Approved Document E: Frequently Asked Questions

Approved Document E: Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I required to undertake sound insulation testing?  

Sound insulation and speech privacy are critical for a variety of reasons. Inadequate sound insulation can be extremely distressing to those affected by it and may lead no major noise disputes and legal actions. For example, in an apartment block, your upstairs neighbor may like playing loud music. However, the downstairs occupant may be working nights and sleeping throughout the day, thus any inadequate sound insulation between these two flats would cause great disturbance and distress to the downstairs occupants.

A photograph of our sound test engineer undertaking sound insulation testing in London

What is precompletion sound insulation testing?

Precompletion sound testing is a building regulation requirement for all new build and dwellings formed by ‘material change of use”, i.e. conversion projects. It has been a requirement that you undertake sound testing on dwellings since 2003. Sound testing should be undertaken to 10% 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 Approved Document E; for instance:

          • For a pair of semi-detached Houses – a set of tests would usually comprise two airborne sound insulation tests of a separating wall.
          • For Flats (up to 10 units) – a six pack would normally be required, this comprises of: two airborne wall tests, two airborne floor tests and two impact floor sound tests. The easiest way to work out the number of tests required is to multiply 1 x 6 packs for every 10 flats, i.e. if you have 22 flats you will require 3 x 6 packs which equals 18 sound tests in total.
          • For Rooms for Residential Purposes (up to 10 rooms) (student accommodation, hotel rooms, care homes etc.) – a set of tests would usually comprise: one airborne sound insulation tests of a separating wall; one airborne sound insulation test of a separating floor; one impact sound transmission test of a separating floor.


We operate a UKAS-accredited sound insulation testing service throughout London and the South East, providing customers reports to achieve building control sign off with a quick and reliable turnaround. We offer cost effective ‘one stop solution’ for all your sound testing requirements. We also offer large cost savings for developers requiring multiple services such as Air Tightness, Sound Insulation and Ventilation Testing throughout London and the South East.

As a UKAS accredited sound testing company, you can be sure our sound test reportage and acoustic design reports are of the highest standard, and will be accepted by your local London Building Control body. We provide highly competitive pricing and a friendly proactive service from the design stage of projects through to building completion and handover.

If you would like more information in regards to sound testing service and/or acoustic design services, please contact us on 01525 303905 or