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Sound Insulation Testing For Compliance with Part E

Sound Insulation Testing For Compliance with Part E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Acoustic Testing Services

Sound Insulation Testing For Compliance with Part E

Does your development need to be Sound Tested?
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. Sound Testing 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 Eco homes Standard) In most cases the rooms to be sound tested will be the two main habitable rooms which would be 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 Air Pressure Testing Sound insulation 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 in one easy package; this will reduce the cost and improve onsite co-ordination, please click here for the Air & Sound Package. Air Pressure Testing site testing is undertaken to a stringent internal quality system following the guidance from ISO/IEC 17025:2005 ‘General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories’.

The United Kingdom Building Regulations require that Pre-Completion Sound Insulation Tests are undertaken on new dwellings and conversions, and where Robust Details have not been used. The requirements are laid down in Approved Document E, which came into effect on 1 July 2003, and by Amendments which came into effect on 1 July 2004. Please click here to download Approved Document E.
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; info@airpressuretesting.net

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 test state of the art 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 ISO complaint testing

Acoustic Testing or Pre Completion Testing
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. 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 are in full accordance with: the suggested methods presented in BS EN ISO 140-parts 4 and 7: 1998. The results of the tests were analysed in accordance with BS EN ISO 717 parts 1 and 2: 1997.
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.

Sound Testing is a general term and therefore more detailed project specific information is sometimes required. Each job is assessed based on its own merits within isolation, and we will ensure we give you a proactive cost effective service.
We 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 Air Pressure Testing as your Acoustic consultant from the offset
Contact us now at; info@airpressuretesting.net to get your free quotation. Please note with consultants nationwide, we can offer an extremely proactive cost effective service.

F or vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound test 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 e,g speech, television etc, and acoustic impact e.g footfall sound tests in accordance with the requirements of Approved Document E of The Building Regulations and the relevant European and International standards, as shown below;

• BS EN ISO 140-4:1998 - Acoustics - Measurement of Sound Insulation in Buildings and of Building Elements. Part 4 Field Measurement of Airborne Sound Insulation between Rooms.
• BS EN ISO 140-7:1998 - Acoustics - Measurement of Sound Insulation in Buildings and of Building Elements. Part 7 Field Measurement of Impact Sound Insulation of Floors.
• BS EN ISO 717-1:1997 - Acoustics - Rating of Sound Insulation in Buildings and of Building Elements : Part 1. Airborne Sound Insulation.
• BS EN ISO 717-2:1997 - Acoustics - Rating of Sound Insulation in Buildings and of Building Elements : Part 2. Impact Sound Insulation.
• Building Regulations Approved Document E 2003 Resistance to the Passage of Sound.

We can also supply advice on remedial acoustic works, as required after failed sound tests, we offer this at a reduced rate if we already have an order with the company.

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 acoustic/sound test failure.

Sound Insulation Testing in line 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.

Air Pressure Testing’s sound insulation 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 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 Sound and Air Testing in one comprehensive package to save you money and negate co-ordination issues.

Why you should use APT for all your sound testing requirements
We can undertake check your design to checks to ensure you comply with part E
We can undertake surveys on your 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 prices Click here for a quote
• We use top quality instrumentation to ensure you get the best service available.

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 insulation testing?
The largest single reason for disputes between neighbours is noise complaints. Approved Document Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound of the Building Regulations describes minimum standards to be achieved by newly built domestic dwellings. Sound insulation 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. Air Pressure Testing Ltd offers competitively priced sound insulation testing to both large and small building contractors for any size of development.

What is a Robust Standard Detail?
A Robust Standard Detail is party wall or floor construction of proven performance that is part of the Robust Standard Detail scheme. The Robust Standard Detail scheme is provided by Robust Standard Detail Limited, an organisation that oversees the registration, specification and construction of party wall or floor constructions. Robust Standard Detail Limited produces a handbook containing specifications and checklists for a restricted number of proven constructions based on empirical data. Robust Standard Detail Limited carries out visual inspections during construction of registered plots and spot checks a sample following completion.

When are Pre-Completion Testing sound insulation tests carried out?
Sound insulation testing required for Pre-Completion Testing (PCT) with respect to Building Regulations Approved Document Part E are carried out when the construction of party walls and floors are largely complete. Windows should be in place with any vents closeable. 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.

Sound insulation testing following noise complaints from residents can be carried out at any time when suitable access can be arranged.
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.

Impact Sound Insulation
Is determined by measuring the sound level L, in the receiver room.
This is corrected for reverberation, L’nT, and weighted to give a single number value for Sound Insulation L’nT,w.
Download an electronic copy of Approved Document E here

Sound Insulation Testing (the facts)

Airborne Sound Insulation
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.

Process
The loudspeaker in the Source Room emits a loud noise over a range of frequencies (pink noise).
The microphone in the Source and Receiving Room measures the sound pressure level. Using specialist UKAS Calibrated equipment, our acoustician then calculates the airborne sound insulation (DnT,w + Ctr).

Impact Sound Insulation
Impact sound insulation is determined by measuring the sound level L, in the receiver room. This is corrected for reverberation, L'nT, and weighted to give a single number value for Sound Insulation L'nT,w.

Process
In the Source Room a tapping machine impacts repeatedly directly onto the floor structure.
A microphone in the Receiving Room measures the sound pressure level and the recorded level produces the Impact result (L’nT,w).
In order to comply with Approved Document E of the Building Regulations, 10% of plots used in each development for residential purposes should be tested if robust detailing is not used.
Items to complete prior to our arrival on Site to undertake the Acoustic Test
The best time to carry out sound testing is towards the completion of the project. In addition the optimum conditions are when the site is quiet. If there is noise on the site from equipment and 'on going works' here is an increased chance of a sound test failure. Housing developers and/or site managers will have to nominate a day for sound testing and restrict any noisy activity during the sound test/s. The following list provides an indicative checklist for site managers for the requirements of the plots and sites where testing may be carried out.

Site Preparation Checklist
A site is ready for testing when:
1. Windows are fully fitted with locks in place.
2. Window trickle vents are in place or temporarily blocked up for testing.
3. Room and front doors are in place and closeable.
4. All wall surfaces in rooms to be tested are complete (including sockets and switches if applicable).
5. Floor and ceiling surface are complete.
6. Carpets or timber laminates have NOT been laid in rooms where floors are to be tested (with the exception of bonded carpet).
7. Staff made aware that a quiet site environment is required during testing.

Please Note: If you have any questions about the preparation or the actual test then please ring our office to discuss them or e-mail us at; info@airpressuretesting.net

Acoustic Testing - Further Information
For further information on Acoustic Testing please visit the 'why acoustic_testing page'.

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