Make sure you pass the test

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Passing your sound test shouldn’t be an issue provided that the rules of sound insulation are followed. In order to meet and pass the test requirements, separating walls and floors must be constructed in a way that pays particular attention to the three acoustic elements: Mass, Isolation and Air Tightness.

At noise.co.uk we see test failures for all sorts of reasons but there’s usually a good reason for it, and the three main reasons are:

  • Poor design – Something went wrong at design stage where the requirements have not been completely understood by the person responsible for the plans. The builder has built it in accordance with the detail, but the detail was too weak to pass the minimum performance standards.
  • Poor workmanship – On this occasion the construction has not been in accordance with the plans and/or specified products have been substituted by the builder.
  • Poor design and poor workmanship – A combination of both of the reasons above!

Make sure you don’t fall foul of one of these. Give one of our friendly experts a call and let the professionals help you check that your homebuild is acoustically sound.

If you need a sound insulation test, for your project, give us a call on 024 7654 5397. noise.co.uk offers UKAS Accredited PCT throughout England & Wales in association. We also offer a full Desktop Study Design Service, along with Noise and Vibration Impact Assessments for Planning, to keep you on the right track.

We’ve put together a checklist for you to see if you’re ready to test. Check it out and book your acoustic test. Call us on 024 7654 5397.

How do you know if your project needs acoustic testing?

You’ve got Building Regs approval and your home build project is good to go… Or is it…? You’ve heard that you might need acoustic testing but you’re not sure how to go about it. Here’s a quick note, from one or our consultants, on the basics.

To test or not to test?
A Pre-Completion Sound Insulation Test (PCT) is required for all New Build flats and attached houses which have not been registered and built using the Robust Details scheme. In addition, any project where houses or flats for residential use have been created via a Material Change of Use (MCOU), (like a former office building converted into residential flats) will require mandatory testing. Regardless of whether the project is new build or MCOU, if Rooms for Residential Purposes (RFRP) have been created, such as hotels or student halls of residence, testing is also compulsory.

Not all properties require testing but the amount of tests can get a bit confusing. Simply put, for every 10 units constructed with the same wall and/or floor, acting as a separating partition, the sample test ratio is 1:10. This rate requires a “set of tests” to be undertaken…

  • For houses the set of tests consists of 2 airborne tests of a party wall.
  • For flats with separating floors only, the set consists of 2 floor airborne and 2 floor impact tests.
  • If the flats also have party walls then they also have to be tested.

We said it was confusing! That’s why it’s important to identify your Building Control provider at an early stage and agree if there’s a need for a PCT. Building Control will help by assessing your scheme. They will advise on the plots, and the rooms within the plots, which will require testing prior to giving you your completion certificate.

So if you find you do need a PCT, give us a call on 024 7654 5397. noise.co.uk offers UKAS Accredited PCT throughout England & Wales. We also offer a full Desktop Study Design Service, along with Noise and Vibration Impact Assessments for Planning, to keep you on the right track.

We’ve put together a checklist for you to see if you’re ready to test. Check it out and book your acoustic test with one of our friendly experts. Call us on 024 7654 5397.

Are you ready for your sound insulation test?

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If you’ve booked a pre-completion sound insulation test (PCT) there are a few things that you’ll need in place to make sure the surveyor can move around easily and get the job done. Here’s a quick review of what you’ll need to check before your acoustics test:

1. Do the rooms to be tested have working 240v mains power supply and lighting… and is it switched on?
2. Are all wall surfaces complete, on both side of the partition, in all rooms to be tested?
3. Are floors and ceiling surfaces complete?
4 Are all windows installed and are the closing mechanisms in place?
5. Are all trickle vents installed or will they be temporarily blocked off?
6. Are front doors and room doors fitted?
7. Are all sockets and switches, such as TV, power and telephone sockets, in place?
8. Are all rooms to be tested empty or otherwise unfurnished?
9. For floor tests, make sure that any temporary floor finishes, such as carpets, have been removed, or pulled back to expose at least 50% of the floor surface (for Floor Type 1, it’s ok to test with soft floor coverings in place).
10. Make sure the surveyor has clear and safe access to both sides of the test partitions.
11. Make sure that any rooms to be tested are clear of building materials.
12. Make sure that any smoke alarms, or other alarm systems, are deactivated during tests (so that they don’t interfere with the testing). Don’t forget to switch them on again though…

If you find you do need a PCT, contact us or give us a call on 024 7654 5397. noise.co.uk offers UKAS Accredited sound insulation testing throughout England & Wales. We also offer a full Desktop Study Design Service, along with Noise and Vibration Impact Assessments for Planning, to keep you on the right track.

We’re looking for a talented engineer to join our team.

noise.co.uk is expanding and we’re looking for talented acoustics engineers to join our close-knit team of consultants and technicians. Now that our enhanced Environmental Noise Assessment templates are up and running we have an ever-increasing workload. We’re looking for an acoustics consultant, with 2 years’ experience, to help service a growing number of key client projects.

This is a great chance for an enthusiastic acoustician, with a mature outlook, to join our team. Based in the Midlands, you will work on high-profile residential, healthcare, education and commercial property schemes across the UK. Working in a growing team, this is an excellent career-development opportunity for an ambitious and self-motivated individual who is keen to make a difference through innovation and teamwork.

If you’d like to work for an independent noise and vibration consultancy, specialising in building and environmental acoustics, we’d like to hear from you. This is a great opportunity for a graduate acoustics engineer, and MIOA, to learn from the best and work on a range of projects.

If you’d like to join a successful and innovative acoustics consultancy, and you think you have what it takes, then get in touch. Visit our jobs page for details or contact Dave Riley at dave@noise.co.uk to find out more.

Minimising claim risk by early interventions on acoustics

Dave Riley, our National Business Manager, will be enlightening more than 130 surveyors on the common acoustics defects they should be looking out for in party wall/floor construction, at an event organised by MD Insurance Services. If you’re interested in minimising the claim risk on housing projects, and you’ve been invited to the MDIS conference in Nottingham, on 20th January, make sure you don’t miss his talk.

If you’re not part of the MDIS Group, and are interested in finding out more, then contact us for information on our Technical Seminars.

Building new homes..? Make sure you keep the noise down

Rumour has it that, as we hit 2016, over half a million plots, in the UK are waiting to be built. That’s half a million homes, close to existing properties, that will need to ensure that the neighbours are not inconvenienced by construction noise and vibration. If you are a housebuilder or developer with plans for 2016 are you prepared..? …Have you done all your environmental noise assessments…? There’s no getting away from noise and vibration on a construction site but, with careful planning, it needn’t be a problem at any stage of a development.

At noise.co.uk our specialists are particularly experienced at working with major housebuilders and developers. We’ve worked on a range of residential and mixed-use development projects from the planning stage right through to final pre-completion testing.

We know how to help clients keep the noise down and we have learned many things over the years. One of the most important is the benefit of getting an acoustics specialist on board as soon as possible. It’s the best way to make sure that there are no surprises or delays when it comes to the acoustic integrity of your building project. A good acoustics consultant (…and we are good…) will:

  • Work to your specifications to ensure your development reaches the highest acoustics standards
  • Make sure that whoever has responsibility for getting your building works through pre-completion test is properly guided through the process
  • Check your plans against the Approved Document E recommendations to ensure that the correct design is being specified by the designer

If the development is in an area that’s prone to transport or industrial noise you’ll need to make sure that each home is acoustically designed and built to keep external noise levels to a minimum. Get the acoustics experts in early so that you can build homes that occupants will be happy in and avoid the hassle of dealing with costly remedial solutions.

Whatever stage your housing development is at, why not contact us for details of how we can help you build acoustically superior homes and keep the neighbours happy. For those developments at the pre-planning stages we also offer advice and assistance in getting planning permission where noise is an issue. As an added bonus, noise.co.uk is the only acoustic consultancy in the UK that is UKAS Accredited to survey environmental noise in accordance with BS7445.

Contact us for more information on environmental noise assessments and acoustic design services for residential developments.

Welcome, Matt Torjussen, our new Principal Consultant

Matt-Torjussen

We are pleased to welcome back Matt Torjussen as a Principal Consultant at noise.co.uk. As a chartered engineer, and an active member of the Institute of Acoustics, he re-joins our team of specialists after a three-year break. Previously he worked on our large healthcare, education, residential and industrial projects. Following his stint at a leading British technology firm, he returns to us with additional skills in machinery noise and vibration control, signal processing and advanced measurement techniques.

Matt will have technical and commercial responsibility for our projects in the South and South West. Managing Director, Bill Whitfield said “This is a key appointment for us at an important time for the company when we are seeing increased demand across the full range of our services. Matt is an asset to the team, we are lucky to get him back, and we are looking forward to working with him again.”