There are different regulations in place to deal with sound testing and acoustic designs. These include new domestic properties that no longer meet requirements and are required to comply with Part E – Resistance to the Passage of Sound that came in force July 2003 (amended in 2010) and covers issues such as:
- Minimum standards to be achieved by newly built domestic dwellings
- Protection against sound from other parts the building.
- Protection against sound within a dwelling
- Reverberation in common internal parts of domestic buildings
- There are also additional requirements for domestic buildings in Code for sustainable homes and Eco homes for sustainable designed dwellings.
BREEAM assessment requires all commercial building to achieve a minimum sound test as a part of sustainability design for all commercial buildings. On top of those guidelines there are more specific requirements for classrooms within schools to comply with BB93- Acoustic design of schools.
Sound insulation testing is also required in hospitals and workplaces where noisy activities need to be separated.
- We also carry out various noise surveys (sound testing) for the following:
- Planning Noise Surveys (PPG24)
- Planning/Noise Mapping Surveys
- Acoustic Consultancy Services
- Background/Air Conditioning Noise Surveys
- Transportation Noise Surveys
- Industrial Noise Surveys
- Construction Noise Surveys
- Wind Farm Noise Assessment
- Noise at Work Surveys
- Irrigation Pump Surveys
- Petrochemical Noise Surveys
- Entertainment Noise Surveys
- Noise Nuisance Surveys
Sound Insulation Testing For Compliance with Part E
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.
Based on Part E – Resistance to the passage of Sound (Amended in 2010) all new build properties and conversions, which were built after July 2003 require 10% of each party wall/floor construction type to be tested. This test is called Pre-Completion Sound Insulation Test.
Sound Testing is carried out between pairs of rooms separated by party walls or floors. The rooms sound tested will be the two main habitable rooms, which would usually be the living rooms and bedrooms.
The sound test procedure involves setting up a noise source like a normal speaker in a room on one side of the party wall and measuring the noise by using a microphone or measuring device on both sides of the partition.
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.
Proposed sound testing is normally agreed in advance with the Building Control Officer (or person requiring the sound test).
According to Part E there are two main types of Sound tests:
Airborne Sound test:
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.
Impact Sound test: Impact sound test is undertaken using a “tapping machine”, 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 also undertake sound testing to assess the performance of office partitions, acoustic performance of doors, and walls, and throughout the entertainment industry such as pubs, nightclubs and concerts.
We offer advice on basic remedial measures for failed sound tests. However, this can be avoided if you employ the Air Pressure Testing as your Acoustic consultant from beginning of the project and in the design stages.
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 external walls of any building.
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 prior to handover. These test normally 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 insulation testing on floors must be carried out before any soft coverings are in place.
In order to complete the survey the site should be ready it means
Windows should be fully fitted and trickle vents should be blocked.
All walls, floors and ceiling which are going to be tested in rooms should be completed (including sockets and switches if applicable). Carpets or timber laminates have not been laid in rooms where floors are to be tested.
What is a Robust Standard Detail?
A Robust Standard Detail is party wall or floor construction of proven performance.
Robust Standard Detail Limited produces a handbook containing specifications and checklists for a restricted number of proven constructions based on empirical data.
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