UK SOUND TESTING SERVICES
Sound Testing and Noise Surveys
APT Sound Testing is a well-established UKAS accredited sound testing & acoustic consultancy provider for the whole of the UK. We are able to offer a comprehensive range of sound testing & consultancy acoustic services to suit our clients every requirement. We have a varied client base that includes large scale property developers, small builders, architectural practices, local authorities, planning consultants, throughout the whole of the UK.
We have extensive knowledge regarding the way different materials and construction methods can influence the results of a sound test, to ensure your company achieves compliance with Part E of Building Regulations.
We offer expert advice on all sound insulation testing, background noise surveys and noise assessments for planning applications. We annually carry out hundreds of sound tests throughout the UK and guarantee to be professional, reliable, helpful and very competitive; we also offer a last minute sound testing service at no extra cost and we also undertake weekend working on Saturday and Sunday's in order to meet your out of hours sound testing requirements. We offer a nationwide service offering a single supplier for all of your regional offices and projects.
Most of our clients that require repeat sound testing on different projects, continue to use our services because of our competitive pricing and proactive approach.
If you are in the construction stage of a new project and would like some advice on sound testing or simply require Sound Insulation Testing in the UK, please contact us now at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Does your Development Need Sound Testing?
Pre completion sound testing under part E has been a mandatory requirement since July 2003. All new build properties and conversions which were built after this date require 10% of each party wall/floor construction type to be tested. The sound test is to be carried out between pairs of rooms separated by party walls or floors, (however a greater percentage is required if you complying with Code for Sustainable Homes) in most cases the rooms to be sound tested will be the two main habitable rooms, which are usually living rooms and bedrooms. The sound test procedure involves setting up a noise source in a room on one side of the party wall or floor and measuring the noise on both sides of the partition. At APT Sound Testing, acoustic testing is one of the most popular parts of our business; we also undertake air testing to your projects to comply with part L as well as part E. We can offer both Sound & Air Testing services - provided in one easy package; this helps reduce the cost and improve onsite co-ordination.
Pre-completion sound testing is generally carried out at the request of the Building Control Officer. The guidance contained within Approved Document E gives detailed recommendations for the partitions to be tested and for the number of sound tests that should be carried out. We recommend that the proposed sound testing is agreed in advance with the Building Control Officer (or person requiring the sound test). If you are unsure of your projects acoustic requirements please click here at; email@example.com
UKAS Accredited Sound Testing
Another common question is 'are we accredited to undertake sound testing'. To help clarify this and other questions please see below:
Can anyone with the right equipment do the sound tests?
The Building Regulations Approved Document E states that the testing body should preferably be UKAS accredited, or a member of the ANC (Acoustic Noise Consultants) APT Sound Testing is UKAS accredited to undertake sound insulation testing and as such we produce the necessary certificates ourselves rather than relying on a third party to provide the certificates which can slow the whole process down.
Are APT UKAS accredited for other disciplines?
APT is also UKAS accredited to undertake air leakage testing, both on dwellings and commercial buildings. All of our engineers are trained to undertake both UKAS accredited air & sound testing and can do this during the same visit, this helps to improve your onsite coordination as well as keeping costs down.
Should I use a company without the above credentials?
In one word, NO. The validity of the sound testing and results may be questionable and may not be accepted by the necessary approval bodies. You may have to pay for testing again by a suitable testing organisation, which may prove very expensive if you miss your handover deadline by failing to attain building signoff.
Can APT also undertake Noise Assessments?
Yes. APT can carry out noise surveys to satisfy the conditions of:
» PPG24 - Site development suitability
» BB93 - Acoustic design of schools
» BS4142 - Rating of industrial noise
The Different Types of Sound Testing
Airborne sound testing Airborne sound tests may also 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. From the results, the airborne sound insulation (DnT,w + Ctr) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.
Our sound test engineers carry all the latest Norsonic equipment, which are class one rating and all of our acoustic testing/sound testing, is completed to a strict quality controlled standard. We provide full UKAS Accredited sound testing.
Impact Sound Testing Services
For vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound testing may also be required. This sound test 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. From the results, the impact sound insulation (L'nT,w) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.
We can undertake both acoustic airborne sound testing to allow for speech, television etc, and impact sound testing to allow for footfall etc. This is in accordance with the requirements of Approved Document E of The Building Regulations and the relevant European and International standards.
Sound Testing; or, Pre Completion Sound Testing, to Comply With Part E of Building Regulations. Sound Testing can take on many forms and can be at many stages within a development. For most people sound testing is the Approved Document E requirement for Pre Completion testing. Sound testing which is completed near the end of a development to show that the performance of the party divides meets the Building Regulations Approved Document E stipulated performance values.
The testing methods for airborne and impact sound insulation testing throughout the UK are in full accordance with: the suggested methods presented in BS EN ISO 140-parts 4 and 7: 1998.
We can also supply advice on remedial acoustic works if you have failed sound tests. We offer this at a reduced rate if we already have an order with the company for the sound testing.
Noise Nuisance Sound Testing the UK
If noise nuisance is an issue we undertake an investigative look at the sound insulation and overall construction between dwellings, as this is usually one of the main causes of sound test failures.
We also undertake Noise Nuisance Sound Testing surveys throughout the whole of the UK to assess the performance of office partitions, acoustic performance of doors, and walls, and throughout the entertainment industry such as pubs, nightclubs and concerts. APT Sound Testing carries out all types of Sound Insulation Testing, if you are unsure how to achieve compliance for your sound testing please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for a quick proactive response.
Acoustic Design services for Sound Testing
APT Sound Testing offer advice on basic remedial measures for failed sound tests following discussion to the reason for failure, however this can be avoided if you employ the APT Sound Testing as your Acoustic consultant from the offset. We offer each job is assessed based on its own merits within isolation, and we will ensure we give you a proactive cost effective service.
Contact us now at: email@example.com to get your free sound testing quotation. Please note with acoustic consultants nationwide, we can offer an extremely proactive cost effective service for all your Acoustic and sound testing requirements.
Sound Insulation Testing in the UK to comply with Part E of the Building Regulations
Changes to The Building Regulations have led to Acoustic testing/sound insulation testing becoming mandatory throughout residential developments. The only waiver to this is if you designer adopts Robust Detailing. As such you may well have been requested to carry out sound insulation testing by Building Control.
APT Sound Testing service is built around customer satisfaction, specifically in terms of Speed, flexibility and quality. This is ensured by having a team of highly trained sound test engineers available at all times utilising the very latest sound testing equipment at the forefront of technology. We can undertake sound testing out of hours to ensure that your programme is not delayed whilst the works the aforementioned works are undertaken. We also undertake Air and Sound Testing in all UK regions, in one comprehensive package to save you money and negate co-ordination issues.
Contact us now at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free sound testing quotation. Please note with acoustic consultants nationwide, we can offer an extremely proactive cost effective service for all your Acoustic and sound testing requirements.
Why You Should Use APT Sound Testing For All Your Sound Testing in the UK
» We can undertake PPG24 Noise Assessments to help you achieve planning for your development.
» We can undertake check your design to checks to ensure you comply with part E and you planning application.
» We can undertake sample sound testing project to insure your subcontractors constructing correctly, as this is one of the biggest reasons for sound test failures.
» Sound Testing is arranged as soon as possible as we are aware that quick turnaround time is crucial for our clients.
» We use our own equipment (not hired) so we can react within hours of being contacted, to undertake your sound testing is not delayed.
» We offer highly competitive sound test pricing.
» We use top quality instrumentation to ensure you get the best service available.
Contact us now at: email@example.com for your free sound testing quotation. Please note with acoustic consultants nationwide, we can offer an extremely proactive cost effective service for all your Acoustic and sound testing requirements throughout the UK.
What is Sound Testing (under part E) FAQ (frequently asked questions)
What is sound insulation
Sound insulation is the property of a wall or a floor to resist the passage of noise.
What is sound insulation testing
Sound Insulation Testing is a method of quantifying the sound insulation performance of a wall or floor. Sound insulation testing can be carried out on party walls, party floors or facades of any building. The methodology For Air Tightness & Sound Insulation Testing is set out in various parts of BS EN ISO 140 and ratings in parts of BS EN ISO 717.
Why do I need sound testing?
The largest single reason for disputes between neighbours is noise complaints. Approved Document Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound describes minimum standards to be achieved by newly built domestic dwellings. Sound testing is also required in schools, hospitals and workplaces where noisy activities need to be separated from quiet activities.
The Building Regulations Approved Document Part E sets out minimum standards for sound insulation performance to be achieved by party wall and party floors. Building contractors may show compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations by two methods. One method is to register plots to be built with Robust Standard Details Limited and the other is to show as-built performance by Pre-Completion Sound Testing.
What is Pre-Completion Sound Testing?
Pre-Completion Sound Testing is method of showing compliance with Approved Document Part E of the Building Regulations by testing a construction in-situ prior to handover. APT Sound Testing Ltd offers competitively priced sound insulation testing to both large and small building contractors for any size of development in compliance with Part E of Building Regulations.
When are Pre-Completion Testing, sound tests carried out?
Sound testing required for Pre-Completion Testing (PCT) with respect to Building Regulations Approved Document Part E is carried out when the construction of party walls and floors are largely complete. Windows should be in place with any vents closable. Internal and external doors should be in place, along with skirting, cornicing and plug sockets in place. Sound testing on floors must be carried out before any soft coverings are in place.
Airborne Sound Insulation is determined by the difference D in sound levels between a source and receiver room. This is corrected for reverberation DnT, and weighted to give a single number value for the Sound Insulation DnT,w + Ctr.
Frequently Asked Questions For Sound Testing
Do detached properties require sound testing in major cities?
No. Only attached properties require sound tests.
Are internal walls/floor between rooms within a single dwelling sound tested?
No. Laboratory test based performance standards (Rw) exist for certain internal walls and floors but they are not intended to be verified as-built by on site measurement.
What is the difference between Rw and DnT,w?
DnT,w is an in-situ measured performance parameter which demonstrates the level of resistance to sound transmission between two adjacent spaces (both direct sound transmission and flanking sound transmission will contribute to the measured performance). Rw is a performance parameter that describes the level of sound transmitted through a single element, such as a wall, floor, door or window and it is measured in a laboratory where flanking sound transmission is negligible. The DnT,w of a separating wall or floor will typically be of the order 5 to 7 dB lower than the specified Rw for the single element, due principally to the contribution from flanking sound transmission around the element when it is built on site.
How Many sound tests are needed on my Project?
Approved Document E 2003 states that one set of sound tests is required for every 10 units in a group or sub-group. A group or sub-group is defined where significant differences in construction or layout occur.
Houses - a set of tests would usually comprise two airborne sound insulation tests of a separating wall
Flats - a set of sound tests would usually comprise: two airborne sound insulation tests on the separating wall; two airborne sound insulation tests of a separating floor; two impact sound transmission tests of a separating floor
Rooms for Residential Purposes (student accommodation, hotel rooms, care homes etc) - a set of tests would usually comprise: one airborne sound insulation tests of a separating wall; one airborne sound insulation test of a separating floor; one impact sound transmission test of a separating floor.
How are plots selected for sound testing in the UK?
The building control officer, warranty provider or other concerned parties may require you to carry out sound testing in specific areas or plots. However where this has not been stipulated we can advise accordingly. Where this is determined in advance of the testing, it should ideally be checked with the concerned party. Tests are usually conducted between pairs of rooms, so adjacent plots will be required.
How is sound insulation testing in carried out?
Airborne sound insulation test - A controlled noise is generated by an amplifier and loudspeaker across a broad range of frequencies on one side of a separating wall or floor and the noise level is measured in decibels (dB) using a sound level meter. Measurements are also made on the opposite side of the separating wall/floor (i.e. in the neighbouring dwelling) in order to determine how much of the controlled noise being generated in the source room is transmitted through to the receiving room.
Impact sound transmission test - A calibrated tapping machine which comprises 5 metal 'hammers' driven up and down by a cam and electric motor, is used to simulate footfall noise on the floor surface. The resulting noise is measured in the neighbouring dwelling below, using a sound level meter.
What is reverberation time?
For both airborne and impact sound tests, the reverberation time (the time taken for sound to decay) is measured in the receive room and forms part of the calculation of the sound insulation performance.
Preparing Your Site for Sound Testing.
To help you prepare for the sound testing, we have listed out some more common questions we get asked:
Will the sound testing disrupt work on site?
During the sound insulation testing, high levels of noise are generated but in order to make accurate test measurements, relatively quiet conditions are needed. Anyone working in the testing area will have to leave temporarily and any noisy works in the vicinity of the test rooms will need to be halted. The time taken for a typical sound testing project varies with site conditions, but generally a set of tests on houses and flats takes about one to two hours.
How do I know if I'm ready for a sound insulation test?
Plots should be at least at second fix stage - for further details please refer to our checklist.
Do I need all internal and external doors and windows installed?
Yes, all internal and external doors must be fitted and operable prior to the sound testing projects.
What if I only have 110 volt on site?
Unfortunately, we cannot undertake the testing; we will need 240V to undertake the sound testing process.
Do I have to inform my neighbours of the sound testing ?
If the building is attached in any way to occupied properties then you will need to inform the neighbours. To comply with Part E we need to gain access to the neighbouring properties to undertake the sound test. You will need to ensure that access is provided to the neighbouring properties throughout the sound testing.
Can you help me to pass my sound testing?
We can offer an acoustic design advice service. If you send through the relevant drawings such as sections, plans etc. during the earlier stages of construction, we can look at your design to check if there are any junctions or details where 'noise flanking' may occur. You can then change your design to lower the chance of a sound test failure.
Do you have a check-list we can download to help us prepare for the sound insulation test?
Please click on our sound testing checklist, this should help you prepare for the testing.
Construction Checklist for Builders and Developers.
To stand the best possible chance of passing your sound test process it is important not only that you use the right products, but also you fit them correctly.
We have produced a list below of the major problem causes that normally arise during some of our previous Sound Tests, please be sure to check these off one by one (during the construction phase) for each room in the building so that problems can be solved at the earliest opportunity, thus reducing the chance of a sound test failure.
(Some items may not apply to your construction).
1. Ensure the insulation fills the whole width of void, also pack around pipe work.
2. Ensure that the sub-floor is watertight and sealed with mastic or silicon.
3. Ensure that the plasterboard on any walls is complete right down to sub-floor, seal all gaps.
4. Ensure you use the isolation tape around the wall of each room.
5. If installing floating screed ensure all isolation layer joints are overlapped and taped.
6. Ensure that the Acoustic floor is fitted with staggered joints.
7. Ensure all the Acoustic floor is sealed watertight even around heating pipes.
8. Ensure plasterboard is fitted with staggered layers and all joints sealed.
9. Do not nail or screw through an Acoustic Floor.
10. If using Resilient Bars ensure that they are fitted as per manufacturers recommendations.
11. Do not screw plaster board into joists when using Resilient Bars.
12. Ensure all Fireplaces are blocked up with brick or plasterboard.
13. Ensure that any RSJ's or supporting steel work is insulated and isolated from plasterboard.
14. Ensure all waste pipe service runs are boxed in with insulation and plasterboard.
15. Do not fit carpets or laminated flooring before you have passed the test.
16. You must fit doors and windows before the test is carried out.
17. Please ensure 240v power is available on each floor.
18. Please ensure we have access to all areas under test, i.e for flats the plots to the sides, above and below. For houses the plots either side.
19. No building work can take place during sound testing.
Improving Sound Insulation in Existing Homes
One growing problem is neighbour noise complaints. The problem can occur in any type of existing or new built house or flat where there is a common separating wall or floor. Poor quality conversions or building work in flats, lofts, extensions etc, frequently cause noise complaints from residents.
For most flats/units converted before June 1992 there may have been little or no sound insulation upgrades undertaken on the floor or walls. If this is the case, upgrading the floor or walls is likely to lead to significant improvements.
Conversions carried out after July 2003 should already have been tested and shown to have achieved the Building Regulation performance standards (Approved Document E) for sound insulation. If you are unsure that it was actually carried out you can contact the management company or your local building control office and ask for evidence of that sound testing was undertaken with the corresponding report.
The three main reasons for noise complaints are usually:
» the sound insulation between your homes is poor
» you are unusually sensitive to noise
» your neighbour behaves unreasonably
More often than not it is at least 2 of the above issues that raise cause for complaint. In our experience if the sound insulation is sufficient then the chances of complaints are greatly reduced. APT can undertake UK wide Sound Testing to check the efficiency of your dividing partitions. Please Contact Us Now
APT Sound Testing is a UK based company which prides itself on being Proactive and working with our clients to achieve successful air test results. By Mobile - 07967 233836 or 077775 623464 (available 7am to 10pm)
By E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sound Testing Services
We believe in working with our clients to achieve the best possible results for a Sound Testing project. We believe that by being involved at the beginning of a project we can save our clients expensive and difficult remedial works at the completion stage of a project.
APT Sound Testing Services
Head Office: Sayells Farm, 7 Harlington Road, Upper Sundon, Bedfordshire, LU3 3PE