In the construction sector, there are several compliance requirements that you need to meet if you want your building project to go on and proceed as planned. One of these is the soundproofing test, sometimes referred to as the ‘soundproofing of party floors and party wall structures’, and it is a process where the structures of ‘party floors’ and ‘party wall structures’ are checked for their compliance with the recognized British standards set out in Building Code Document E. But what else should you know about acoustic or sound testing? Here’s your best guide to sound testing in your building/s for British standards compliance.
More on building regulations
Part E provides for partition walls to be separated and noise tests to be carried out for the sound insulation of party floors and party wall constructions as well as for adjacent apartments. The number of buildings to be inspected depends on the size and layout of the development. As a rule of thumb, however, at least three buildings with at least 1,000 square meters of floor space are required for sound testing. The code basically stipulates that tests must be carried out to prove the sound insulation of the building and its annexes, as well as the separation of party floors and party walls. Sometimes, even tenants may request such tests if they feel that their landlord has not provided sufficient sound insulation in their building.
What you should and can do
You should arrange for the performance of sound insulation tests in accordance with Approved Document E. The sound testing does not have to be carried out with interior fittings, as the local building inspector can ensure that it meets performance requirements already in the planning phase. Apart from the design, however, Part E requires that final tests be carried out before the completion of the project to demonstrate that the required level of sound insulation has been achieved.
If your building fails the test, you should take remedial measures to resolve the problem. The sound testing procedure and process is quite simple and is explained by engineers on site. However, the process can be quite time-consuming and costly, meaning it is worth preparing in advance.
What you can expect from the sound test
It can be confusing if the building inspector asks you for confirmation that your building meets the required standards. To ensure that your property meets these requirements, an experienced acoustics consultant will help minimize any potential problems leading up to the planned completion and ensure that your building meets all the requirements of the UK Building Standards Document (BSD).
You will receive the oral results of the test before you receive the certificate. During the tests, a trained engineer, acoustic consultant, or sound tester can give you feedback on any questions you notice during a test and inform you of any verbal results of the sound tests. They will first hand in the oral results on-site and then, if necessary, hand them over to the construction inspector.
Acoustic design consultants offer a wide range of sound testing services for residential, commercial, and industrial projects. They perform sound tests for a wide range of customers in many areas and support projects by testing the sound quality of the building's interior, exterior and exterior walls, ceilings, windows, doors, and other components.