains sound insulation testing and makes it a necessity.
Either you follow the pre-completion sound testing process stipulated therein or you use Robust Details. This way, you have conformed to the requirements. Robust Details are a set of specific design details for walls and floors that have been previously tested to show compliance and must be used if this route is selected. 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. Being able to adapt your design to suit your needs is more efficient and costs less in the long run. 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 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. 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 a Sound Test is Done
Sound testing procedure is quite simple and our engineers are happy to explain this on site. We carry out airborne and impact tests on separating floors, and airborne tests on separating walls.
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 is then used to take noise measurements within the source room and the receiver room. The meter is also used to measure the background sound, to ensure that it’s 10dB lower than the source sound, as is the standard. More background sound leads to creating a higher source sound. For airborne sound tests, two individual speaker positions are used for each source room. Measurements are then made to determine the levels in the receiving room of the tested partition in question. This gives a basic level difference between source and receiver rooms.
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 conducted by fixing a tapping machine on the floor. The sound level in the room below it is recorded. Once the calculations are completed and the result is achieved, it is compared with Building Regulations Part E standards. Of course, this is a simple way of describing the procedure followed when a sound test is carried out, but it enables you to understand it better.
Sound Test Equipment Used
You can expect UKAS calibrated equipment from us, as stipulated by Building Regulations. Our certified engineers conduct tests to meet the current guidelines. An airborne test is used to check how much sound is moving through the air between partitions. 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. 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. The tests are carried out in rooms suitable for residential use like bedrooms, lounges and kitchens. 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.
These kinds of properties should undergo a sound insulation test:
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.
Property with two or more units
This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.
Converting a single development to flats
The transformation of a single dwelling property into flats must adhere to the sound insulation standards of Building Regulations.
Design that don’t have Robust Details factored in
Architects are able to use pre-tested and approved Robust Details design for partitioning walls and floors. The Robust Details scheme was formed in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd. 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 is an acoustic consultancy providing acoustic design services to clients nationwide, especially in West Sussex. 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 AF Acoustics is the right choice for your sound insulation test
Our sound testing experts and engineers have worked with various homes and businesses in West Sussex. Our clients refer us to others because of the following benefits 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. 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.
To make certain that all clients in West Sussex can pay for excellent sound insulation testing services, we have one of the best and most competitive prices found in and around West Sussex. Contact us right now to get a quotation that’s completely free of charge.
Effective and quick consultancy
We will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. When you contact us for expert direction, we make it our utmost priority and convey exact answers quickly. We suggest compelling solutions that are in accordance with your present and long-term needs.
Flexible test dates
Because your convenience is important to us, we provide several options to help you choose a test date that is best for you. Contact us today to get sound testing in West Sussex
Get your test reports quickly
The sooner you get a report on the completed sound insulation test, the sooner you can take appropriate action. We strive to deliver next day reporting in all scenarios regardless of the complexity or size of the project. We make certain all relevant issues are covered and quality tips are supplied by detailing all the aspects of the test in the report.
Sound Insulation Testing Services We offer
AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. To find out more about we can help you with your acoustics needs, call or email us right away.
Impact and airborne tests for floors
These are taken on separating floors/ceilings between residences. The measurement of the extent of noise transmitted directly through impact from one adjoining room to another is known as impact testing. The adjoining floors/ceilings of rooms intended as residences usually have both impact and airborne sound tests.
Document E test
Our sound insulation tests meet the requirements of Building Regulations Part E, which describes building structures resistance to the movement of sound within and from adjoining 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.
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 properties, an airborne and impact test will help you guarantee the building meets the requirements of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. 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. 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) states the benchmarks for the acoustics of school buildings. It additionally portrays the typical methods for aligning with the Building Regulations. If building a new school in West Sussex, we can test the school to check if it meets the requirements of BB93.
Acoustic plan details
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 anyone who has had to deal with the acoustic properties of a building will know, it’s important to get the correct advice, as early as possible from a good acoustic consultant. AF Acoustics can help you to identify the correct acoustic requirements for your project at an early stage and advise on the best means to meet them using expert knowledge of acoustic design.
We can help with:
Acoustic detail design for architects engaged with residential improvements in consistence with Part E Building Regulations, BS8233 and so on. Detail plans for the educational, commercial and healthcare industry so as to meet with the current criteria. Specifications and building services design for control of noise in noise sensitive areas. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms etc.
Contact our professionals for a sound test quotation
We are an independent acoustic organisation that handles everything concerning acoustics including survey, design, architectural and building acoustics 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We will need the following information:
Give us the following information when contacting us
Location of development
Provide the location of your building in West Sussex.
Number of dwellings in the building
Tell us how many dwellings you have in the property.
How many storeys are there?
To get a precise quote, let us know the total number of floors you have.
Configuration of dwellings (no. of units per level)
This will also be needed to determine scope of the testing and provide an accurate quote
What is your building type? This will help us know the kind of test it will undergo.
New dwelling or converted property
Knowing if your building is new or converted allows us to give you a competitive quotation and prepare the right test for it.
Sounds test in accordance with building regulations
Get more credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment project by taking a sound insulation test which are aligned with approved document E building regulations rules.
Building regulations document E 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 completed constructions
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.” 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 effective way to ensure you pass your sound test is to plan the project with sound insulation in mind. This does not need to be costly, and can save considerable time and expense at the end of the project, not to mention avoiding escalating remedial and re-test costs. Are you uncertain that the separating floor and walls you will build will adhere to Document E 2003 conditions? You can book our design services. Whether you want some initial tests on your project, or comprehensive reports at the end, we can help you at the level that you need. The following will give you a better chance of passing the sound test: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Skirting boards are fitted Light switches, light fittingsand plug sockets are properly fitted We work with several professionals in construction from the beginning of the design stage to the completion of the development to make certain it conforms to Document E 2003 of Building Regulations.
Certificates for test evaluation and report
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
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. 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.
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.