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What is a Sound Test?

Sound insulation testing has been a very important part of the build process for both new-build and material change-of-use (conversions) residential dwellings since 2003. The changes to the Building Regulations requirements and in particular the pre-completion test routine detailed in the approved document (ADE) are not straightforward and we offer specialist advice to guide the person responsible for the building work through the process.

Process: Wall Airborne

- Our Acousticians first determine which rooms are suitable for tests in, and primarily focus on areas of the property where people spend most time such as Living Rooms and Bedrooms. These form the basis fo the 'Sets of tests' required by the Approved Document and are most commonly used for Sound Testing.

- Depending on the conditions each sound test take approximately 20 minutes to complete

- A background measurement is taken for a base line of the noise level that is already present on site.

- A large speaker is placed in the corner and emits high level 'pink noise' at around 100dB in the source room.

- This noise is then measured at different points around the room to obtain a spatial average and is then repeated in the adjacent receiver room through the wall.

- The difference is then calculated and an adjustment made for the reverberant sound (echo) to determine how much sound the wall stops.

Process: Floor Airborne

- A similar process to a wall airborne test takes place but rather than through a wall it is taken through the floor

Process: Floor Impact

- We use a calibrated impact source machine commonly referred to as a tapper to force a regular reliable amount of impact energy into the floor using rotating 'hammers' that tap on the floor structure.

- The acoustician will position the tapper at a series of suitable positions in the room and measure the sound transmitted in the room underneath, for each tapper position.

- These measurements are then averaged and a correction for the reverberation (echo) in the receiver room is calculated to determine the impact sound insulation value

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