Sound Testing

What we do

Air Leakage Testing Ltd provides UKAS accredited sound insultation testing for Part E compliance.

House and flats

Schools and hospitals

Care homes

Student accommodation


Our Sound Test Engineers are home-based and well-placed to cover Greater London and the City, Kent, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, we are able to test all over the UK.


Approved Document E of the Building Regulations requires party walls between dwelling houses, flats and other ‘rooms for residential purposes’ (e.g. hotels, care homes, student accommodation) to demonstrate a basic level of sound insulation. This applies to new builds and residences formed by material change of use (e.g. conversions of a house or office into flats).

Building contractors can demonstrate compliance by paying a licence fee for robust construction details and then a further fee for each time a wall is built using these design details or by conducting a pre-completion acoustic test of a sample of walls on site.

For every 10 units, 1 set of tests must be conducted:

For flats a set includes 2 airborne tests on party walls, 2 airborne tests on party floors and 2 impact tests on party floors.

For dwelling houses a set is 2 airborne tests on party walls.

For rooms for residential purposes a set includes 1 airborne test on a party wall, 1 airborne test on a party floor and 1 airborne test on a party floor.

The performance requirements are set at a level that should prohibit sounds at a ‘reasonable’ level being heard in a neighbouring unit i.e. you shouldn’t be able to hear conversations and TVs at a normal volume but if someone is having a party or a very loud argument this will still be audible.

How it works

We provide a quote based on the number of units and sampling prescribed by Approve Document E – it is usually helpful to have PDF Plans to confirm the layout of party walls and/or floors relative to habitable spaces.

We provide a checklist and agree a date

We call you ahead of the test date to talk you through the process and agree the timings.

We conduct the testing.

  • Airborne tests involve creating noise of a known level (approximately 100dB) on one side of the party/separating wall/floor and measuring the volume on the other side to calculate the amount of noise that the wall or floor is insulating. Measurements are taken in multiple planes and positions, reverberation (echo) and background noise are taken into account. The result is expressed in decibels (dB) as DnTw with corrections for traffic noise (Ctr).
  • Impact testing is done using a tapping machine that simulates footfall on the uncovered floor surface. The level of noise is measured in the unit below and the result is expressed in dB as LnT.
  • New flats and houses must achieve greater than or equal to 45dB sound insulation for airborne tests and less than or equal to 62dB for impact tests. Converted properties have slightly easier targets.
  • Testing typically takes place very close to completion but before carpets or other flooring is laid.

We issue UKAS test certificates for each test.

If the worst should happen and there is a failure, we put you in touch with an experienced acoustician who can provide design/remedial advice ahead of retesting.

© Air Leakage Testing Limited 2020

7 Lawson Way, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0UW

Tel: 01799 540220 – Email:

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