Sound Insulation Testing

What is Sound Insulation Testing?

Sound Insulation Testing, also referred to as Acoustic Testing, is a regulatory requirement for all new build or converted dwellings that have partitioning walls or floors.

The Sound Insulation Testing requirement is driven by the Approved Document Part E of the Building Regulations.

The regulation stipulates that dwellings for residential purposes shall be designed and constructed in such a way that they provide reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjoining buildings.

There are two types of sound tests

Airborne Testing

Testing insulation against sound that is transmitted through the air, such as speech, television or radio.

Impact Sound Testing

Testing insulation to overcome impacts on floor structure such as footsteps.

In all cases, the room to be tested should be habitable in nature, i.e. bedrooms or living rooms, and should have a minimum volume of 25 m³ in order for the sound tests to be carried out correctly.

When Do I Need Sound Insulation Tests?

Testing should be carried out as early as possible because issues can potentially be more difficult and costly to resolve the more progressed the build is.

You’ll need to have sound testing carried out if;

  • building new-build apartments, student rooms, hotel rooms, nursing home rooms
  • building new attached houses (semi-detached, terraces)
  • converting an existing house or office/commercial building into apartments
  • Building Control have asked for Approved Document E testing

How we conduct Sound Insulation Testing

The general process for a sound test is very straightforward when we visit your property to conduct a sound test. We need to ensure that:

  • All doors in the rooms to be tested can be closed
  • Electrics installed
  • The room to be tested should be habitable in nature, i.e. bedrooms or living rooms, and they should have a minimum volume of 25 m³ in order for the sound tests to be carried out correctly
    (Impact Test) 50% of the floor is not covered by carpet

If we are only testing Party walls the whole process roughly takes 1 hour per property.

If we are testing Party Walls and Party Floors the whole process roughly takes 2 hours to complete.

For developments, a sample of 10% of the development is tested. For example, a block of 10 flats will require 1 full set of tests. A full set of tests include:

  • 2 x Airborne Tests (Party Walls)
  • 2 x Airborne Tests (Party Floors)
  • 2 x Impact Tests (Party Floors)
GC Reports sound insulation testing equipment
Specialist sound testing equipment used by GC Reports
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