What is sound insulation testing?

Sound testing, also referred to as acoustic testing, is the measurement of how much sound is stopped by separating walls or floors between dwellings and rooms such as classrooms, hotel rooms, student residences and offices.

By making a controlled noise on one side of the separating wall or floor and measuring how much sound is being received on the other side, we can tell how much sound is stopped by the structure.

In England and Wales, Approved Document E of the Building Regulations requires new buildings and conversions to demonstrate reasonable levels of airborne and impact sound insulation performance between separating walls and floors. 

There are two ways of complying with the sound insulation requirements that are contained with Approved Document E which are:

  • Build to Robust Details, which is a set of specific design details that have previously been tested to show compliance


  • Conduct on-site pre-completion sound testing. This is where sound testing is performed on site prior to the building being completed and signed off by Building Control. The testing does not need to encompass all of the buildings but must be representative of the units contained within the building project

Pre-completion sound testing is often the preferred method as it allows greater flexibility in design details which may be less limiting, more cost-effective and achieve improved sound insulation performance.

Sound testing can be done in compartments as soon as a number of plots are completed past second fix stage. All internal doors need to be hung and all windows fitted and closable. It is important that carpets are not laid for tests that need to take place through the floor.

Contact us
e: callum.liles@exova.com
+44 (0)1494 569 658
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