What Types of Sound Testing are required for Approved Document E?
Sound insulation testing must be carried out on new build and conversion dwellings. The dwellings will either require Airborne and/or impact sound testing depending on the type of dwelling. For houses airborne wall tests are usually required; however, for flats you usually need to carry out airborne wall, airborne floor and impact sound testing.
Here is a brief explanation on the two types of sound insulation tests:
Airborne Sound Tests – Airborne tests are carried out on party walls and floors/ceilings between dwellings. Airborne sound testing measures levels of sound transmitted through the air. We use a Norsonic loudspeaker that produces white noise on one side of the partition, and measure with a decibel meter on the other side how much sound is lost through the partition.
Examples of airborne noise that you usually expect to find in dwellings are people talking, radios and televisions.
Impact Sound Tests – These are only carried out on separating floor/ceiling divides between dwellings – usually on flats. An impact test measures the levels of noise transmitted directly through a separating construction as a result of impact noise, which emulates footfall noise from above. To produce footfall noise we use a tapping machine, which drops metal hammers onto the floor to create impact noise. We then measure the amount of sound that passes through the partition with a decibel meter in the room below the floor partition.
All testing should be carried our between ‘habitable’ rooms. Habitable rooms can be lounges, bedrooms, studies, living rooms and kitchens. Test findings are fed into an Approved Document E complaint report that will be then sent to the client to pass on to the tasked building control body. This sound test report should always be acceptable to Building Control and will help you to get your development signed off.
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