Acoustic Terminology C-F

Acoustic Terminology C-F 

Our previous blog explained the A-B of acoustic terminology, this blog covers C-F.

Cavity stop

This is a proprietary product or material such as mineral wool (fibre) used to close the gap in a cavity wall.

Composite Resilient Batten

This is composed of a timber batten with a pre-bonded resilient material to provide isolation between the flooring surface layers and floor base.

Cradle/Saddle

This is an intermediate support system (with a resilient layer base, either pre-bonded or already integral) using levelling packer pieces to support a timber batten, isolating it from the floor base.

Decibel (dB)

This is the unit used for different acoustic quantities to indicate the level with

respect to a reference level.

Density (kg/m3)

This is the mass per unit volume, expressed in kilograms per cubic metre (kg/m3). Blockwork is commonly referred to by industry in terms of strength (in Newtons). However, it is the density that has the important role in terms of sound insulation.

Direct transmission refers to the path of either airborne or impact sound through elements of construction.

DnT,w

This is the weighted standardized level difference. A single-number quantity (weighted) which characterises the airborne sound insulation between two rooms, in accordance with BS EN ISO 717-1:1997

Façade Testing

This Standard – ISO 140-5:1998) specifies the testing methods to evaluate the sound insulation in buildings and building elements for facades. Three rounds of a proficiency testing scheme for airborne sound insulation measurements have been performed according to the methods specified in the standard for a whole facade by using an external loudspeaker as the noise source.

Flanking element (flanking wall)

This is any building element that contributes to the airborne sound or impact transmission between rooms in a building which is not the direct separating element (i.e. not the separating wall or separating floor).

Room-Integrity-Design

If you need acoustic design advice and/or sound insulation testing please let us know. APT Sound Testing will ensure you will have direct contact with the allocated acoustician from the start of the process, through to the successful completion of the sound insulation testing.

If you would like more information in regards to acoustic services, please contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Acoustic Terminology A-B

Acoustic Terminology A-B

Often confusion can arise from the large amount of ‘terms’ used in conjunction with acoustic design and sound insulation testing. To help with this we have made a list of the following terms along with a quick explanation:

 Absorption

This is the conversion of sound energy into heat, often by the use of a porous material.

Absorbent Material

This is a material that absorbs sound energy, such as acoustic mineral wool.

Airborne sound

This is sound which is propagated from a noise source through the medium of air. Examples of these are speech and sound from a television

Airborne Sound Transmission

This is direct transmission of airborne sound through walls or floors. When sound energy is created in a room, for instance by conversation, some of the energy is reflected or absorbed by room surfaces but some may set up vibrations in the walls and floor. Depending on both the amount of energy and the type of construction, this can result in sound being transmitted to adjacent parts of the building.

Air Path

This is a void in construction elements, which adversely affects the performance of sound resisting construction. Examples of air paths include incomplete mortar joints, porous building materials, gaps around pipes and shrinkage cracks – this can also effect the air tightness results.

 Bonded resilient cover

This is a thin resilient floor covering normally of minimum 3-5mm thickness, which is bonded to the isolated screed surface to reduce impact sound transmission such as footfall noise, however it has a lesser effect when it comes to airborne noise.

Acoustic_Site_Survey

If you have a project that requires acoustic design and/or sound testing please let us know. APT Sound Testing will ensure you will have direct contact with the allocated acoustician from the start of the process, through to the successful completion of the sound insulation testing.

If you would like more information in regards to acoustic services, please contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Our Acoustic Services

Our Acoustic Services

APT Sound Testing offers a full turnkey solution for all your acoustic requirements to ensure compliance with Building Regulations Part E and achieve building control sign off for the acoustic elements of the project. This ensures your company receives professional advice every step of the way, with an on-going continual consideration of cost.

Our acoustic services consist of the following elements:

Sample Sound Insulation Testing

We visit site to undertake sample sound testing to the existing buildings walls and floors to check the sound insulation performance of the existing dividing partitions. Thereafter, once the sound levels have been established and targeted acoustic design can be undertaken to ensure compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

sound testing equipment

Acoustic Design Service

We can help develop the acoustic design of the project from the initial design scheme stage through to the precompletion sound testing. In particular we review the acoustic details to take into account the mass, isolation and absorption elements of the construction.

Site Survey Visits

We offer site survey visits which allow you (the client) and your contractor to feel confident about the outcome of testing at the end of the build. The site visits let us check that the installation teams are installing the acoustic materials as per manufacturers avoiding crucial onsite mistakes. You can often have a compliant design which still fails due to poor workmanship; the site survey visits negate the risk of sound test failure.

Acoustic_Site_Survey

Sound Test Failures

If your building fails the sound testing, we can use our experience in building construction and acoustics to firstly diagnose the reasons for the sound test failure and thereafter recommend a cost-effective solution to allow you to achieve building regulation compliance.

If you have a project that’s needs acoustic design advice or sound testing in London, then please contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or phone us directly on 07775623464.

Good Acoustic Design Considerations

Good Acoustic Design Considerations

In our experience careful consideration to acoustic design should be undertaken from the start of the project, if this process is followed it usually results in successful precompletion sound testing in compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

In many cases sound test failure can be down to the poor workmanship rather than acoustic design, that is why we offer a full acoustic package which includes for site survey visits; that way we you can be safe in the knowledge that you have the acoustic design and onsite construction covered, reducing the chance of sound test failure.

sound testing equipment

Here are some simple acoustic design tips:

  • Ensure all penetrations are fully sealed where they terminate through floors and they are adequately boxed with acoustic quilt and two layers of plasterboard.
  • Use resilient acoustic hangers within the ceiling design to provide isolation between materials.
  • Avoid the use of lightweight blocks in the inner envelope construction as sound will travel both vertically and horizontally from dwelling to dwelling.
  • Ensure all support steels/timbers are carefully boxed out where they travel from flat to flat vertically and horizontally.
  • Use a high quality resilient acoustic membrane on top of the floor to improve the impact performance of a floor.

In our experience by simply designing and constructing a good separating wall or floor it may not provide sufficient sound insulation to comply with Building Regulations Part E as the junctions of each separating wall and/or floor with other parts of the building are as equally important. One of the main problems with partition failure is down to noise flanking, this can occur via construction components such as:

  • The internal partitions
  • The inner leaf of the external wall
  • The external wall cavities
  • The external façade or outer leaf
  • The roof structure
  • The foundations.

Flanking sound transmission may in some cases be the dominant pathway between adjoining dwellings, especially in existing buildings where you are planning to convert offices/large houses into flats and lightweight materials have been used in the wall construction. If the acoustic consultant has not been made aware of the existing construction it may increase the chance of sound testing failures.

If you have a project that’s needs acoustic design advice or sound testing in London, then please contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or phone us directly on 07775623464.

Acoustic Design Service for London Projects

Acoustic Design Service for London Projects

We have a vast amount of experience in dealing with acoustic partitions on large and small scale construction developments. using this experience we offer easy to follow acoustic design reports which helps provide our clients with a helpful easy to follow turnkey solution for their acoustic requirements. We can usually provide considerable cost and efficiency benefits for all our clients’ new build and conversion projects.

architect drafting a house blueprint

architect drafting a house blueprint

In our experience by simply constructing a robust separating wall or floor this may not in itself provide sufficient sound insulation to pass Building Regulations Part E, as the junctions of each separating wall and/or floor with other parts of the building are equally as important and require careful consideration to prevent noise flanking etc.  Flanking noise transmission can occur via construction components such as:

The most common noise flanking pathways are as follows:

  • Dividing Floor Partitions – Through Floor and Floor Joist Space (if insulation has not been installed or direct fixing to joists without a drop ceiling below the partition under test)
  • Dividing Ceiling Partitions – Above and Through the Ceiling Space (where an adequate acoustic break has not been carried on through the ceiling void)
  • Shared Structural Building Components – Floor Boards, Floor Joists, Continuous Drywall Partitions, Continuous Concrete Floors, and Cement Block Walls.
  • Through Structural Steel (structural steel beams are often a major cause of noise transmission as plasterboard is often fixed directly to the steel without sound breaks)
  • Plumbing Chases – Junctures Between the Walls & Floor Slab Above or at the Exterior Wall Juncture (this should be filed with mortar etc. to add mass to this weakened area)
  • Through Windows (if they are no double glazed or have secondary glazing as a minimum)
  • Fixtures & Outlets – Light Switches, Telephone Outlets, and Recessed Lighting Fixtures (if penetrations have been cut back to back with the opposite dwelling under test)
  • Structural Joints – Perimeter Joints at Wall & Floor, Through Wall & Ceiling Junctures (these should be filled with acoustic mastic)
  • Around the End of the Partition Through the Adjacent Wall (acoustic mastic should be used to seal this junction)

The overall acoustic design and construction should therefore be considered from the offset and not just the separating wall or floor partitions.  Flanking sound transmission through lightweight existing inner walls may be the dominant pathway between adjoining dwellings, when converting existing buildings in to residential dwellings such as offices conversions.

We are UKAS accredited to undertake sound insulation testing of which is done ‘in-house’ which allows us to offer a comprehensive, seamless service from initial design development, without using any outside contractors.

If you would like more information in regards to sound testing please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk/, or contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Acoustic Design Service

Acoustic Design Service

The importance of good acoustic design and construction should not be under estimated. If a project fails its precompletion sound testing it may need costly remedial works to comply with Building Regulations Part E.

On new build developments we offer comprehensive acoustic design via coordination with the lead consultant. We can also visit site during the construction process to undertake a detailed site survey visit to check the onsite construction is as per the construction details – this is often good to ensure the relevant parties are fully aware of the installation detail required, which in turn may highlight possible ‘onsite’ construction problems.

Acoustic Design Service in London 

Acoustic_Site_Survey

On conversion projects we can visit site and undertake sample sound testing, this will evaluate the performance of the existing floor and wall partitions, which allows for targeted acoustic design as the acoustic performance of the dividing partitions may be already good –  especially if the buildings floors are constructed out of cast in situ concrete.

APT Sound Testing  provides a consultancy design service to Architects, Property Developers and Building Contractors. We specialise in helping small developers pass their sound testing to achieve Part E compliance for all types of project such as new build properties, blocks of flats and conversions.

Sound_Testing_Flats

Many of our clients have previously conveyed negative feedback that larger acoustic consultancies don’t understand small builder requirements and subsequently often produce complicated acoustic design detailing that are both difficult (in terms of build-ability) and very costly to undertake. We try to provide acoustic solutions that are cost effective and easy to construct, saving our clients time and money.

If you would like more information in regards to our acoustic design service and/or sound testing please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk/, or contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

 

Why do we need a Room Integrity Test

Why do we need a Room Integrity Test?

Clients often ask us ‘why do we need a Room Integrity Test?’.  A room Integrity test predicts how long fire suppressant agents take to descend to a given level in the room without having to discharge the actual suppression system – this is usually 10 minutes for the most popular gases).  The room is then sealed, and then a series of tests is undertaken.

Room_intergrity_test_fire_supressant

We undertake room integrity testing using the latest UKAS calibrated blower door systems. The blower door fan is latched into a fully adjustable cloth door panel that fills the opened door frame space. the enclosure test is undertake by running the calibrated fan at different pressures, thus generating pressure into the protected enclosure from the outside space. By monitoring the pressure differential between the external space to the protected room a series of readings is taken from 10-60Pa on pressurise and depressurise and data inputted to our integrity software; together with added information such as the protected height and the type and weight of gas, i.e. FM200, FE25 etc.

Room_Integrity_Testing

Once the information is logged into the computer the software can then work out the descending interface height hold time, or mixing concentration result. If the protected room is air tight, then a pass should be easily achievable. If the room has too many air leakage paths (and the retention time is less than 10minutes) then it will result in a test failure.

For most extinguishing system types, a retention time of ten minutes is the minimum period the suppressant agents is required to be retained for within the enclosure. NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, requires that a minimum concentration of 85% of the adjusted minimum design concentration be held at the highest level of combustibles for a minimum period of 10 minutes. This is usually long enough to prevent re-ignition for most deep-seated fires and should provide adequate time for the emergency services to attend and prevent the fire taking hold.

If you have a protected enclosure that requires a room integrity test, please contact us at: info@airpressuretesting.net or call Darren direct on 07775623464. We undertake testing throughout London and the South East.

What if I Fail My Room Integrity Test

What if I Fail My Room Integrity Test

One common question we often get asked is “What if I Fail My Room Integrity Test”. If your Integrity Test result is less than the required 10 minute retention time then it will result in a test failure. However; thereafter a smoke survey inspection can be carried out to identify all major air leakage paths prior to the undertaking of the remedial sealing works.  An air leakage report is issued detailing the results and any recommendations in an easy to follow format. This allows you to undertake remedial sealing works on the day of the test to achieve a test pass.

A Room Integrity Test with a Blower Door System 

Room_intergrity_test_fire_supressant

At APT we understand the importance of protecting your critical assets and as a result our room integrity testing process is as rigorous and as complete as any other within the industry, using our extensive knowledge of testing Data Centres, Server Rooms and ITU you can be safe in the knowledge that the testing is being undertaken by a UKAS accredited testing laboratory.

We undertake room integrity testing using the latest UKAS calibrated blower door systems. The blower door fan is latched into a fully adjustable cloth door panel that fills the opened door frame space. the enclosure test is undertake by running the calibrated fan at different pressures, thus generating pressure into the protected enclosure from the outside space. By monitoring the pressure differential between the external space to the protected room a series of readings is taken from 10-60Pa on pressurise and depressurise and data inputted to our integrity software; together with added information such as the protected height and the type and weight of gas, i.e. FM200, FE25, Argonite etc.  Once the information is logged into the computer the software can then work out the descending interface height hold time, or mixing concentration result.

Integrity Test to Data Centres 

Room-Integrity-Testing-on-data-centre

If the protected room is air tight, then a pass should be easily achievable. If the room has too many air leakage paths (and the retention time is less than 10minutes) then it will result in a test failure. To achieve a pass the room will require a smoke test to highlight the air leakage paths, after the smoke survey further sealing works can be undertaken along with a final retest to achieve a room integrity test pass.

If you have a protected enclosure that requires a room integrity test, please contact us at: info@airpressuretesting.net or call Darren direct on 07775623464. We undertake testing throughout London, England and Wales.

ROOM INTEGRITY TEST IN LONDON

ROOM INTEGRITY TEST IN LONDON  
If you have a room that’s protected by a gaseous fire suppressant system, it is required to have an annual Room Integrity Test. Protected enclosures such as Server Rooms, Plant Rooms, and Laboratory’s all need to be tested on an annual basis, given the potential consequences of fire damage and the subsequent down time for critical assets.

Under BS ISO 15004, it states that an integrity test be undertaken prior to the handover of the enclosure and annually thereafter. Also, if the enclosure envelope has received new works i.e. new penetrations for electrical installations another room integrity test should be undertaken immediately after the works have been completed.

To allow a fire suppression system to work properly the room must have sufficient airtight to retain an extinguishing concentration for a specified period after discharge – usually 10 minutes. Failure to do so may cause the fire to reignite causing further damage.

Fire Damage to a Server Room.

Data_Room_Fire_Damage

We undertake room integrity testing to all types and sizes of enclosures, from large data centre’s which have a floor areas of hundreds of square metres to small server rooms not much bigger than a WC. In each case we carry out the necessary calculations prior to the test, and use high powered UKAS calibrated fan systems with integrity testing software to determine results immediately upon completion of the room integrity test.

Our experienced engineers continually ensure that the room integrity testing is clean and non-disruptive, using the latest door mounted fan systems to measure the air leakage flow. Throughout the test the room can carry on working as normal, with no requirement for shutdowns to your critical assets.

If you have a protected enclosure that requires a room integrity test or you think you have a problem in terms of your enclosure construction, please contact us at: info@airpressuretesting.net or call Darren direct on 07775623464.

Protected Enclosure Integrity Testing FAQ’s

Protected Enclosure Integrity Testing FAQ’s

Our clients often ask us as series of question in regards to the room integrity testing to data centres and/or server rooms. To help clarify these questions, and more we have written the following article

  1. Why do I need a room integrity test? The test is a requirement of the British Standard for gaseous fire extinguishing systems – BS EN:ISO 14520. Most fire insurers will require evidence that the test has been conducted and the result is satisfactory.
  2. How quickly can a room integrity test be arranged? – Usually within a few days.
  3. How long does the enclosure test take? – Usually between 1 and 2 hours.
  4. Will the enclosure integrity test set off alarms? – The enclosure test is completely independent of the detection system.
  5. Is the room integrity test disruptive? – It is only necessary to stop access to the room for 10-15 minutes. Personnel can continue to work in the room. The enclosure test can be paused if immediate access becomes required.
  6. Does equipment such as servers need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test? no, severs will not need to be switched off during the integrity test.
  7. Does air conditioning need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test? – Recirculation (chiller) units may continue to run. Air supply/extract ducts passing into the enclosure will need to be either dampered closed or will be temporarily sealed.
  8. Will I get a certificate if I pass the room integrity test? – It will be issued within a few days. This should be retained for possible inspection by the authorities/insurers. A summary certificate can be issued at the time of enclosure test if required.
  9. What happens if the room fails the enclosure integrity test? – An inspection will be conducted to identify leakage paths for remedial sealing. These will be pointed out at the time of the enclosure test and a plan included in the report. It is recommended that a retest be conducted after remedial action to confirm the adequacy of the retention time.
  10. Can remedial sealing be done at the time of the enclosure test? – Yes, provided the leakage can be swiftly remedially, or temporarily, sealed.
  11. Does APT undertake remedial sealing? – We can do this if requested or the client can arrange remedial sealing themselves.
  12. How often should the room integrity test be done? – The relevant British Standard (BS EN:ISO 14520) specifies that the test should be conducted annually as part of routine maintenance.

Room-Integrity-Testing-on-data-centre

If you have a protected enclosure that requires an integrity test please contact us at info@airpressuretesting.net or call Darren direct on 07775623464.