Acoustic Tests: Providing sound insulation testing and noise consultancy throughout the UK, and at great low prices!

London / South : 0845 680 2624

Midlands / North : 0161 661 5739

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Pre-Completion Testing / Sound Insulation Testing as per the requirements of Approved Document E: Frequently Asked Questions

How much will sound insulation testing cost for my site/flat/house/development?

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, with no VAT payable, and if you get a better quote elsewhere, simply forward it to us and we will try and beat it by a minimum of £25!

Which areas of the UK do 'Acoustic Tests' cover?

Our consultants are based in several strategic locations across the country to ensure that we can provide the most competitve quotations in the industry for sound insulation testing. A list of some of the areas covered is as follows:

All areas of Manchester, Liverpool, London, Brighton, Reading, Guildford, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Canterbury, Hastings, Gillingham, Colchester, Wycombe, Northampton, Oxford, Birmingham, Leicester, Cambridge, Peterborough, Lincoln, Norwich, Bristol, Swindon.

More generally, we find our prices to be lowest available in: Manchester & Greater Manchester, Surrey, Greater and Central London, East & West Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Essex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, South Wales and North Wales.

If you don't see your region listed above, we can still offer the most competitive quotations available. Contact us now for free advice and no obligation quotations for your sound testing requirements!

For an exhaustive list of locations our engineers and consultants operate in, please follow this link: Locations

What is pre-completion sound insulation testing?

Pre-completion sound testing is a building regulation requirement for all purpose built & "formed by material change of use" (i.e. refurbished) properties since 2003. Sound testing is undertaken in a percentage 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 ADE.

How is sound insulation testing carried out?

For airborne sound tests, two individual speaker positions are used for each source room, with a total of ten individual 1/3 octave band measurements recorded for both the source and receiver rooms. Measurements are then made to monitor the levels in the receiving room of the tested partition in question. This gives a basic level difference between source and receiver rooms.

This basic level difference is then 'corrected' to allow for the reverberation time (the time taken, in seconds, for a noise source to decay by 60 dB) and the existing levels of background noise monitored whilst in the receiving room.

All tests are carried out in full accordance with BS EN ISO 140-1998 parts 4 (airborne) and 7 (impact), and the calculation of all single figure results are done so in accordance with BS EN ISO 717:1.

This is of course, a somewhat simplified explanation without the various mathematical formulae involved, but helps to explain the process in a logistical manner.

At what stage does sound testing take place? How do I know when my site is ready for testing?

Sound testing is typically conducted when a development nears completion, and once all internal and external doors and windows have been fitted.

To be able to conduct sound insulation testing we require the provision of a 240V power supply, and a quiet site (a noisy site can make conducting the tests extremely difficult). Access will be required to all rooms of the development unless a test schedule is determined in advance. To have us determine a test schedule in advance to minimse on-site disruption, please contact us here.

What are the minimum requirements for separating party walls and party floors between neighbouring dwellings?

The minimum requirements depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is new build or refurbished, whether the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as "rooms of residential purposes" (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc). A brief summary of the minimum requirements can be found below, in table form:

Type of Accommodation Nature of the Building Work Transmission Path Type of Party Element Performance Criterion {dB}
Dwellings Purpose built Airborne Walls 45 DnTw+CTr
Floors 45 DnTw+CTr
Stairs 45 DnTw+CTr
Impact Floors 62 L’nTw
Formed by Material Change of Use Airborne Floors 43 DnTw+CTr
Stairs 43 DnTw+CTr
Walls 43 DnTw+CTr
Impact Floors 64 L’nTw
Rooms for Residential Purposes Purpose built Airborne Walls 43 DnTw+CTr
Stairs 45 DnTw+CTr
Floors 45 DnTw+CTr
Impact Floors 62 L’nTw
Formed by Material Change of Use Airborne Floors 43 DnTw+CTr
Walls 43 DnTw+CTr
Stairs 43 DnTw+CTr
Impact Floors 64 L’nTw
Why is sound insulation testing required? Why is it important?

Sound insulation and speech privacy are critical for a variety of reasons. Inadequate sound insulation can be extremely distressing to those affected by it. For example, in a block of flats, your upstairs neighbour may (and not unreasonably) like to have friends over at the weekend, resulting in the playing of 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 occupant.

This is just one example of how sound insulation can affect the quality of life of people in different ways.

Then there are developments where each neighbouring room / flat / unit has mixed uses (commerical unit bordering onto an educational facility, or perhaps even the worst case scenario, a library below a music rehearsal room!).

challenging acoustic design for sound insulation

Link to Approved Document E: Resistance to the passage of sound

Approved Document E

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