Designing for Sound Insulation

Designing for Sound Insulation

Many of the dwellings in throughout the UK consist of large houses or office blocks that have been converted into flats. Unfortunately during the design stage of the project designing for sound insulation is not always shown the highest priority, so many converted dwellings fail their precompletion testing.

We have helped many of our clients achieve compliance with Part E, by undertaking some simple steps. We can undertake an initial sample sound test of the existing wall and floor construction to ascertain the existing sound insulation levels. Once we have established the sound levels for the existing construction, we can then look at extent of the acoustic upgrades to attain Part E Compliance. This is much more effective than just forwarding an acoustic design that may be to excessive and expensive, especially if the existing floor and/or wall only needs to improve by a minimal amount such as 1-3dB. By having the existing sound levels of the partitions we can recommend targeted, acoustic upgrades to comply with Building Regulations Part E.



Our 3 Step Acoustic Plan 

Here is a typical sequence of works for acoustic design – our acoustic design and testing service package consists of the following ‘3 step plan’

1.Sample Sound Insulation Testing

We can 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.

2. Acoustic Review of your Project.

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 sound analysers and sound sources for conventional and binaural acoustic measurements.

3. Precompletion Sound Testing

We undertake the final precompletion testing to ensure compliance with Building Regulations Part E and achieve building control sign off for the acoustic elements of the project.

Even though the sound insulation levels required to pass Part E for refurbishment projects are less stringent than new build projects – instead of 45dB for airborne its 43dB (2dB less), and for instead of 62dB for Impact Sound Testing its 64dB on new build (2dB more) it is still essential that the acoustic design is shown the highest priory from the start of the project.


In our experience, refurbishment projects usually achieve 30-35dB for airborne sound and 70dB for Impact Sound during the sample sound test – if the existing construction has not been acoustically upgraded. These figures do not meet the required 43dB & 64dB as stipulated in Part E of Building Regulations. As sound double every 10dB this is a massive failure and major acoustic improvements must be made. On all new or converted developments, is it essential that good acoustic design is addressed right from the start of the refurbishment project, so the building passes the sound testing at the first attempt and prevents delays in handover.

Why pick APT Sound Testing for your Acoustic Design

We have undertaken hundreds of acoustic design and sound testing packages throughout London and the South East, with a 100% pass rate where our acoustic design reports has been implemented. we are also a multi UKAS accredited testing laboratory, you can be sure our reportage is of the highest standard and will be accepted by the tasked London Building Control body. As all our testing is carried out in house (we do not subcontract work) which allows us to provide highly competitive pricing whilst maintaining the highest testing standards. It is our ongoing aim to provide a friendly and proactive service from design stage to 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, for more information please visit our website at or download our sound test checklist.

If you would like advice on your acoustic design or require sound testing in London, please contact us now on 07775623464 or contact us at