What Is A Sound Insulation Test?

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What Is A Sound Insulation Test?

Overview of Sound Insulation Testing

If you're thinking “what is a sound insulation test?" we can help. Also known as acoustic insulation testing, sound insulation tests measure how much noise travels through a property’s walls, floors and ceilings to neighbours or adjoining buildings.

Why Do I Need Sound Insulation Testing?

Now we’ve covered ‘what is a sound insulation test?’, here’s why you need one.

UK building regulations require sound insulation testing. This is to ensure a good quality of life for those living within and around the property.

You will almost certainly need sound insulation testing if a new build or conversion results in two adjoining dwellings being separated by party elements. However, you may not need a test if you construct these elements with ‘robust details’. Robust details are materials that are proven to provide effective acoustic insulation.

How Is Sound Insulation Testing Completed? 

You need two measurements to conduct a sound insulation test – airborne testing and impact testing...

Airborne Testing

To test the airborne acoustic insulation of a party element, our technicians will place speakers generating 100 decibels of white noise in a space. Next, we’ll compare the average sound pressure level in the room using a moving microphone. Then, our technicians measure the average sound pressure level in the adjoining room and compare the two sound pressure levels.

Impact Testing

Our technicians use a tapping machine to hit the party element – usually the floor – to create impact sound. They will then take measurements in the adjoining room, in third octave bands from 100 Hz to 3150 Hz. We’ll take measurements in at least four different positions, at least six times.

The results of these tests must meet or exceed values set by Part E of The Building Regulations.

When Should It Be Carried Out?

Sound insulation testing takes place at the ‘pre-completion’ stage of the project. This means that your development needs to be almost complete – that is, the doors are in place, windows and trickle vents fitted and power installed. During the sound insulation tests, we’ll need the site to be quiet.

However, we would also advise that you hire UKBC from the outset. We can provide specific recommendations throughout the project, to ensure your building passes and prevent the need for costly remedial action.

How Long Will It Take? 

The test itself should take about 30–45 minutes. UKBC will be able to give you a preliminary test result almost as soon as the test is complete. This will allow you to have the necessary information to move your project along as quickly as possible. We will also email the certificates and full report within 7 working days.

What Happens If My Building Fails?

If your building doesn’t pass a sound insulation test, UKBC can help. We will provide assistance to fix the problems in the most cost effective way. However, to avoid a building failing a sound insulation test at pre-completion stage, we offer a comprehensive consultation service. As part of this service, we will advise you the right materials and strategies at design stage. With our advice, we can ensure the best chance of getting a pass first time.