Sound testing rates the amount of sound the soundproofing insulation installed in a building for reduction of sound. It checks the amount of sound transmitted and the amount reduced by the building’s partitions. Part E of Building Regulations requires sound insulation in buildings and mandates that all newly completed constructions and rehabilitated developments go through sound testing.
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. As a result of this, we try to ensure that you are issued with a sound insulation certificate as fast as possible. In fact, we are proud of our turnaround times and our team will issue your certificates as quickly as we possibly can.
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
How Sound Testing Works
To completely fulfil Building Regulations Part E requirements, the separating walls and floors of dwellings will be tested, unless approved Robust Details are used. 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.
What is involved in Sound Insulation Testing
A sound insulation test creates a high amount of noise but needs a site with low noise levels to be taken effectively. As a result of this, workers in a testing area might have to leave the development temporarily, so that the test can be free from errors. A sound insulation test on a project is taken according to the scale and complexity of the construction and the conditions of the site. 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.
You will get a detailed written report and sound test certificate about a day after, if possible. 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. ADE goes on to define and group the type of structures that will undergo testing. They are houses, flats and rooms that are being used or are planned to be used as residences; such as student accommodation, care homes and hotel rooms. The extent of testing required for these three groups is shown below.
Why is Sound Insulation Testing Required? Why is it Important?
After the 2003, Approved Document E mandates that all new structures in UK must take a sound insulation test before completion. The minimum airborne sound insulation test result should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr while the maximum impact sound test result should be 62dB L’nTw. These result limits were put in to create and maintain a uniform standard for sound resistance in different parts of a dwelling and between adjacent buildings. 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 one way sound insulation can affect how a person lives. In a structure with flats for mixed purposes, a sound insulation test will make sure that there is maximum sound resistance from party walls and floors and less noise.
Do I Need a Sound Insulation Test?
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.
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 separating elements, which have been tested before to comply with Document E standards. With it, you don’t need a sound insulation test, but you must completely follow every aspect of the design from the Robust Detail Approved list. Sound testing provides more flexibility by allowing different designs and is often therefore more cost effective in many ways compared to the Robust Details Scheme. When on-site pre–completion building sound tests are taken, architects have more scope with their design and can increase the sound insulation performance of the construction.
Cost of Sound 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 handled all kinds of sound insulation projects in UK and issue a report and certificate as quickly as possible. Our prices are affordable too and can beat others.
Ideal Period for a Sound Insulation Test
The best time for a sound insulation test is just before the construction of the property is finished and after all windows and doors are fixed. However, in the case of a problem we can take the test before then. To be able to conduct sound insulation testing we require the provision of a 240V power supply, and a quiet site (a noisy site can make conducting the tests extremely difficult). Access will be required to all rooms of the development unless a test schedule is determined in advance.
The Procedures of a Sound Insulation Test
Sound insulation testing is not complicated. Our highly qualified engineers will be willing to explain it in detail on the site. Airborne tests are conducted on party walls while impact and airborne tests are conducted on party floors.
A pink or white noise generator and a large speaker is used for the test in the biggest room between the two undergoing testing. The sound in the source room and receiver room (sharing a separating wall with the source room) is measured with a sound level meter. Noise in the background is also calculated. More noise in the background means a higher level of source sound will be created since it’s supposed to be 10dB higher than background noise on all calculated frequencies. 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.
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 tests are conducted by fixing a tapping machine on the floor. The room under it is then measured for the noise levels. Once the calculations are completed and the result is achieved, it is compared with Building Regulations Part E standards. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.
Type of Sound Insulation Test Machines We Will be using
Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. Airborne sound test is the measurement of sound moving through the air through a wall or floor. We use a loudspeaker and noise generator that produces white or pink noise on one side of the partition, and measure with a sound level meter on both sides to calculate the sound insulation performance of the partition. A sound level meter and a tapping machine which drops metal hammers is used for impact testing. The tests are carried out in rooms suitable for residential use like bedrooms, lounges and kitchens. The outcome of the test is written in a report and sent to the customer. This report helps Building Control sign off your building.
Sound insulation testing is essential for these dwelling types:
The airborne and impact sound going through new and old buildings are evaluated by sound testing. This can impact adjoining walls and floors between the building.
A new building with 2 or more dwellings
This ensures that a sound insulation system installed in residences meets the requirements of ADE.
Converting a property into several units
When the development is completed, ADE of Building Regulations should be checked, and sound insulation tested accordingly.
Designs without 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 requirements during testing will depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).
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 East-Grinstead. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants are based in several strategic locations across the south east of the country to ensure that we can provide the most competitive quotations in the industry for sound insulation testing.
Why AF Acoustics is the right choice for your sound insulation test
We have helped many homes and business owners in East-Grinstead with their sound tests and building’s sound performance. Our customers endorse and recommend us because of the following advantages of working with us.
More than 15 years’ experience
We understand the industries our clients are in. Therefore, we provide advice that is technically adequate, useful and applicable. Our clients in the UK are completely satisfied with our acoustic solutions. Irrespective of the type of project you have, minor or major, you can be assured that we’ll give outstanding value for your money.
To ensure all clients in East-Grinstead can afford superior quality sound insulation testing, we offer some of the most competitive rates you can both in and outside East-Grinstead. If in doubt, contact us now for a free no-obligation quote.
Fast and efficient consultancy
Our expert acoustic advice is tailored to your specific needs based on our experience which enable us to provide strong solutions. Both your short and long-term needs are handled with our professional guidance and quick answers to your problems.
Flexible test dates
Our test date options let you pick what will suit your schedule because your comfort is essential to us. Call us to get your sound testing in East-Grinstead undertaken.
Fast turnaround for your report
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. The report will be detailed and thorough so that all necessities are written out and any advice provided.
The sound testing 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. Contact us now for more information on how we can assist you with your acoustics requirements.
Airborne and impact tests for floors/ceilings
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. The calculation of the sound level transferred from one unit to another through a separating floor via impact is called an impact test. Airborne and Impact tests are carried out on the separating floors between habitable rooms of flats.
Document E test
Our sound tests align to Part E of Building Regulations guideline, which thoroughly describes sound resistance level and performance from structures. The impact sound test of new dwellings should be 62dB L’nTw or less and airborne sound insulation 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more while impact results for reconstructed properties should be 64dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation 43dB DnTw+Ctr or more.
Testing for sound insulation
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. A new dwelling may have to undergo an airborne and impact test to meet the benchmark of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. We regularly provide consultations for project managers and developers from the very start of developments, ensuring peace of mind when it comes time to having a sound test. Contact us today for more information about our sound testing services or to book a no obligation quote, free of charge.
BB93 Acoustic Design testing in Schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) describes the minimum requirement for the acoustics of a school building. It also stipulates how a school can conform to Building Regulations. If you’re constructing a new school in East-Grinstead, we can conduct a test to be certain it meets the standards of BB93.
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.
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 assist with:
Acoustic detail plan for architects associated with advancements on residences adhering to ADE, BS8233, etc. Detail design in educational, healthcare and commercial schemes for compliance with the relevant guidance Specifications and building services design for control of noise in noise sensitive areas. Improving sound and public address system in halls, conference rooms etc.
Get a sound insulation testing quotation by contacting our experts
As an independent acoustics consultancy, AF Acoustics is able to provide extensive acoustic survey and design, investigations in the field of planning and noise, architectural and building acoustics, and air permeability testing. Whether you are a company or a private individual, we are here to advise and guide you. If you would like a friendly and accurate sound insulation testing quote, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call.
Giving the following information to us will be helpful
When contacting us for sound insulation testing quote, we will need you to provide the following information
Where in East-Grinstead the property is situated
Number of dwellings
Total number of dwellings in the building.
How many storeys are there?
Let us know the number of floors in your development so that we can give you an accurate quotation.
Dwellings configuration per floor
How many units are on each floor? Knowing this will help us give you an appropriate quotation.
Types of construction
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.
Building regulations for sound insulation test
Our ADE compliant sound tests can help you gain credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment structures.
Resistance to the passage of sound: Approved Document E (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 should be performed after construction, using the procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. Standard 5.1 does not apply to: fully detached houses or roofs or walkways with access solely for maintenance, or solely for the use of the residents of the dwelling below.
How to pass a sound 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. We offer design services to enable separating walls and floors with good sound insulation to meet the requirements of ADE, 2003. The degree of guidance you require can vary, from site visits and comprehensive design reports, to simpler initial testing to know the starting point for construction. The are required in order to have good conditions to undertake the sound insulation tests: Install and make sure that all external and internal doors and windows are operational Skirting boards are fitted and sealed 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.
Test report certificates
After the sound insulation test, the sound testing engineer will provide provisional results whilst on-site, as well as providing basic feedback about what has been noted during the test, e.g. potential problems or any future areas of concern. A full report and individual sound test certificates can be generated and sent out usually the next working day. 6. Even before you get the certificate, you get the verbal results of the test. First, our completely skilled and competent sound insulation test engineers give you a verbal result at the site. They also offer advice on potential problems. Then the test report certificate is sent to you within 24 working hours, when feasible.
What do 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 parts or all the building fails the test, repair work and a retest is recommended. We provide design advice to ensure your property does proper remedial and meets up with the necessary 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.