Acoustic Testing

Sound insulation testing, or pre-completion testing must be carried out on new build properties as well as converted properties. The sound testing procedure takes the form of both Airborne and Impact testing. The number of tests required is dependent on the layout of your build and how many separating walls and floors you have. Airborne and Impact tests are carried out on the separating floors and walls between habitable rooms of flats.
There are two types of sound tests:

Airborne Testing

These tests are carried out on party walls and floors/ceilings between dwellings. An airborne test measures levels of sound transmitted through the air. We use a loudspeaker that produces white noise on one side of the partition, and measure with a decibel meter on the other side how much sound is lost through the partition. BS EN ISO 140-4: 1998 and BS EN ISO 717-1: 1997,
Examples of airborne noise that you would expect to find in a dwelling are televisions, radios and people talking.

Impact Testing

These are only carried out on separating floor/ceiling divides between dwellings. An impact test measures the levels of noise transmitted directly through a separating construction as a result of impact. We use a tapping machine, which drops metal hammers onto the floor to create impact noise. We then measure the amount of sound that passes through the partition with a decibel meter on the other side of the divide. BS EN ISO 140-7: 1998 and BS EN ISO 717-2: 1997,
All testing can only be completed on ‘habitable’ rooms. Habitable rooms can be bedrooms, lounges, living rooms and open plan kitchen/ living spaces. Test findings are fed into a report that will be sent to the client. This report should always be acceptable to Building Control and will help you to get your development signed off. For further information, see our frequently asked questions.

Within the Scottish Building Technical Standards, 5.1.9 Post-completion testing table 5.3 states the volume of tests required to satisfy the verifier. “On completion, new buildings and conversions should be tested in accordance with the table 5.3. Note such testing is not necessary should ‘Robust Details (Scotland) be used, fully adhering to the scheme rules, in clause 5.1.2. This is because ‘Robust Details (Scotland)’ are designed and constructed to be an average of 5dB better than test levels in clause 5.1.8”.

As an approved body we can advise on the tests required on each specific block or dwelling, however we would always recommend that you speak with your local Building Control officer before commencement of tests on site, as they are the ultimate authority.

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