UKAS Accredited Sound Insulation Testing

Sound insulation (or pre-completion) testing is one of the final steps in any project involving the assessment of the sound insulation performance of party walls and party floors between different dwellings.

It is one of the requirements of Approved Document E of the Building Regulations for new and converted properties.

We can assist by providing an excellent turnaround time from the initial enquiry to the delivery of the final certificates, ensuring the timely completion of a project.

Our promise

Low cost After all, specialist services need to be approachable

Fast turnaround time. All enquiries will be dealt within one day. Our team will guide you through everything you need to know for sound testing and provide you with a scope of work and fee proposal which will reflect your exact needs

Accredited testing Our report will be accepted by all Building Control Bodies throughout the UK

Indication of the results on-site. We would be able to provide an accurate indication of the sound insulation performance during the sound tests

Free advice In case of a failed test, we will provide advice without any charges to ensure that the re-test will be successful. Fees for the re-test will be reduced in order to ensure the swift completion of your project.

How much does sound testing cost?

We strongly believe in the moto "Less is more".

At KP Acoustics we have set a simple way of pricing our UKAS accredited sound insulation testing. This is reflected on a small fixed fee which includes the site visit, the sound test report and the sound insulation certificates.

As the number of sound tests depends on the layout of the site and the requirements of the local Building Control Body, each airborne or impact sound test is charged individually at a highly competitive rate. The overall quote will, therefore, reflect exactly what you need to pass Building Control requirements while receiving efficient and high-quality acoustic consultancy support throughout your project.

Sound Insulation Test - some facts

The requirements for the sound insulation performance of separating (party) walls and floors for new-build and converted developments stipulated by Approved Document E (2003 Edition) are shown in the table below:

Airborne Sound Insulation (DnT,w + Ctr) Floors and walls45 dB43 dB
Impact Sound Insulation (L’nT,W) Floors only62 dB64 dB

Please note that the above requirements are only applicable for party walls and floors between different dwellings and not within the same property (internal walls or floors).

Testing schedule

One set of tests needs to be undertaken for every ten flats or houses, provided the construction system is the same. A set means that the test should include two locations where the party element (wall/floor) is tested. This is equivalent to two individual tests when assessing the performance of a wall (airborne performance only) and four individual tests when assessing a floor (two airborne and two impact tests). All tests must be undertaken between habitable spaces (e.g. bedrooms, living rooms) and not to or from common spaces (stairwells, corridors).

Sound testing procedure (in simple terms)

For airborne tests, the first step is to generate high-level noise on one side of the party wall or floor. This is a specific test signal called "pink noise". An initial measurement is taken within the "source room" followed by another measurement on the other side of the wall or floor under investigation, the "receiver room". The difference in the two levels, corrected for some acoustic parameters measured on-site would give us an appreciation of the airborne sound insulation performance of the wall, or floor. The higher the difference, the better the performance.

Impact tests for floors are slightly different. A special "tapping machine" is switched on within the source room upstairs. This is a calibrated set of hammers which "tap" the floor by applying a known force on the floor structure. The noise level is then measured in the room below and assessed accordingly in order to see how effective is that specific floor to footfall noise. The lower the measured level, the better the performance.

Site readiness checklist

The following points would need to be answered before deciding whether a site is ready for sound testing.

  • Is there power available in the test rooms (110V/240V)?
  • Are doors, windows, cornices and skirting boards in place?
  • Are test rooms unfurnished?
  • Is there a carpet or timber laminates in place (only applicable for floor tests)?
  • Are all wall, ceiling and floor surfaces complete?
  • Is there access to both sides of the separating wall/floor?
  • Will there be any construction activity or other type of noise during the sound insulation tests?

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