FAQs

Sound insulation testing is required to make sure that a residential development can demonstrate acceptable levels of noise attenuation performance. Building Regulations Part E requires you undertake two different types of sound testing including airborne noise (i.e. sound/noise transmitted through the air, such as televisions and conversations between people) and impact noise (i.e. noise resulting from an impact on the floor surface, such as footsteps on the floor). By undertaking the two types of sound testing ensures the dwelling provides a reasonable resistance to the passage of sound.

Simply contact us and we will be able to provide free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a sound insulation report and certificates be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. Prices start from just £295, and if you get a better quote elsewhere, we will try to beat it!

Part E of the Building Regulations for England and Wales, requires that various walls and floors are tested between adjoining dwellings. The exact number of walls requiring testing will vary depending on the overall size of the development and the amount of different types of wall or floor constructions. On a typical small to medium development consisting of up to 10 dwellings with the same partition construction should require 1 x 6 pack, which consists of 2 airborne wall tests, 2 airborne floor tests and 2 impact floor tests. on a pair of mi detached houses you may only require 2 sound tests through the walls. In most cases the rooms to be sound tested will be the two main habitable rooms which would be living rooms and bedrooms. We usually supply a full schedule of the required tests on your site to ensure you comply with Building Regulations.

To comply with Approved Document E you will need to achieve the following sound insulation results:

For Separating Floors & Walls (New Build only)

  • Separating Floor Between Flats Airborne Noise Reduction = 45dB Dn T,w + (Ctr) or greater
  • Separating Floor Between Flats Impact Noise Reduction = 62dB Ln T,w or less
  • Airborne Wall Tests to achieve 45dB Dn T,w + (Ctr) or more

For Separating Floors & Walls (Conversions only)

  • Separating Floor Between Flats Airborne Noise Reduction = 43dB Dn T,w + (Ctr) or greater
  • Separating Floor Between Flats Impact Noise Reduction = 64dB Ln T,w or less
  • Airborne Wall Tests to achieve 43dB Dn T,w + (Ctr) or more

As buildings become more insulated and air tightness is improved, it is essential that any installed ventilation systems are fit for purpose, balanced and commissioned correctly to ensure optimum levels of operation for the well-being of the occupants. Approved Document F of the Building Regulations requires that MHVR Systems (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery) and intermittent extractor fans (e.g. kitchen and bathroom) have their flow rates checked, are working efficiently and the relevant test results submitted to building control as part of the overall building compliance and sign off process.

Simply contact us and we will be able to provide free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should an extract fan test and certificates be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. Prices start from just £45 plus VAT and if you get a better quote elsewhere, we will try to beat it.

The extract rates for fans in kitchens, bathrooms and WCs are defined in Approved Document F. These rates apply to all dwelling types and sizes. Extract fans need to meet following minimum extract rates:

  • Kitchen (cooker hood): 30 l/s – if it’s a separate and further than 1m from cooker: 60 l/s
  • Utility rooms: 30 l/s
  • Bathrooms (intermittent extract fans) 15 l/s
  • WC – Sanitary accommodation: 6 l/s

If you require advice on what type of extractor fan would be best to achieve compliance with approved document F, Simply the use our contacts form on this page, or call our offices, to chat about your specific vent testing requirements with our knowledgeable team of consultants.

In our experience the majority of extract fan failures are caused by the under powered fans and the duct runs being too long and/or with too many bends. To prepare the extract vents the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Is the ductwork of the type specified by the manufacturer?
  • Have the number of duct bends been minimised to ensure adequate air flow and least resistance?
  • The Flexible duct provided should only be used to connect the unit to the central diffuser (this is important for the acoustic performance of the product).
  • Have recommended duct jointing collars and components been used to ensure appropriate duct performance (duct runs should be as air tight as possible)? Note: All the joints should be sealed correctly using the collars provided.
  • Is the fan correctly specified for the room/task?
  • Is the fan correctly situated, secured and adjusted?
  • Do all internal doors have 10mm undercuts? (as required in “Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide” Part 2b Table 2.3a)
  • Has the electrician set fan speed using manufacturer’s data table
  • Has the unit been installed in a position that will permit access for maintenance purposes.

We always advise our clients to contact us as early as possible to ensure that your preceded enclosure stands the best chance of passing the extract vent testing. When we send out our quotation we also forward a specific extract fan testing checklist to help our client prepare for the testing.

If you fail the extract fan test don’t panic, we will help you identify the reasons for the failure. It could be as easy as the fan not being set up correctly and/or changing the fan from an axial units to a centrifugal fan unit.

As a UKAS accredited company we try to ensure our clients pass their extract fan testing at the first attempt and we always forward our extract fan testing checklist which identifies what actions need to be undertaken to prepare for the air test. here are a few of the services we offer to help you pass your air test at the first attempt.

Items that usually need to be completed prior to our arrival on site:

  • An Electric supply must be connected to all fans and the fans must be fully operational.
  • All the finishes such as plasterboard and masonry must be properly finished around the vents to enable an air tight finish around the fan.
  • Suitable clear and safe access must be supplied to reach all vents internally and externally.

If you need further advice on how to pass your extract fan test please call us on 01525 303905 or e-mail us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk and we will guide you through the testing process, ensuring that you receive the right level of advice and service to pass your extract fan test.

During the planning process for new residential properties, it is common to have a planning condition from the Local Planning Authority, to ensure the internal noise levels meet the requirements of BS8233:2014, meaning you will require a noise assessment. The external noise environment in the proximity of the proposed development is impacted on heavily by noise sources such as road traffic, rail traffic, industrial and commercial.

An Environmental Noise Impact Assessment will normally involve a number of microphone positions externally, for measurement over a representative time period. A report will then be provided detailing the process of the survey, measurement data taken and recommendations moving forward to achieve the requirements of BS8233:2014.

It is key to measure these external noises, to enable building façade specifications with specific reference to glazing and ventilation, to be created to ensure the internal noise level targets are achieved.

Simply contact us and we will be able to provide free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a BS8233 Noise Assessment be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. Prices start from just £895 plus VAT and if you get a better quote elsewhere, we will try to beat it.

To pass a noise assessment BS 8233:2014 Sound Insulation and Noise Reduction for Buildings, the Code of Practice suggests that the following internal noise levels are achieved on all new residential developments:

Activity
Location
07:00 to 23:00
23:00 to 07:00
Resting
Living Room
35 dB LAeq, 16 hour

Dining
Dining room/area
40 dB LAeq, 16 hour

Sleeping (daytime resting)
Bedroom
35 dB LAeq, 16 hour
30 dB LAeq, 8 hour

Regular individual noise events such as passing trains or aircraft can cause sleep disturbance. A guideline may be set in terms of SEL or LAFmax depending on the character and number of events per night. Sporadic noise events could require separate values.

The corresponding acoustic definitions include:

  • LAeq an A-weighted time averaged noise level
  • LAeq, 16hour the LAeq over a 16hour daytime period typically, 07:00 – 23:00
  • LAeq, 8hour the LAeq over an 8hour night time period typically, 23:00 – 07:00
  • LAFmax the maximum A-weighted sound pressure level occurring within a specified time period

To find out more about building regulations and noise, you can see the government website here or give us a call with any questions.

To prepare for a BS8233 noise assessment we require the following information:

  • The type of noise survey that is required by the local planning authority as well as the duration of the noise survey.
  • Confirmation of the hours of operation i.e. will they survey run from 08.00 until 08.00 the following morning, which would provide a good sample in relation to weekday early morning and night time noise level.
  • We require full site plan drawings for the site showing the proposed position of the new dwelling/s and its noise sensitive rooms to the nearest noise source point. A set of drawings to include floor and roof plans along with all elevations.
  • The client will need to arrange for access into the property/land were the survey/s are to be undertaken.
  • The site should not have solid (temporary) hoarding up facing the main noise source at the time of the survey as this may affect the noise levels on site, especially if the main noise source is an adjacent road or railway line. If security is a requirement, then temporary Heras fencing should be used during the noise survey.
  • All site works must be stopped for the duration of the survey to reduce the chance of excess background construction noise.
  • To reduce the chance of excess noise no site deliveries can take place during the survey.
  • No operatives should interfere with the noise survey equipment throughout the duration of the survey.
  • We require a parking space for a transit van type vehicle within 10 metres of the test location on site.
  • The client’s representative will need to sign our work record book after the noise survey equipment has been set up.
  • We will require a secure area for our equipment to be left for the duration of the survey. The lockup must have a small hole large enough for a cable to go through. If the cable is damaged due to insufficient access the damages for a replacement cable and the aborted noise survey will be charged to the client.
  • We need a site representative to meet us onsite to let us in to the site and set up our equipment. The site agent must ensure that he has the keys to a secure lockup, so we can safely lock up our equipment prior to our departure.
  • We need someone to meet us next day as and when we collect the equipment.

If you would require further information, please check out our informative BS8233 noise assessment checklist to help you prepare for the thermal survey.

We have undertaken hundreds of BS8233 noise assessments throughout London and the South East so we have a vast amount of knowledge in regards to achieving compliance with local planning permission requirements. APT Sound Testing can liaise with the Local Authority on your behalf to ensure that the acoustic assessment is specifically tailored to meet your needs and our comprehensive noise report, following the acoustic survey, will support your planning application with recommendations for improvement or remedial noise mitigation measures if necessary. If you would like more information on our BS8233 noise assessment service please contact us now at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk.

Clean room environments such as pharmaceutical and semi-conductor manufacturers are examples of environments that require demanding ongoing air monitoring and periodic certification. The best run facilities monitor the contamination level in the facility by measuring the quantity of airborne particulate. This information is then used to drive policies and procedures that help maintain cleanliness of the facility. APT can provide particulate counts to help you establish and maintain a monitoring program.

Particle counters can activate alarms when contamination poses immediate threats to manufacturing processes thus warning the end user of potential risk from contamination. Also, these cleanroom particle counters can document emerging contamination trends and weak spots within the process to guide cleaning personnel in maintaining air quality in their critical environments. We can also carry out the periodic particulate testing and forward the necessary certification. We provide trained and friendly clean room test engineers, offering comprehensive and proactive validation service to the requirements of all current ISO standards and guidelines. If you require any further information in regards to Airborne Particulate Testing please contact us now.

In January 2016, ISO introduced an update to standards ISO 14644-1:2015 – Classification of air cleanliness by particle concentration and ISO 14644-2:2015 and monitoring to provide evidence of cleanroom performance related to air cleanliness by particle concentration. Data centres which are controlled environments) need to be kept clean too is ISO 14644-1 Class 8 standard or better. Class 8 allows for 3,52 million 0.5μm particles per cubic metre. Many of the top data companies such as EMC, Cisco and Sun all now all state what the acceptable levels of contamination are for their equipment.

The three state insist that their equipment must be kept in a data centre which has been decontaminated to a sufficient level on the ISO 14644-1 Clean Room and Controlled environment scale” This is Class 8 or better. As in many cases this suggests that their OEM warranty may not cover equipment damaged by dust particles. We provide trained and friendly clean room test engineers, offering comprehensive and proactive validation service to the requirements of all current ISO standards and guidelines.

If you require any further information in regards to Airborne Particulate Testing please contact us.

Simply contact us and we will be able to provide free, no obligation quotation as to the requirements and costs for your development. We have worked throughout the country on all sizes of project, and should a Airborne Particle Testing be required, we can provide the fastest turnaround times and most competitive prices available. Prices start from just £1295 plus VAT and if you get a better quote elsewhere, we will try to beat it.

To prepare for airborne particle testing we require the following information:

  • We will require confirmation of the cleanroom/s ISO/GMP cleanroom rating one week prior to the test date.
  • All building work must be completed.
  • All Air Handling Units and supporting plant equipment is installed and commissioned.
  • All Building Management Systems (If applicable) is installed and commissioned.
  • All cleanroom suite fixtures (lighting, windows, doors and power etc.) are installed and functioning correctly.
  • All supply/extract filters are fitted and diffuser in place.
  • All cleanroom equipment (MBSC’s LAF, Fume Cupboard etc.) is commissioned and functioning correctly.
  • Cleanroom suite pressure regime is balanced and commissioned.
  • All GMP Drawings have been approved and made available for use.
  • All design and installation drawings are complete and signed off as-fitted.
  • All pre-OQ works were successful and any issues addressed and corrected.
  • Installation Qualification Report is complete.
  • Cleanroom suite gowning regime is in effect and relevant gowning and training provided to contractors.
  • Access to the area under test will be limited to APT test operatives and the site representative throughout the test period.
  • We will require a site representative who knows how to operative the whole cleanroom environment. They will need to be available throughout the duration of the testing.
  • Due to potential contamination issues, we will require the client to supply each operative with a full set of the appropriate cleanroom clothing prior to the test.
  • High rise ceilings greater than 3 meters will require a podium or MEWP or other safe means of access. (Filter integrity tests and Air Change Rates)
  • A witness/QA will need to be appointed and made available. (If required)

If you would require further information, please check out our informative airborne particle testing checklist to help you prepare for the cleanroom testing.

We have undertaken many airborne particle tests throughout London and the South East so we have a vast amount of knowledge in regards to achieving compliance with ISO 14644-1:2015. local planning permission requirements.

Air tightness testing is carried to check the air leakage that occurs from a buildings envelope. The air test checks amount of conditioned air that escapes or gets wasted through gaps or air leakage paths through the building fabric. If the building is more air tight, less energy will be being needlessly lost, thus lowering the carbon emissions of the building. Air tightness testing also shows how efficient a building is at retaining conditioned air which will also put less straight on your mechanical and ventilation system.

Failing to maintain adequate air tightness can lead to up to 50% of heat loss from within a building to the outside atmosphere. This negates the advantages of investing in energy efficiency measures such as extra insulation, high spec boilers or ground source heat pumps. Achieving an air tight building should be prioritised, otherwise your building will cost more to run and place extra load on your mechanical and electrical services; also, as if the building fails the air tightness test it may delay the handover of the building.

Air testing is mandatory in the United Kingdom and is governed by Part L of the Building Regulations, this split into two parts; for domestic properties Part L1A should be used and for commercial properties Part L2A should be referenced.

The ATTMA technical Standard TS1 (for dwellings) & TS2 (for commercial buildings) stipulate that air testing should be carried out on a selection of dwellings/ building types – three units of each type or 50% of that type, whichever is fewer. It many cases it is necessary to test all plots, otherwise a 2m3/hr/m2 penalty must be applied to all the plots on the site, this means that you will need to 3m3/hr/m2 if your SAP report stipulated a designed air permeability rate of 5m3/hr/m2.

So to summarise the following testing will usually be required. If you are unsure how many air tests you require, please contact our friendly expert team for advice on helping properties achieve required emission rates for air testing. Simply the use our contact form on this page, or call our offices, to chat about your specific air testing requirements with our knowledgeable team of air tightness consultants.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Society is the gatekeeper for evaluation, testing and certification bodies, ensuring companies have been assessed against internationally-recognised standards in order to underline their competence and capabilities. APT Sound Testing is a UKAS accredited company and as a result our air test reports should be accepted by building control.

Our experienced air tightness consultants have helped all types of clients from self-builders right through to large architectural practices, contractors and planners from the initial design stage right through to the final precompletion air tightness testing. It is our ongoing aim to ensure that all our clients properties are compliant with Building Regulations Document L1 & L2. If you think you need help on your project please don’t hesitate to contact our skilled team of air tightness engineers. As a UKAS accredited company we try and ensure our clients pass their Air testing at the first attempt and we always forward our air testing checklist which identifies what actions need to be undertaken to prepare for the air test. here are a few of the services we offer to help you pass your air test at the first attempt:

  • Air Tightness Design Review – We can undertake a design review of the proposed building to check that the air seal line has adequately designed and potential buildability issues have been taken into account.
  • Thermography Survey – this is performed using an infra-red camera to identify hot and cold spots on the surface of the building envelope, this requires a temperature variation and is usually done in the evening.
  • Ongoing Site Survey Visits – We visit site to check that the contractors are building the envelope (or air seal line) properly to minimise the chance of an air test failure at the end of the project. Any potential problems identified during the works will be highlighted to the site team so that targeted remedial sealing works can be undertaken.

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We have worked with APT Sound Testing on numerous projects and they have always offered a friendly and cost effective air and sound testing service.

The APT sound testing team are friendly, professional and approachable. Their proactive and flexible attitude ensures we always achieve the required result.

We have worked alongside APT for over 8 years and they have helped us with our precompletion and acoustic design requirement throughout this period. I would thoroughly recommend recommended them.

The APT team are great to work with and offer very friendly and proactive response on all our projects. They always deliver on time and offer great value.

APT Sound Testing is a friendly helpful company offering a highly efficient and reliable service.