What is Sound Testing? – Part 5

The Four Steps to Successful Sound Testing

New homes are built to high standards; however, acoustics and noise control are important factors requiring careful consideration during design and specification, as well as pre-completion commissioning testing. Since 2006 we have undertaken thousands of sound tests across London and the UK so we have a large amount of experience in regards to achieving Building Regulations Part E compliance.

Our four stages areas of expertise to help you achieve compliance with Approved Document E are:

1. Acoustic Design Reviews

During early design stage of a development and construction process, we can undertake an acoustic review of the proposed acoustic wall and floor partitions elements to check that the construction details proposed are capable of passing the pre-completion sound testing. This usually takes place straight after planning has been approved as increased cost savings can be realised at the earliest stage possible.

We will evaluate the construction methods and materials specified to ensure that they are capable of meeting the acoustic requirements of Approved document E. The typical areas we check are:

  • There are no flanking points, where isolated partitions are wrongly mechanically fixed together to caused noise bridging.
  • The walls and floors design are acoustically robust, to comply with Building Regulations Part E.
  • The acoustic treatments for Soil Pipes, Stair Cases Steel Beams etc. to ensure they are acoustically fit for purpose, as these are some of the areas that get usually missed.
  • Acoustic floor treatments are compatible with the proposed floor finishes i.e. Carpets, Laminates, Floor Tiles and under floor heating systems.

2. Ongoing Site Construction Monitoring

We provide the site team with on-going design support service, so you will have direct contact with our allocated engineer from the start of the process through to the successful completion of the project. One of the most important services is the going site survey visits which allow our clients 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.

3. Sample Sound Testing

We can undertake sample sound testing to establish the acoustic performance of the existing wall and floor partitions. Once we have established the sound levels we can then undertake an accurate acoustic design review taking into account the existing levels of sound insulation within the development. We often undertake sample sound testing on office conversions to residential dwellings. We usually undertake both airborne and impact sound testing to ensure compliance with Approved Document E.

4. Precompletion Sound Testing

After the construction works are complete we can carry out the final precompletion sound testing in compliance with Part E of Building Regulation. Sound testing will need to be carried out between pairs of rooms separated by party walls and/or floors. In most cases the rooms to be sound tested will be the two main habitable rooms, i.e. living rooms and bedrooms.

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.

For vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound test may also be required. Impact testing 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.

We carry the latest Norsonic equipment, which are class one rating all of our acoustic testing/sound testing is completed to a strict quality controlled standard. We provide full ISO & UKAS complaint sound testing.

Don’t panic we can help.

We can advise on all types of acoustic design, whether it’s accomplished during initial construction or during a refurbishment/renovation project. We also undertake UKAS accredited sound testing providing a ‘one stop’ solution for all your acoustic requirements.

If you would like more information in regards to sound testing please contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call Darren Direct on 07775623464, aalternately, If you would like more information on how to prepare for your sound testing please download our sound test checklist.