Air Pressure, Sound Testing and Air Testing Services UK

Head Office: Sayells Farm, 7 Harlington Road, Upper Sundon, Bedfordshire, LU3 3PE
Tel: 07967 233836 or 07775 623464
Email: info@airpressuretesting.net
Offices in London, Luton and Cardiff

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Sound Testing Design


Sound Testing Consultancy

A UKAS Accredited Company Registered in England & Wales No. 527550

Consultancy Services

Air or Sound Test failures to hardover stages of a project can prove costly in relation to both financial and programme aspects of the project.

Successful Building Air and Sound Tests stem from an attention to detail at an early stage in the Design and Construction Processes.

Our company believes in working with our clients to achieve the best possible results for an Air Test. 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.

We offer the following consultancy services:

1. Design review

We will carry out a renew of the architect and any specialist dividing envelope subcontractor drawings to identify any areas which will perform poorly during testing. If necessary we can produce suitable details for use by the design team.

2. Site Inspection

During the construction phase we can visit the site and inspect the work. A report will be produced highlighting any areas of concern or poor workmanship that may load to a test failure.

Design Review/s for Air Tightness and Acoustic Compliance
Air Pressure Testing’s design reviews ensure that air tight elements are fit for the intended purpose and will have the expected life span. Our operative’s expertise, skills and experience provide clients with pragmatic design solutions; to minimise the risk of the air tightness, fire enclosure and acoustic works failing in the short and long term.

Using our technical knowledge and experience within construction we can quickly identify areas of the building design and specification that pose a risk to the air tightness and acoustic specification. Aspects to review for air tight elements can include their material specification and physical characteristics, air permeability, detailed design, proposed installation procedures and operational requirements.

Air Pressure Testing’s Design Review is therefore fundamental in eliminating potential problems. By sending us drawing and specification details at a key stage is vital to accruing the long term benefits of achieving the air tightness and acoustic specification and reducing the risk of a compliance failure to Part L & E of Building Regulations.

Site Audits for Air Tightness
By building to the right design detailing first time whilst under the experienced eye of Air Pressure Testing’s Engineers; our Clients can avoid the potential high cost of remedial works; and even higher costs of delays and subsequent Liquidated damages. By requesting Air Pressure Testing to audit air tightness site works throughout the duration of your project (a good guideline is 3 visits per project). This is usually undertaken in the presence of a member of the contractor's site team, so they have a better understanding of the problem areas, and can more easily reference and action Air Pressure Testing’s site audit report. The Air Pressure Testing’s air tightness site audits are carried out by experienced Engineers who have gained a significant amount of experience by carrying out over 1000 projects to date, and also have the experience of general site construction management having been Project/Contract managers in leading construction/consultancy companies such as Amec.

Our experience of auditing and carrying out air sealing works, on hundreds of different sites, ranging from small enclosures; such as hospital intensive care units to large distribution warehouses, this has provided us the knowledge and experience to ensure whatever your project; it is built correctly and thereby compiles with Part L & E first time.

Audit reports can be prepared, providing a schedule of works, cross referenced with relevant drawing details and photographs, this allows for a quick and easy site reference for all of your site staff and sub-contractors. Site audits should be carried out at critical points during the build programme, i.e. during the main construction of the external envelope. This will ensure you pass the air tightness tests first time and that the air tightness specification is fully complied with.

Site Audit Case Study (Isolation Room)
Air Pressure Testing’s on-site expertise was used to good effect during a Project at Great Ormond St Hospital, during the construction of 4 isolation rooms. The contract specification included an item for the Contractor to achieve an air permeability rate under 1m³/h/m². By carrying out site audits and having a strong proactive approach working along side the contractor; Air pressure Testing enabled the air tightness specification to be met with minimal disruption and costs despite the Required air leakage rate being 10x lower than the building regulations standard.

Problem
Much of the construction works had already taken place therefore it was too late for Air Pressure Testing to change the specification of the walls from Drylining (met-sec); to a solid masonry wall (a more efficient construction ). Unfortunately there was also a small plant room that was also encompassed within the Air Leakage Test enclosure area. As the plant required full emergency access, a solid ceiling could not be constructed below the plant; therefore it could not be adequately sealed where the many M & E runs terminated through the enclosure/s envelope.

Solution
Using due diligence and sound knowledge of construction detailing Air Pressure Testing visited site to undertake a preliminary Air Leakage test, unfortunately the Isolation rooms building envelope was initially prone to large amounts of Air Leakage, using our small high powered directional smoke machine APT quickly ascertained the pathways of Air Leakage. Details were noted, photographed and recorded and a comprehensive detailed site survey was undertaken with recommendations made for expansive remedial works, this was undertaken in the presence of the client’s Project Manager. Subsequently on the 2nd visit all the isolation rooms passed the Air Leakage Test with a average result of 0.5 m³/h/m² or 5% of the current requirement of part L of the building regulations.

Site Audit Case Study (Timber Frame Construction)

The client required all new Dwellings to be constructed out of Timber frame to improve construction time and ease of buildability issues.

Problem
Unfortunately the customer had not taken into account the new Air Leakage regulations and the subsequent greater risk using a Timber Frame construction presented. This wasn’t unique to this large house builder; as virtually no one understood (or had heard of) the concept of the term air tightness or air tightness testing? Air pressure Testing met with the contractor to educate everyone on the air leakage issues of this type of construction. The information was then disturbed to the relevant site personal as well as the design team.

Solution
Air Pressure Testing was appointed to undertake a complete design review and subsequently helped produce the client's Air Tightness Design Guide as well as producing the Timber Frame Download Guide. A series of air tightness workshops was undertaken on existing sites/offices. At this pre-contract stage, all parties were at least aware of why and how air tightness targets could be achieved. The client then instigated initial design reviews for all new house designs , prior to a start on-site, to set out the issues for each particular project with Air pressure Testing. Elements of the design and specification were highlighted if there was a risk to the overall air tightness specification being exceeded and solutions put forward. These meetings enabled Project Teams to identify, co-ordinate and manage the installation of the air tightness works on-site. Ultimately, the new dwellings reached their air tightness specification first time.

Smoke Tests to Highlight Areas of Air Leakage
Our powerful yet portable Smoke testing equipment makes up part of Air Pressure Testing’s air test rig; this allows for a rapid visual diagnosis of air tightness problems and possible air leakage paths. The smoke is not harmful but it is a requirement of Air Pressure Testing that you inform the fire brigade prior to any large Smoke Test being undertaken.

As part of our standard Test equipment we carry both hand-held and full building smoke generators. The large building smoke generators can be linked together to ensure all parts of large buildings are filled with smoke, which makes for easier diagnostics. When the building is pressurised, smoke is forced out through air leakage paths thereby providing conclusive evidence of areas requiring attention, it is essential that you have a competent person such as your Site/Project manager available to witness the test, so the company has an understanding of the project/s air leakage areas, and can more easily reference the smoke test report.

Consultancy for Sound Testing
Air Pressure Testing undertakes the acoustic design and Sound Testing of projects from the initial scheme stage i.e. from the planning stage: PPG 24 to completion. We offer a no nonsense professional proactive approach to acoustic design and Sound Testing; that ensures your company receives professional advice every step of the way, with a continual consideration of cost. We have considerable experience in all matters related to architectural acoustic design and detailing. In our usual professional capacity, we are responsible for developing the acoustic design of the project from the initial design scheme stage right through to the sound testing. We have hands on experience in all aspects of acoustic design of commercial and residential projects, as well as the corresponding Sound Testing; in particular acoustic isolation, and interior acoustic. We use the latest acoustic prediction and modeling software systems. We also use the latest Norsonic equipment, which include analysers and sound sources for conventional and binaural acoustic measurements.

We can advise you in the following areas:
• Project planning and co-ordination of acoustic design.
• Acoustic commissioning and measurements of commercial and residential facilities.
• Computer modeling of architectural and acoustic spaces for noise control and modal behavior.

In order to achieve the current sound insulation performance requirements of Approved Document E of the current Building Regulations, it is highly recommended recommend you employ the services of an Acoustic Consultancy such as Air pressure Testing Ltd to survey your design/construction proposals. We will provide you with a clear review of the expected performance of your proposed design using the latest software and construction experience, and will advise on any additional treatment to be applied as necessary.

We also offer site survey visits which allow you (the client) and your contractor to feel confident about the outcome of the Sound Testing at the end of the build. These sessions allow you to raise any concerns you may have with regards to acoustic detailing; and also give us an opportunity to guide you through the process, avoiding crucial mistakes. Remember some times you can have a compliant design which still fails the Sound Testing due to poor workmanship, the site survey visits negate the risk of sound test failure.

Once APT has undertaken and completed the noise survey our consultants will assess the results against any relevant criteria e.g. part E, BB93, Eco Homes etc, we also we take into account unique planning conditions and/or any client specific criteria and advise on appropriate measures which should be taken in order achieve compliance. This may involve the relocation or modification of plant and equipment, or the use of acoustic barriers or enclosures.

APT uses the latest in-house software to sound insulation of the building façade so noise break-in, or indeed noise break-out can be accurately modeled, along with the control of noise within the building based on the sound insulation provided by the internal partitions and their associated flanking structures.

Building Acoustics Planning Software
Our software undertakes the calculation of airborne and impact sound transmission in buildings and of airborne sound transmission of outdoor sound.

The calculation of sound transmission is worked out by the software which takes into account all sound transmitting elements and systems into consideration which are relevant for the individual room-to-room situation. In addition to the separating and the four flanking elements, doors and windows can be inserted into the separating construction. Further, flanking elements or even airborne sound transmitting systems, such as ventilation and cable ducts, can be added.

All calculation results for airborne sound transmission between rooms and from the outside can be rendered audible with for various interior and exterior sound sources and for different kinds of receiving rooms.

Site Audit Case Study (Block of Flats)
Air Pressure Testing’s on-site expertise was used to good effect during a Project in London, on the construction of an apartment block. The contract specification asked for the Contractor to achieve Acoustic - ECO homes standard, which is considerably more difficult to achieve than standard Part E, as you need to achieve 50dB instead of 45dB. Unfortunately we were not involved at the design stage; so much of the detailing had already been designed without accounting for the acoustic elements.

Problem
Much of the construction works had already taken place therefore it was too late for Air Pressure Testing to change the specification of the wall abutment/junctions. Unfortunately there was numerous area where the wrong wall ties had been used; heavy duty rigid ties instead of thinner acoustic spec’d wall ties, to further compound the problem many of areas where the walls abutted the concrete frame the wall had been butted tight to the frame with mortar, thus resulting in a large amount of noise flanking. Unfortunately most of the internal walls had been constructed prior to Air Pressure Testing’s involvement; so there was no access to visually inspect & survey the problem areas.

Solution
Using due diligence and sound knowledge of construction detailing Air Pressure Testing visited site to undertake a preliminary sound test, we associated the problem areas and carefully removed a small part of the wall to visually inspect the area. Once the area and subsequent problem was located we forwarded recommendations for the remedial the works detail for both areas. Once the remedial works had been completed; it enabled the sound testing specification to be met with minimal disruption and costs; despite the Sound Testing requirement being more stringent than the standard building regulations standard.

Air Testing Consultancy Services - Further Information
For further information on Air Testing Consultancy Services please visit the 'air test consultancy services testing page'.

Sound Testing Consultancy Services - Further Information
For further information on Air Testing Consultancy Services please visit the 'sound test consultancy services testing page'.

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