The first stage of the any project is to undertake robust acoustic design for successful sound testing. To start this process you need to send through the design drawings for review, including elevations & sections etc. APT can then review the design detailing to check that the construction details proposed are capable of passing the sound tests. This usually takes place straight after planning has been approved as increased cost savings can be realised at the earliest stage.
APT Sound Testing will evaluate the construction methods and materials specified to ensure that they are capable of meeting the acoustic requirements of Approved document E and subsequently pass the sound testing. The typical areas we check are:
The wall and floor design are acoustically robust, to comply with Building Regulations Part E.
Check there are no potential flanking points, where isolated partitions are wrongly mechanically fixed together to caused noise bridging.
The acoustic treatments for Soil Pipes, Stair Cases Steel Beams etc. to ensure they are acoustically fit for purpose, as these are some of the many areas that get missed that can lead to sound test failure.
The Lighting specification to, ensure they are acoustically complaint to the overall design i.e. down lighter design etc.
Acoustic floor treatments are compatible with the proposed floor finishes i.e. Carpets, Laminates, Floor Tiles and under floor heating systems.
If you fail your Sound Test, you first you need to understand how the sound is travelling into your home. It may be coming directly through the separating partition, i.e. wall or floor or it may be coming along another indirect route – called a flanking path. The most common such flanking path is the inner leaf of an external cavity wall.
Problems with airborne and structure borne sound are often associated with direct flanking transmissions through floors and supporting walls and other associated structures. It is essential to establish if your problem is due to direct transmission, flanking transmission or a combination of both so that the most effective remedial treatment can be chosen. If you are unsure where the sound is getting through, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org as we should be able to identify the worst areas by undertaking sound testing on the problematic partitions.
Unwanted noise travelling along flanking paths makes the building structure vibrate and this causes the sound to radiate into your room. One solution is to build another wall or ceiling in front of the original, but not connected to it (often called an independent wall or ceiling). A basic description of this treatment is given below.
There are two distinct types of noise to consider through floors, they are:
Airborne Noise (for example speech and music) and
Impact Noise (for example footsteps directly on the floor above) and
Even if both types of sound are emitting through the ceiling/floor then there are some easy installations that should reduce the sound levels and improve your sound test results.
On all new construction projects its extremely important that checks are undertaken on the acoustic design from the initial design stage through to completion.
We at APT Sound Testing offer a no nonsense professional proactive approach to all aspects of the acoustic design with initial onsite surveys to check the acoustic detailing is being installed correctly along with the final sound testing. This ensures your company receives professional advice every step of the way, with an on-going continual consideration of cost.
Acoustic Design & Detailing
We have considerable experience in all matters related to architectural acoustic design and detailing. We can help develop the initial acoustic design of the project from the initial design scheme stage, in particular acoustic isolation, and interior acoustics. We also use the latest Norsonic equipment analysers and sound sources for conventional and binaural acoustic measurements.
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.
Simple Design Considerations
The use of suspended ceilings will help improve the performance of the floor partition.
Including a resilient acoustic layer or adopting an “acoustic” flooring system will improve the impact and airborne performance of a floor
Avoid using lightweight blocks in the inner envelope construction as sound will travel along these both vertically and horizontally from dwelling to dwelling.
Defect Diagnosis & Remedial Advice
Occasionally we get involved in construction projects that have failed the sound testing, even though we weren’t involved from the beginning. Often it is due to the inclusion of inadequate materials or the exclusion of the necessary materials.
With over 30 years’ experience in building acoustics, we are able to diagnose the reasons for the sound test failure and recommend a cost-effective solution. Often, the reasons for the partition failure are obvious to the test engineer in which case the advice will be minimal and subsequently costs will be minimal. Sometimes, there are more technical issues which require detailed diagnosis and invasive investigation, such as a serious design fault, e.g. the use of lightweight blocks throughout the inner envelope wall on a block of flats.
Whatever the problem we can usually find an acoustic solution that will provide a sufficient acoustic design to satisfy Part E of Building Regulations. If you have a sound test failure then get in touch with us as soon as possible as we should be able to offer you an expedient solution helping you to achieve practical completion in the quickest time possible.
This why we at APT Sound Testing place such emphasis on the process of ‘expert intervention’.
London is a massive city containing over 8 million people. In this crowded environment it is essential that noise transference between properties in kept to a minimum for the occupant’s wellbeing.
To help control noise issues APT Sound Testing undertake UKAS accredited Part E sound throughout London. When there are problems and the building’s design is called into question we can offer advice on how to upgrade the partition. We have extensive knowledge regarding the way different materials and construction methods can influence the results of a sound test, this helps to ensure to ensure your company achieves compliance with the Sound Testing for Part E of Building Regulations. Pre completion sound
testing under part E has been a mandatory requirement since July 2003. All new build properties and conversions which were built after this date require 10% of each party wall/floor construction type to be tested. Sound Testing is to be carried out between pairs of rooms separated by party walls and/or floors. In is usual to test between living rooms and bedrooms, which are classed as the two main habitable rooms; however, other rooms can be used if this is not possible.
The sound test procedure involves setting up a noise source in a room on one side of the party wall or floor and measuring the noise on both sides of the partition. Airborne sound testing may also be required between horizontally and vertically separated pairs of rooms.
The sound tests are undertaken by using a sound source, amplifier and loudspeaker to generate a high noise level in one room (the source room). Noise measurements are then taken in both the source and receiver rooms using a prescribed number of source and microphone positions. The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the airborne sound insulation (DnT,w + Ctr) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E of Building Regulations.
For vertically separated rooms, Impact sound testing may also be required. This sound test is undertaken using a tapping machine which drops a series of weights onto the floor of the upper room. The noise level in the lower (receiver) room is measured for a prescribed number of source and microphone locations. The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the impact sound insulation (LnT,w) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E of Building Regulations.
Our sound test engineers carry all the latest Norsonic equipment, which are class one rating and all of our acoustic testing/sound testing, is completed to a strict quality controlled standard. We provide full UKAS Accredited sound testing.
APT are an Independent UKAS Accredited Testing Company
We specialise in all types of sound insulation testing for Approved Document E of the Building Regulations including BB93 sound testing for schools. We carry out Airborne & Impact Tests in accordance with ISO140 Parts 4 & 7 and Building Facade Testing in accordance with ISO140 part 5.
We have a considerable amount of experience in how buildings are constructed and specialise in acoustic design advice in both the design stage (before construction begins) and also remedial works in the event of a partition failing the tests. We have worked on numerous projects where a customer has failed the sound tests and then been able to achieve a pass following the installation of a retrofit product that has been chosen based on the specific requirements of the project.
If you would like more information on the above, please contact us on 01525 303905.