Acoustic Tests

Does my site, house, or flat need a sound test? Sound Insulation Testing requirements.

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Courtesy of Courtesy of Acoustic Tests

Approved Document E:  Resistance to the passage of sound’ governs the sound testing requirements for newly built, and refurbished dwellings, as well as newly-built and refurbished ‘rooms for residential purposes’ (e.g. hotels, student accomdation) constructed since 2003.  (link here:

This document outlines what needs testing and how many tests a development may require.

As mentioned above, if your site submitted its planning application after 2003, it is quite likely you will be required to demonstrate compliance with Approved Document E by undertaking a schedule of pre-completion sound insulation testing.

The schedule of testing is determined by a variety of factors, such as the number of units (houses/flats/studios) present on your development, the number of different construction ‘sub-groups’ used for your separating walls and floors, and the arrangement & internal layout of the units (houses/flats/studios) themselves.

Below is a typical example:

John’s site is a development containing 8 flats, all contained within the same block, with 4 flats one on top of the other, each side of a communal stairway. 

Ordinarily, assuming that the layout was conducive to a normal schedule of testing, this development would require 2 airborne sound insulation tests between party walls, 2 airborne sound insulation tests between party floors, and 2 impact sound insulation tests between party floors, making a total of 6 individual tests.

However, should the flats be laid out in such a manner that no habitable rooms border onto the opposite side of the party walls of the flats (for example: if all the walls border onto the communal corridor), then the schedule of testing would be lessened to only 4 individual tests (2 airborne sound insulation party floor tests, and 2 impact sound insulation party floor tests).

Despite the number of flats in the development remaining the same, the layout has caused the amount of tests to change.  This can be altered further if, for example, the party floor construction differs significantly between the left and right side of the communal stair case.  The pemutations go on and on, and it can be quite difficult for the layperson to get their head around initially.

Should you be unsure as your requirements for either sound insulation testing, or any other manner of acoustic query, please do not hesitate to contact for help and advice on what your site requires.  We offer no obligation quotations for sound insulation testing with results the same day, and all manner of acoustic and noise surveys at the most competitive prices around.

Please feel free to visit our website, email or call us any time – we’re glad to be of assistance.

Tel: 07594 900 582

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