A typical building project is comprised of many different elements, and you have to be meticulous and well-prepared when it comes to making sure that all your requirements for the building and construction project are met. Among the details you have to contend with, you will have to make sure that your structure passes building regulations and compliance in different aspects, one of which is sound testing. Sound testing, also referred to as soundproof testing or sound insulation testing or noise testing, among other related terms, is a requirement for the construction of new structures and dwellings in the UK. If you are involved in a building project and would like to learn more about sound testing and its importance, here’s what you should know.
What is it? The basics of soundproof testing or sound insulation testing
Sound testing or soundproof testing, as mentioned, is required to ensure that your development demonstrates a good and acceptable level of noise performance. This includes noise that is airborne or transmitted in the air, like a conversation between two or more individuals, as well as impact noise, or noise that results due to impact, like footsteps on the flooring. Sound insulation or soundproof testing will essentially assess whether or not a dwelling or structure provides good resistance to noise or sound.
Why it’s important and how it works
First and foremost, the purpose of sound testing is to make sure that the floors and walls of a structure can attenuate or reduce a reasonable amount of sound or noise. In Part E of the England and Wales Building Regulations, it states that floors and walls should be tested, particularly if they are located between two adjoining structures or dwellings. The precise number of partitions that require testing depends on the total size of your development, but a standard small- to medium-sized development (one that has less than ten dwelling spaces with a similar build or construction) should undergo soundproof testing which includes two wall tests (airborne), two floor tests (airborne), and two impact tests for the floors.
What you can do to pass a sound testing procedure
If you are in the middle of your building project and would like to ensure that you are adhering to the standards set forth for sound compliance, there are some things you can do to enhance and improve your chances of passing the test. For instance, you should already have your external doors and windows installed and glazed (and have them closed as well), and your ventilation systems should also be installed as well as closed. Your building's internal doors should already be installed, and your ceilings, floors, and walls should be completed and finished. It is also best if all your electrical sockets, light switches, and skirting boards are fitted, and make sure as well that your cosmetic flooring is not fitted yet so impact testing can be adequately performed. The rooms where the testing will be performed should also be tidy and clean, and no tradesmen should be working in the structure while the test is being done.