WHAT SOUND LEVELS DO I NEED TO PASS MY SOUND TESTING?

WHAT SOUND LEVELS DO I NEED TO PASS MY SOUND TESTING?

To help you better understand the sound level requirements of Part E of Building Regulations to pass your Sound Testing, we have collated an easy to follow table – shown below.

Table 1a: Dwelling-houses and flats – performance standards for separating walls, separating floors, and stairs that have a separating function.

Airborne sound insulation
DnT,w+Ctr dB
(Minimum Values)

Impact sound insulation
L’nT,w dB
(Maximum Values)

Purpose built
Walls
Floors and Stairs

45
45

N/A
62

Material change of use
Walls
Floors and Stairs


43
43


N/A
64

 

Table 1b: Rooms for residential purposes – performance standards for separating walls, separating floors, and stairs that have a separating function.

Airborne sound insulation
DnT,w+Ctr dB
(Minimum Values)

Impact sound insulation
L’nT,w dB
(Maximum Values)

Purpose built
Walls
Floors and Stairs

43
45


N/A
62

Material change of use
Walls
Floors and Stairs

43
43


N/A
64

Basically, for new build properties you need to achieve 45dB or higher for airborne wall and floor sound tests and 62dB for Impact sound tests. For Converted properties the levels are slightly easier to achieve with 43dB for airborne wall and floor sound testing and 64dB for impact sound testing.

A brief description of the types of sound testing are:

AIRBORNE SOUND TESTS

Airborne sound tests may 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.

IMPACT SOUND TESTS

For vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound test may also be required. This sound test is undertaken using a “tapping machine”, (as above) 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 (L’nT,w) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

Impact Sound Testing

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 CONSULTANCY

Acoustic Design Consultancy 

On all new construction projects its extremely  important that checks are undertaken on the acoustic design from the initial design stage through to completion.

Acoustic Design Advice

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjTzgxS8HvI

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.

ACOUSTIC_DESIGN

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’.

If you would like more information in regards to sound testing or acoustic design, 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

APT 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.