Reverberation Noise in Common Areas 

Reverberation Noise in Common Areas 

Clients often ask us if they need to treat all the common parts within their block of flats to satisfy Requirement E3 (Reverberation in the common internal parts of buildings such as entrance lobby’s, corridors and stairwells.

Our usual answer to this is yes. The purpose of this Requirement is to protect residents from noise produced in reverberant common areas. The Requirement in Part E only applies to “corridors, stairwells, hallways, and entrance halls which give access to the flat or room for residential purposes”. To comply with this, it is recommended that absorbent treatment should normally be applied only to common areas onto which dwellings open directly. Sometimes this can be as easy as adding a resilient layer to the floor and/or adding an acoustic board to the ceiling.

Reverberation_Noise_in_Common_Areas

Often careful planning of apartment layouts can alleviate the need for extensive acoustic works, such as constructing the common areas of flats, such as corridors next to the common areas within the apartment block as long assuming normal usage of the common areas – more information on this can be found in paragraph 0.8 of Approved Document E (2003).

In all instances, planning an acoustically favourable dwelling from the design stage can help to reduce the number of noise problems that may occur even if your building passes the Sound Insulation Testing.

Also, if neighbours have varied working patterns, i.e. they work night shifts and arrive back in the early hours of the morning, allowing for sound absorption in common areas are particularly important.

We offer an acoustic design service, whether it’s accomplished during initial construction or during a refurbishment/renovation project. We also undertake UKAS accredited sound testing and noise surveys providing a ‘one stop’ solution for all your acoustic testing and design requirements throughout London and the South East.

If you would like more information in regards to our sound testing please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk or contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk and 07775623464 or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

 

Sound Insulation Testing Questions and Answers

Sound Insulation Testing Questions and Answers

We often get asked similar questions in regards to Sound Insulation Testing. To try help our clients alleviate their fears, we have tried to answer the most common questions:

Q. Is my project ready for a sound insulation testing? All plots should be at least at second fix stage – for further details please refer to our sound testing checklist

Q. Will the sound insulation testing disrupt other site works? During the sound testing, high levels of noise are generated but in order to make accurate test measurements, relatively quiet conditions are needed. Anyone working in the testing area will have to leave temporarily and any noisy works in the vicinity of the test rooms will need to be halted.

Sound_Insulation_Testing

Q. How long will the sound testing take? The time taken for sound testing varies with the site conditions, but generally a set of test on houses and flats takes about one to two hours so it’s over fairly quickly.

Q. Do I need to inform my neighbours of the sound insulation testing? If the building under test is attached in any way to occupied properties then you will need to inform the neighbours. To comply with Part E we need to gain access to the neighbouring properties to undertake the sound test. You will need to ensure that access is provided to the neighbouring properties throughout the sound Insulation testing.

Q. Will all internal and external doors and windows need to be fully installed? Yes, all internal and external doors must be fitted and operable prior to the sound testing

Q. What if I only have 110 volt and not 240 volt on site? Unfortunately we cannot undertake the testing; we will need 240V to undertake the sound testing.

Q. Can you offer advice on how to pass the sound Insulation testing? Yes, we can offer an acoustic design advice service. If you send through the relevant drawings such as sections, plans etc. during the earlier stages of construction, we can look at your design to check if the design is robust enough to pass Part E and/or there are any junctions or details where ‘noise flanking’ may occur. You can then change your design to reduce the chance of a sound test failure.

Q. Do you have a check-list we can download to help us prepare for thesound insulation testing? Yes, we send out the corresponding checklists for sound and air testing, to help you prepare for the testing.

APT Sound Testing is UKAS accredited to undertake sound insulation testing. We offer a comprehensive, seamless service from initial design development, right through to the final sound testing to achieve building sign off.

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

Improving Room Layouts can Reduce Noise Disturbance 

Improving Room Layouts can Reduce Noise Disturbance 

In all cases, the location and layout of rooms within dwellings will play an important role in relation to the levels of subsequent ambient or background noise that surrounds the occupants. In most cases much of noise is transmitted through the wall and floor partitions between habitable dwellings, such as flats and terrace houses.

Improving Room Layouts can Reduce Noise Disturbance 

Main ‘habitable’ rooms such as Kitchens or living rooms, which back onto bedrooms of the adjacent dwelling, are more likely to lead to noise complaints. Kitchen cupboards doors may transmit impact noise through to the bedroom next door through the dividing partition; this can lead to annoyance and frustration for the neighbour.

To reduce the chance of noise complaints, wherever possible hallways/corridors should be placed alongside the adjacent property to reduce the chance of noise transference and reduce the risk of sound testing failure. Failing this a kitchen should be places against a kitchen and bedrooms should back onto other bedrooms.

Improving Room Layouts can Reduce Noise Disturbance 

Planning a good acoustically favourable dwelling layout can help to reduce the number of noise problems that will occur even if your building passes the Part E Sound Insulation Testing.

If neighbours have varied working patterns, i.e. they work night shifts and arrive back in the early hours of the morning, i.e. the layout of the rooms use of rooms are particularly important.

APT Sound Testing can advise on all types of acoustic design, whether it’s accomplished during initial construction or during a refurbishment/renovation project. We also undertake UKAS accredited sound testing providing a ‘one stop’ solution for all your acoustic testing and design requirements throughout London and the South East.

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 and 07775623464 or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Sound Flanking Pathways Identified During Sound Testing

Sound Flanking Pathways Identified During Sound Testing

Since Building Regulations Part E was introduced, we have literally undertaken thousands of sound tests throughout London and the South East; and as such we have built up considerable knowledge of typical sound flanking pathways. To help consultants and contractors we have comprised a list of the main Sound Flanking Pathways Identified During Sound Testing

  • 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 areas.
  • 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)

APT Sound Testing offer a ‘one stop’ design package for all types of acoustic design and sound testing in London, whether it’s accomplished during initial construction or during a refurbishment/renovation project.

A Typical Noise Flanking PathSound Flanking Pathways Identified During Sound Testing

We provide full UKAS accredited air and sound testing in London, so our clients can be sure that all testing is completed to a strict ISO quality controlled standard. Our engineers use the latest UKAS Calibrated Class 1 Acoustic Testing Equipment.

If you would like advice on your acoustic design service or sound testing in London, please contact us now at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call us on 07775623464.

Sound Insulation Testing London

Sound Insulation Testing London

Sound insulation testing is usually required on most London development/s between rooms or spaces that share a common area of separating wall and/or floor as stipulated in Building Regulations Part E for the passage of sound. The main aim of sound insulation testing is to ensure that minimum standards of sound resistance have not been compromised by poor workmanship and/or poor design.

The most common buildings that require sound Insulation testing are:

  1. Dwelling-houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes created by conversion of existing buildings or new build rooms for residential purposes.
  2. New build dwelling-houses and flats

You are normally required to undertake sound testing to each type of construction, i.e. if you have a mixture of brick, blockwork, timber and metal studwork walls all four types would need to be tested, followed by a 10% sample of the individual type of partition.

Sound Testing Houses in London
Sound Testing Houses In London

For example, if you have a project with 25 flats you would be required to do 3 x 6 pack of tests; each 6 pack contains 2 airborne wall, 2 airborne floor and 2 impact sound tests; however if any test failures occur, then the number of sound tests may need to increase on the development. When sound test failures occur, then the design and construction of the failed partitions will need to be revisited to try and evaluate the reasons for the failure; thereafter, agreement can be reached on how to rectify problem. We have carried our hundreds of acoustic design reviews, so we are well placed to help you overcome potential problems achieving compliance with Building Regulations Part E.

Our Typical Sound Testing Equipment

We use the latest UKAS calibrated Norsonic Equipment to undertake the required Sound Insulation testing. We also undertake UKAS accredited sound testing providing a ‘one stop’ solution for all your acoustic testing and design requirements throughout London and the South East.

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 and 07775623464 or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Careful Acoustic Design Considerations

Careful Acoustic Design Considerations

Achieving good airborne and impact sound isolation requires careful acoustic design considerations. Two key areas that need to be addressed when improving a floor construction are the airborne aspect (TV noise, music and speech) is typically dealt with by applying ceiling treatments and mass and isolation to the building components. Impact sound (footfall) performance is increased by the used of resilience layers and isolation of components.

Sound Insulation Testing 

Firstly, we need to look at the airborne performance requirements which are 45dB for new build properties and 43dB for conversion developments, this applies both to party walls and floors between properties. This level is the difference between the source level and the receiver level during London sound tests.

To try and help our clients achieve compliance with Approved Document E, we offer the following 4 step acoustic design package:

  1. Site Survey Visits – to let us view the existing site construction. This allows us to check for potential problematic construction such as inclusion of lightweight blocks in the existing construction. It also lets us check that the installation teams are installing the acoustic materials as per manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Sample Sound Insulation Testing – of the existing construction. This offers an accurate overview of the acoustic performance of the existing partitions which enables us to offer a targeted acoustic design using the sound insulation performance of the existing construction.
  3. Acoustic Design Review – a full design review of the proposed developments party walls and floors.
  4. Pre-completion Sound Testing to satisfy Approved Document E.

APT Sound Testing can advise on all types of acoustic design, whether it’s accomplished during initial construction or during a refurbishment/renovation project. We also undertake UKAS accredited sound testing providing a ‘one stop’ solution for all your acoustic testing and design requirements throughout London and the South East.

If you would like more information in regards to Sound Testing in London please follow our blog at: http://soundtestinguk.blogspot.co.uk or contact us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk and 07775623464 or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

The Pathway to Good Acoustic Design

The Pathway to Good Acoustic Design 

There are many important acoustic design considerations when designing for apartment blocks, which require both airborne wall and floor and impact floor testing. here are a few of the main considerations:

  • Ensure all penetrations are fully sealed where they terminate through floors and they are adequately boxed with acoustic quilt and two layers of plasterboard.
  • Avoid the use of lightweight blocks in the inner envelope construction as sound will travel both vertically and horizontally from dwelling to dwelling.
  • The use of resilient suspended ceilings will help improve the performance of the floor partition.
  • 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.

Sound_Testing_Flats

By simply constructing a good separating wall or floor this may not in itself 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.

The overall design and construction system should therefore be considered and not just the separating wall or floor partitions.  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.

architect drafting a house blueprint

architect drafting a house blueprint

In our experience if the acoustic design is taken into consideration from the offset of the project, then it usually results in compliance with Building Regulations Part E.  In Some cases, sound test failure can also be down to the poor workmanship rather than the acoustic design, that is why we offer a full acoustic package which includes for site survey visits; that way we have the acoustic design and onsite construction covered, reducing the chance of sound test failure.

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 Terminology M-S

Acoustic Terminology M-S

Our previous blog explained the  of acoustic terminology, this blog covers  M-S.

Mass

This is a physical quantity that expresses the amount of matter in a body. Walls and floors may be described in terms of the surface density (mass per unit area, kg/m2) of the wall face or the floor surface, which is the sum of the surface densities of each component of the construction. The density of materials is expressed as mass per unit volume, kg/m3, which can be provided via the core structure and linings such as in-situ concrete or solid dense block walls.

Mass per unit area (or surface density)

This is is expressed in terms of kilograms per square metre (kg/m2). This is often used to describe boards, panels, flooring and dry linings (see gypsum based board).

Resilience

This can reduce structural vibration transmission and still maintain material performance and overall dimensions, examples include floating floor treatments such as resilient battens or cradles, or resilient ceiling bars.

Resilient ceiling bars

This acoustic solution is generally metal based and vary in thickness from 11 mm to 30 mm. They are mounted perpendicular to the joist span direction and can increase both airborne and impact sound insulation. Care should be taken to ensure that the ceiling board fixings into the resilient bar do not come into contact with the joists and reduce the potential performance.

Resilient noggin

This is a small section of resilient ceiling bar which is used to assist in bracing non load bearing partitions.

Rw

This is a single-number quantity (weighted) which characterises the airborne sound insulation of a building element from measurements undertaken in a laboratory, in accordance with BS EN ISO 717-1: 1997

Sound Insulation Testing

Sound Insulation Testing is required near the end of a development to show that the performance of the party wall and floor partitions meet the standards as stipulated in Building Regulations Approved Document E. The testing methods for airborne and impact sound insulation is in full accordance with the suggested methods presented in BS EN ISO 140-parts 4 & 7: 1998.

Stiffness

This is can improve low frequency sound insulation, for example in floors, by reducing the potential for deflection or movement of the primary structure, therefore the correct spacing and depth of joists is important.

If your project requires some acoustic design input and/or sound insulation testing please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call Darren direct on 07775623464 or visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Acoustic Terminology F – L

Acoustic Terminology F – L 

Our previous blog explained the C-F of acoustic terminology, this blog further covers F – L.

Following on from our previous blogs which gave a brief description of

Flanking strip or edge strip

This is a resilient strip using foamed polyethylene normally 5 mm thick, which is located at the perimeter of a floor to isolate the floor boards from the walls and skirtings.

Flanking transmission

This is airborne or impact transmission between rooms that is transmitted via flanking elements and/or flanking elements in conjunction with the main separating elements. An example of a flanking element is the inner leaf of an external wall that connects to the separating ‘core’ of a wall or floor.

Flexible closer

This is a flexible cavity stop or cavity barrier which seals the air path in cavities linking adjoining dwellings.

Floating floor treatment (FFT)

This is a timber floating floor system which may use battens, cradles or platform base, all of which use a resilient layer to provide isolation from the base floor and adjacent wall elements.

Gypsum based plasterboard

This is a dry lining board applied to walls, ceilings and within floating floor treatments which has gypsum content. It may also have fibre reinforcement within the board.

Impact sound

This is sound which is propagated from a noise source through a direct

medium. An example of this is footfall on a floor.

Impact sound transmission

This is sound which is spread from an impact noise source in direct contact with a building element.

Isolation

This is a strategy to limit the number and type of rigid connections between elements of construction.

 L’nT,w

This is the weighted standardized impact sound pressure level. A single-number quantity (weighted) to characterise the impact sound insulation of floors, in accordance with BS EN ISO 717-2: 1997.

If you have a project that requires our acoustic design service and/or sound insulation testing please contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or youhone Darren Direct on 07775623464. You can also visit our website at: www.aptsoundtesting.co.uk

 

Acoustic Design Service in London

Acoustic Design Service in London.

If you have a property that has failed its sound testing in London, it may be down to number of reasons with the acoustic construction. To help our clients overcome this problem, we also offer our acoustic design service which helps clients to pass the sound testing upon completion of the acoustic upgrade. We can offer advice on cost effective wall and/or floor upgrades, also taking buildability and material cost into account. Our acoustic design reviews are easy to follow for the site construction staff.

Room-Integrity-Design

By utilising our extensive knowledge of different materials and construction methods, we have had no sound test failures where our acoustic upgrades have been incorporated into the site construction.

London Sound testing usually needs to be carried out between pairs of rooms separated by party walls and/or floors. Most sound tests are carried out between living rooms and bedrooms as these are classed as the two main habitable rooms; however, other rooms can be used if this is not possible such as studies, kitchens and dining rooms.

To help control noise issues APT Sound Testing can undertake UKAS accredited Part E sound testing in London and throughout the South East. Our sound test engineers carry all the latest class 1 acoustic equipment. We provide full UKAS accredited air and sound testing in London, so our clients can be sure that all testing is completed to a strict ISO quality controlled standard

If you would like advice on your acoustic design service or sound testing in London, please contact us now at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call us on 07775623464.